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Of Poseidon

Of Poseidon - Anna Banks Find my review on BOOK BRATS!Oh, OF POSEIDON, where do I begin? Ever since the wonderful, sweet author Anna Banks followed me on Twitter (and I followed her back), I have wanted to read OF POSEIDON. I requested it from Macmillan, was denied, requested it again through another channel, was denied again (by denied, read: *crickets*, but I totally understand why). Eventually I was approved on Netgalley and I squeed a bit. But then I found myself in a conundrum – what if I didn’t like the book as much as I was sure I would?OF POSEIDON is the story of Emma, a girl on vacation with her best friend in Florida, and Galen, the extremely hot Syrena (think mermaid…er, merman) she literally runs into on a beach. During a freak accident, she watches a shark kill her best friend and finds out that she can control aquatic life, meaning she has the Gift of Poseidon. Galen immediately knows that she can be the key to fixing the wrongs between the followers of Poseidon (her clan) and Triton (his clan) – but that means he has to marry her off to his brother, Grom.I just need to get this part off my chest. This book came off as rather…misogynistic would be a word that probably doesn’t fit but I’ll use anyway. Emma’s life is being dictated by men (Galen = major control freak), and we meet Rayna, Galen’s sister who has been married off without her permission – or her knowledge. The boys in the Syrena world “sift” for their mates, finding a girl in two weeks who they can stand and who can bear their offspring. Girls have no say. A boy asks for her hand in marriage and then they’re off to mate! But that was my number one far and away issue. Whew, with that off my chest, I think I can get to the nitty gritty.Emma is a character I quite enjoyed, even if she was a bit of a flip flopper and more defined by her looks than her personality. She’s feisty, and I do love a good feisty character. Galen was your typical handsome boy – not my favorite – but I LOVED Rayna until the last 20% of the book. I am a big fan of girls that stand up for themselves and know what they want and don’t want. The characterization in this one is pretty well done, minus a few weird aspects. Emma by far is the most developed character, since the story is 50% in her first person point of view, and I really think Banks did a great job with the teenager viewpoint. It’s hard for a lot of authors to get this right, or even CLOSE to right, but Emma sounded like a believable teen most of the book!And I quite enjoyed the plot! I am not well-versed at ALL in mermaid novels, besides The Little Mermaid and the ones where mermaids are evil and suck the life out of people. I mean, it was a little on the cliché side – girl meets boy, boy turns out to be a fish, girl finds this whole deal fishy, girl finds out she is part-fish, and her mother is completely clueless.The mythology in OF POSEIDON was one of the best done parts in my opinion, and probably my favorite in a mermaid story so far (note – I have read a grand total of 3 mermaid books ever that I can remember). The only problem – there wasn’t enough of it! Also, there were some fishy things – like Galen being able to swim over 600 miles an hour, able to survive at extreme depths and still be able to chat and act calmly, able to go to caves beneath the Arctic. It’s like the Syrena’s only fault was that if they spent too much time on land, they aged. I wish they had more weaknesses.This book is going to be the type of book that people will love or hate. The fence here is rather narrow, and for good reason. But mysteriously, I fell on it. Galen is not my type of hero that I fall in love with, and the situation wasn’t 100%. In fact, I rooting for some twists to happen that never came, and the final twist didn’t really please me – especially since it ended on something of a stiff cliffhanger. Maybe the story just didn’t satisfy me as much as it could have, but the presentation of girls as objects to be controlled by men – unable to choose their own partners, their own destinies, their own lives, and with girls who do this the object of scorn by their family and people – just was a big no-no for me.VERDICT: Another victim of ‘Overbearing Boyfriend Syndrome’, OF POSEIDON has all the makings of a successful addition to the paranormal YA market – and the beginnings of a very interesting new series.