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ARC Review: Of Poseidon

my thoughts in a few sentences: I’ve been reading a ton of mermaid books lately, but of them all Of Poseidon by Anna Banks was the one I was most worried about and the one that surprised me the most! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did! But this book is, seriously, HILARIOUS. Banks has got an awesome sense of humor and quickly becomes apparent as soon as we start on Emma’s inner monologue. I was already engrossed because the humor is so inviting, real, and in tune with the book. And technically this book is NOT about mermaids. It’s about something way, way, way cooler, with mythology that is intriguingly spun through the plot to make it equal parts interesting and puzzling. And the romance! Of Poseidon by Anna Banks isn’t totally lighthearted, good underwater fun. The romances—yes, Anna gives us the benefit of two—are steamy with tension build-up, tangled up with misunderstandings, and has this pervading sweetness. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks is fun, smart, entertaining, but, more than that, fascinating.

hooking first line: "I smack into him as if shoved from behind."

Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan • NetGalley • Paranormal Romance • 5/22/12 • $13.49



Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
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.
Is this about mermaids or not?

Yes and no. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks technically features these mermaid-like creatures. But, if you don’t want to get your head bitten off by Galen, or the average Syrena—I don’t care if they don’t actually do that; it’s an insult—you’d better not go there, using the “M” word and all that. It’s not kosher. Besides, Syrena are actually triple way cooler than your average mermaid.

Can your average mermaid Blend into the water? Can they go at superspeeds and travel great distances? Do they also have fins? Maybe. But you just can’t beat out the Syrena. I hate to say this, but they’re flyer than Ariel and her band of school fish.

THERE’S A BOY NAMED TORAF?! Seriously?

For serious. But Toraf is actually made of awesome. He’s just ONE of the characters that charms our pants off. He’s funny and good-natured. He’s the comedy fix every good, solid paranormal book needs. We wouldn’t want the angstiness to get to brimming, now would we? Handsome, an excellent joke cracker, and the bane of the existence of Galen’s sister, Rayna, Toraf could’ve made a fabulous choice for the second point in the typical love triangle. Thankfully, there isn’t one and we don’t have to worry about this huggable boy’s heart. Well, we kind of do, because he’s in love with Rayna and she’s not having it. Reading as these two struggle with a relationship—Rayna being a stubborn idiot, Toraf being very persistent—brings out that lighthearted, fun tone to Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

Unsurprisingly, Galen and Emma have less weird names but are just as amazing as their secondary character friends. Emma has, as I mentioned, the best sense of humor ever. She’s stubborn, sarcastic, laughable in a nice way where we laugh not at her but at the situation and how she goes about describing her misery, humiliation, and/or annoyance. Galen is the all-serious, arrogant, bit of a know-it-all big time Prince who is curiously fascinated and probing toward the lovely Emma. She’s this five hundred paged mystery novel. She’s beautiful. He’s having a hard time dealing with these unexpected, unwanted twin feelings of alarm and wonder.

Prince Galen does give off a bit of an Edward Cullen vibe, but he’s basically his own character. He’s impatient and determined, but what makes him so likable is his cheekiness. Blending into our society proves much more difficult, and, frankly, entertaining, than turning a lovely water color in the ocean so as to appear invisible. When he has the balls to try out things like “let’s chill” and “hey, boo,” things become unbelievably hysterical in the midst of all the serious drama revolving around the war brewing between the sea peoples and Emma’s enigmatic origins.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks quickly becomes quite addictive.

Who’s a mystery novel?

Emma is a big smack in the face to Syrena culture and tradition. She’s a giant stigma, an abomination. At least, she would be down under in the water. But discovering the hows and whys are what keeps propelling the story and shifts the weight off of the characters, however fantastic they are, so that it’s not all about them and our interest falls in two places. What is Emma? And where did she come from? How has her birthright been hidden from her all this time? Magnetic violet eyes and romantic tension aside, these questions grate on Galen’s peace of mind as he tries to work out an answer that won’t jeopardize his maybe chance to explore what’s crackling between he and Emma. Firstly because whoever gave birth to her is in serious doo-doo, then because the House of Poseidon and the House of Triton are due for a joiner marriage and guess who just might make the cut with her parentage?

We all see the dilemma here, right? And this is a colossal problem because Emma and Galen may or may not have something destined, something that only comes around everyone once in a while.

All you need is love…

My biggest fear for Of Poseidon by Anna Banks lies in the romance. I was worried that this would be unbelievable instalove in the making. “Both teens sense a connection” is enough to worry anyone who gets seriously turned off by unbelievable and forced connection and chemistry. However, that’s so not the case here.

Emma and Galen have a tentative friendship, with underlying romantic zings, at best and are ever bickering at their worst. Galen is all princely and he expects to be obeyed. Emma is stubborn and independent and just not capable of taking anybody’s crap. So she doesn’t. Often. And hard. Which is why it’s easy to respect her and her no-nonsense attitude. Even if it got to be a little frustrating at times because her attitude, and with misunderstandings fresh in her mind, gets in the way of the slow and tension-filled romance.

These misunderstandings cause all sorts of drama. Jealousy, a bit of deception, a hint—no a ton—of anger in all the right places so that eventually fate has its way and gently tugs the two together until they’re a superglued masterpiece.

