Series: The Syrena Legacy #1
Genres: Fantasy, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Published by Macmillan on 2012-05-22
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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.
This book definitely surprised me! While I was expecting your average mermaid tale, what I got was a fierce and funny story featuring the Syrena. Of Poseidon is witty and light — so it was the perfect vacation read for me!
Though I usually find it distracting to read on planes, this book drew me in within the first few pages. Between Anna Banks’ humorous writing and the great dialogue, I liked all of the characters from the get-go.
Emma is especially brilliant, definitely ranking as one of my more preferred MC’s. The reader gets to see a lot of Emma’s internal dialogue (which is hilarious, by the way), but I was never annoyed by her. She strikes a fine balance between bewildered and taking-things-in-stride when it comes to accepting her possible Syrena heritage, managing to be appropriately confused while also keeping her calm. This really made Emma stand out to me among the crowd of YA MC’s that completely flip out when they discover they might be a little more than human. Of course, her fiery temper and desire to do exactly what people tell her not to just because it irks her also make her a little bit of a rebel and all the more likable.
Rayna, Galen’s sister, is quite belligerent and has a temper that puts Emma’s to shame. Rayna provides for some of the funniest scenes in the novel, whether she is teasing her brother or attempting to fend off the advances of her accidental fiancé, Toraf, though she doesn’t find him as completely detectable as she makes out (it’s a long story). She definitely rocks her secondary character status and adds some spice to the novel.
And then we arrive at the love interest, Galen. Ah, Galen, you are the perfect guy — but perhaps too perfect? The boy possesses rock-hard abs, violet eyes, super-speed, a considerable amount of concern for Emma’s well-being, and a pretty strong protection instinct. Sometimes he really come across as too good to be true — but to be fair, he isn’t really your average teenage human anyway. As he enrolls in high school to try to stick around town and convince Emma of her heritage, the contrast between him and other guys his age is even more startling. While he does have his humanizing moments (failing at his math homework, for instance), and his frustration with Emma is understandable and even endearing, he still seems unbelievable at times.
But when it comes to romance, oh boy does this book deliver. However unbelievable Galen make come across at times, his chemistry with Emma is obvious — as a matter a fact, it’s even legendary. Yes, the intense attraction these two is called ‘the pull’ among the Syrena, and is thought to attack one’s true mate, though it is said to be myth. Due to royal obligations their romance is forbidden, but that doesn’t stop these two from falling for each other, though they stubble to fight their feelings.
Though it pains me to do so, I feel that a connection to this book must be brought up. I saw a few too many parallels between Galen and Emma’s romance to Edward and Bella’s in Twilight. Not in the sense that it wasn’t original per se, but that it brought up some things that nagged me just as when I read Twilight. Forbidden romance, a chemistry that is impossible to resist (practically written into their DNA), guy who is not in high school enrolling just to stalk (okay, maybe a bit harsh) the girl, guy with an extreme protection instinct… these elements to their romance had me worried that they would turn out to be another Edward and Bella in an unrealistic and possibly unhealthy romance.
But really, I had nothing to worry about. Galen and Emma ARE NOT Edward and Bella because of their drastically different personalities that change their love story into something different (and much better). In retrospect, I’m kinda embarrassed two compare the two (but really, my brain couldn’t help it! There were just so many similarities). Galen has a rather positive attitude about everything, and I’m not sure he could pull off brooding and silent even if he tried. And Emma, of course, is anything but passive and would be disgusted with herself if her life became unlivable without Galen. Emma’s spunk and refusal to comply with Galen’s orders really won me over and made their romance unique.
I also loved the twist that Banks added that made Of Poseidon different from most ‘mermaid’ books. Though not explicitly Greek mythology, the Syrena are divided into to houses, with one descending from Poseidon and the other from Triton. Tons of history is also spun into the story (Banks is obviously a history buff!). Ever wondered about the lost city of Atlantis or wished to visit the shipwreck of the Titanic? Let’s just stay that you’ll love this book.
A great romance, a kick-ass and hilarious MC, elements of history/mythology, and an ending that completely surprised me. Odds are that I’ll be checking out the sequel!