Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Monday August 13, 2012 at 12:00 am |

Publisher: Fiewell and Friends
Copyright: 2012
Published: May 22, 2012
Pages: 326
Form: Hardback
Series: Of Poseidon Series (1)
Find the Author: Anna Banks
Buy The Book: B&N | Book Depository

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

My Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading this book because of all the high praise it’s been garnering.  Unfortunately Of Poseidon fell short for me and I found myself sorely disappointed in the story.  I partially blame my high expectations, but it can’t account fully for my discontent with this book.

While the overall story is mildly interesting, there are many aspects of this book that are unrealistic and ridiculous.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the best friend Chloe.  We meet her in the beginning of the book.  She happens to be Emma’s best friend, and the lone token black person in the book.  I might have enjoyed her character had she not been drawn so stereotypical.  You see Chloe has a weave and long fake fingernails, and an attitude to boot.  And if my best friend took care to talk to and about me rudely, and embarrass me in front of hot guys, she wouldn’t be my friend.  So we have the angry black girl with fake hair and fake nails.  I’m surprised she even got in the water because we all know that black people don’t swim *rolls eyes*.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, Chloe doesn’t make it to chapter three as she is mauled by a shark and dies!  Yes you read that right…how cliche for the lone black character to die within the first few pages of the book.  Not to mention how fast Emma got over her death once Galen became a permanent fixture in her life.

The rest of the characters in this book aren’t very well-developed either.  They each seem to have one dominant trait that drives their personalities and not much else interesting about them.  I didn’t enjoy Emma at all.  She could be a real asshole at times, and went out of her way to be contrary and defiant.  And not in cute, she-woman type of way.  She generally treated people like crap and could be really brat-tastic.

Galen, though devastatingly gorgeous, was really controlling and kind of condescending at times.  So not sexy.  Not to mention he followed Emma while she was on a date, threatened bodily harm to the guy she was with, and gave him “serial killer eyes”.  Yes that is a quote from the book.  I must have missed the memo that crazy, controlling, stalker guys were it now, but I think I’ll pass anyway.  The other characters were alright but there was nothing about them that made me want to know anymore about them or be invested in their lives.

Emma’s mother is beyond hysterical and ridiculous, and her conversations with her daughter and Galen kind of creeped me out.  Upon FIRST meeting Galen she asks him whether or not he wants to sleep with her daughter and only seems content when he tells her they haven’t slept together, but he wants to.  WTF!?  Why this is even an appropriate conversation to have with a teenage boy you’ve just met baffles me.  And then she alternates between being super strict with Emma and then letting her spend the night and fly across the country for a weekend with a boy she’s known all of three or four days.  This screams unrealistic as I don’t know any REAL, caring mother whose going to go for that nonsense.

I also have a real problem with the fact that Syrene (mer people) women must mate whether they are willing or not, and the fact that the man that wants her can seal a marriage without her will, consent, or even her PRESENCE disgusts me.  What the recent fascination with women’s uterus’s and reproductive systems in the US and in YA books is I’ll never understand.  But the fact that the Syrena women only seem to be good for producing children irritated the shit out of me.  Frankly I’m not a fan of women being forced to do anything without exercising their own choice in the matter.  Galen’s sister has been wed to her and her brother’s best friend Toraf against her will.  This is even more appalling when you find out that Toraf, as her good friend she grew up with, knew very well that Rayna never wanted to marry.  So he goes behind her back and seals them without her even knowing.  And then he begins playing hard-to-get, and miraculously she loves him and is okay with the marriage.  *Le deep sigh*, REALLY?

The story itself was a bit flimsy and superficial.  I think the Syrena and the underworld could have been better developed and explained.  The romance was lukewarm at best.  Between Galen’s good looks, and Emma’s constant blushing and ball busting, I quickly tired of the two.

The ending was a bit of a surprise.  I say a bit because I kind of saw it coming, but it was interesting enough for me to want to know what happens next.  But I think I’ll end up reading a spoiler review rather than picking up the next book.  Overall I had a hard time getting into the characters and the story.  I think this one just wasn’t for me, but I encourage you all to check out some other reviews and decide for yourself.

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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10 Responses to “Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks”

  1. Wow, I’m not usually one to read mermaid books but this is one I think I will avoid. The stereotyping and “mating” just seems kind of off-putting to me.

    Maybe this is a book I’ll pick up if I see it at the library.

    • Jade says:

      Yeah I think getting it from the library is a god idea if you’re still curious about it. I’m a bit pissed because I won a contest and chose this book to read because of all the rave reviews. Oh well, I guess it goes to show that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

  2. Girl I am so glad you read and reviewed this book. I have seen everyone and their grandma talk about it and I was thinking of picking it up. But now…that is so not going to happen. At all! I am so shocked (but not really) that their are so many bloggers in love with a book that would stereo type like that. Thanks for the look out! 🙂

    • Jade says:

      I thought maybe I was being oversensitive about it and maybe I was the only one who noticed this. But after writing my review I checked out some revies on goodreads and there were many others who felt the same as me. At least I know I’m not crazy.

  3. Sorry you were so disappointed with this one, but thank you for your honesty – now I don’t have to read this one. I haven’t read too many books about mermaids, but the ones that I have read didn’t impress me.

  4. I love your honesty Jade. I’m quite shocked by it all really. Well I’m not shocked by the stereotypes. But the combination of the stereotypes and all the other major pet peeves that I have with some YA trends in the same book? I probably would have thrown this one against the wall. The unrealistic parent situations…and controlling guys (because that’s somehow you are supposed to show love)… just boo! I would rather an author leave out black character(which they seem to do anyway) than portray them in such a way. Great review.

  5. Brat-tastic! LOL!!! Love it.

    Well, no, I wouldn’t really love a character like that, but you know what I mean. I don’t think this book is for me. As it is, I struggle to find myself interest in stories about mermaids, and you’re not the first to say this one disappointed. I don’t get the reproductive fascination either.

    Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on this one Jade. You saved me a lot of irritation.

  6. Kat C says:

    I like your honesty as well. It’s funny to me that when black girls show up in YA, unless the author is black 9/10 the character will have braids or cornrows. But, I mean I think authors do this (especially male authors) is because they don’t understand black hair.

    If youre still into mermaid books, Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (probably spelled her name all kinds of wrong) is pretty good. It has a male protagonist.

  7. Great honest review 🙂 I’m considering this one.