Another mother fryin’ cliffhanger…

Initially, my reaction was to beat my fists on the walls, or, the closest thing to me at the time: the skinny boy with the too-loud music at the desk in front of me. Because just as things are finally making sense, the obvious happens. The drop hits. A CLIFFHANGER. And it’s not even like Morse Code where there are sublime messages inside the words or hints at the future in the moment.

The mystery is solved, yes. The romance is safe for now, yes. The characters are still lovable, indeed. BUT I NEED MORE.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks is fun and engaging and full of that humor that sometimes misses the mark in so many other paranormals. These characters, and Anna, never forget to laugh at themselves despite the enormity of the situation they’re in. It’s what I liked about the story best of all.

Rating: Sud-Kissed
"Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table.
Everyone gasps except Galen - who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair.
Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?"
The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" (40%)

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Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!

17 comments:

Jen said...

I wish so much that I enjoyed this novel. I've already given you my reason why I didn't. But your review is still so tempting. So well structured and thought out, how could I resist?! Despite the fact that I DNFed this, I still loved reading your review. 

(And seriously. TORAF. SERIOUSLY.)

Jenny said...

 YEAH ASHER!!! So glad you loved this one too, Emma was making me laugh harder than I've laughed in a really long time. That whole first scene when she smacked into Galen? *dies*

Also, love this sentence, it describes the romance perfectly:

"Jealousy, a bit of deception, a hint—no a ton—of anger in all the right
places so that eventually fate has its way and gently tugs the two
together until they’re a superglued masterpiece."

Asher Knight said...

 Maybe you can try again *bats eyelashes* What's the harm?

But, I'll settle for you enjoying my review. That's something :DD

(I know. I KNOW. But he's a sweetie.)

Asher Knight said...

 *fist-bumps* I SAW (your review) so I know how much you liked the book. Emma just had me rollin', yo. I couldn't stop laughing at points or stop giving in to chuckling. Opening it with that scene? SMART MOVE, Anna Banks.

And I loved all that wonky anger and jealousy. It gave things a certain spiciness. Thanks! ;)

Lauren M said...

Confession: I wasn't a fan of Of Poseidon. I know, crazy, right? I don't know, I just couldn't get behind the narration, and the romance didn't grip me at all. Galen was, like you said, kind of Edward Cullenish, and I wasn't a fan of his. Meh. But your review is fantastic! If I hadn't already read Of Poseidon, I'd be dying to. :)
- Lauren

Erica said...

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO FREAKING MUCH! It was so funny, charming and all around awesome :) 

Asher Knight said...

 I can see people not being a fan. It's lighthearted and Galen does have some EC undertones, so I get why some might not be attracted. But it was just so funny, Lauren! :P

YAY for enjoying my review anyway. That's pretty special. :DD

Asher Knight said...

 I LIKED IT A LOT TOO. It really is. Sweet romance, hilarious narration, and awesome mythology! It was actually one of your vlogs that got me pining for it and requesting it off of netgalley :-D

@BookwormAsheley said...

Dude, that freakin cliffhanger. Yes, there was resolution to the stuff, but MAN. Anna Banks, WHY???? 

And Toraf was awesome as heck. I'm in full agreement with your assessment of this book! It was fun to read for sure! 

@BookwormAsheley said...

Sorry, sorry, I always have afterthoughts. I DID have to think on this one a little while first because I DID read another book just before it and found myself comparing Of Poseidon to it - which is NEVER FAIR. NEVER. But still: I liked it, I liked it. It was fun and easy, breezy. So yay for that because those types of books are always needed between heavier and longer books. 

Sarah (saz101) said...

DUDE. NO ONE IS FLYER THAN ARIEL AND HER BAND OF SCHOOL FISH.

OK.
Well... maybe Rayna :P

Eeeee! I'm so glad you loved this one, too! You NAILED it, Asher! Like always. I loved this so much. It was just pure, good fun. FABULOUS.

Asher Knight said...

 THE CLIFFHANGER. I can't get it out of MY BRAIN. I was just like, WHHHHAAAA? Even as I started to see it coming I didn't think it was just going to drop off like that.

And Toraf, Toraf! He is amazeballs. How anyone, including Rayna, could resist him is beyond my comprehension! Of Poseidon actually ended up making a good comparison to another mermaid book I was reading at the time.

Asher Knight said...

I THOUGHT SO TOO. At first.

And Rayna WAS HILARIOUS. THE CAR SCENE.

I was so excited when I saw you loved this one also! It's really a fab story, breezy and fun!

Sarah@catchingbooks said...

AWESOME review!! I really liked Of Poseidon as well and I can't wait to read the next book!! (Especially after the ending!!)

Happy reading and I am a new follower!!

http://sarahcatchingbooks.blogspot.com/

Asher Knight said...

Thanks so much <33 I was surprised by how much I wanted to read the next book! And THAT CLIFFHANGER.

By the way, I forgot to mention, I LOVE YOUR BLOG LAYOUT. :D

Ashley @ booknook said...

Super great review!!  I haven't read this book yet but it's one of the top on my wishlist.  I was worried after reading some negative reviews, but I think yours has reassured me!  I'm as excited as ever to read this!

Asher Knight said...

Thanks! :D There are a lot of mixed reviews, I noticed. This book isn't perfect, but it's a lot of fun. I laughed and I enjoyed puzzling out what was happening. And I loved all the characters, which made it even better. I HOPE YOU LIKE IT.