31 March 2014

Audiobook Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Title: Of Poseidon
Author(s): Anna Banks
Genre(s): Fantasy, Myth, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher/Date: Feiwel & Friends / May 22, 2012
Series: The Syrena Legacy (Book #1)
"Morning tide makes a great companion when you don’t want to be around people. It soothes and comforts and doesn't ask for anything. But the sun does. The higher it gets, the more I am reminded that nothing stops time. There is no escaping it.” -Emma McIntosh
Case Study 
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... (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
Remember all the reasons I was afraid to read a book about mermaids? Well, remember the time I read a mermaid book and loved it? Yeah. This was not one of those times. I really wanted to enjoy Of Poseidon but the book had too many glaring issues for me to ignore. 

Overt Sexism
While I can appreciate what Banks was trying to accomplish by distinguishing Syrena society from human society, I didn't jive with how the female characters were portrayed. They are just these pretty little things who have no say in what they do or how they get to feel. Rayna, arguably one of the most fierce women in the book, spends all her time fighting "the man" and taking a stand. She's forced to marry Toraf against her will, without consent or even her presence. And what's worse is that in the end, she accepts it all because of a petty manipulation that incites her jealousy. And Emma, who initially backs Rayna, THINKS OF THE PLAN that wins Rayna over! Really?!

Yay, Diversity?
I would love to applaud Banks' use of diversity in this book, but unfortunately, her portrayal of a POC character leaves something to be desired. She had a great opportunity to make Chloe's character count, but instead, we're given a stereotypical shell who meets every cliché there is. SPOILER ALERT: Chloe not only dies in the first several chapters, but she dies in a less than dignified way. Her death is used solely as a device to move the plot forward. It becomes all about Emma and is totally meaningless. Not cool, Banks. Not cool.

An Unsexy Romance
The "swoonworthy" siren, Galen, is supposed to be the walking epitome of sex but I thought he was a complete douchebag. He reminded me a lot of Edward in Twilight with those "serial killer eyes" (yes, that's actually how they're described in the book), his incessant manipulation of Emma, his need for total control and the constant stalking. Seriously? Stalking is NOT sexy! There is not ONE redeemable factor about this guy, except for the fact that he's hot, and I'm sorry, but looks do not make up for a lack in personality. Galen and Emma basically have your run-of-the-mill angsty, teenage romance and I'm not in high school anymore, so I can do without the drama.

Under the Sea --- or Lack Thereof
When I read a mermaid book, I damn well expect to see a lot of the world beneath the sea. Is that really too much to ask? Of Poseidon only gives us small glimpses of the Syrena world and it wasn't enough. It's probably the only redeeming quality about the book and there's very little attention paid to it. Details and world building --- they're pretty important from what I hear. Immerse me under the sea! Also, with regard to the mythology, you do know that Triton was the SON of Posiedon, not his brother, right? Good. Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on...

Watch Your Language!
I really tend to enjoy novels that share a dual POV, which Of Poseidon does, however, there was definitely something off about it here. Banks chose to tell the tale from Emma's first person POV and Galen's third person POV and the change in tense gives the book a choppy, unpolished feel. Grammar. Tense. Structure. All components of a basic English class. Suffice it to say, I know Banks can do better.

Summary Prognosis
This book is everything I feared a mermaid book would be. Of Poseidon was a lackluster story, lacking in any real action or conflict or substance. The characters were unremarkable and in some cases, downright loathesome. Top it off with an unsexy romance and unpolished writing, and let's just say, I'm ready to release this trend back into the sea.

Rating: ½ 

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: GoodreadsAuthor's Website


  1. Oh that's too bad. Love the gifs though :)

  2. hahah so moral of the story... not so great a read. I am glad to hear your thoughts though, I have always been debating picking this one up from the library!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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