ARC received from NetGalley
Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk
Review: I'm giving this 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. The premise of this book is very interesting. There are certainly not too many books with the subject matter of mermaids, or as they are called in Of Poseidon, Syrena. This book opens up with a lot of action. Emma literally walks in to tall, dark and handsome Galen while at the beach on vacation in Florida. Galen feels an immediate connection to Emma, and follows her into the Gulf of Mexico. The action intensifies when Emma and her best friend Chloe are attacked by a bull shark while out for a swim. There is a lot happening in this first chapter, and it serves to set up the rest of the book. Galen believed that he has found a Syrena that is "of Poseidon," meaning that she has inherited Poseidon's gift of being able to communicate with all sea creatures. Of course, Emma knows nothing about Syrena or Poseidon.
Here's what I liked:
- Galen - He is alphaliscious, for sure. He's gorgeous and a mere twenty-years-old. He is the brother of the King of his people. He is also his kingdom's human ambassador, living a large portion of this life on land. Galen is strong and patient, and he certainly knows what he wants and is willing to do anything to get it. There is never a situation in this book where Galen looks at another girl once his feelings for Emma have been established. He tries to lead her to information about herself without pushing her. He is protective and is willing to sacrifice things that he holds most dear in order to be with Emma.
- Rayna - She is Galen's twin sister. She is feisty, to the point of being downright mean. She questions her brother's every decision, especially concerning Emma. She is engaged to a Syrena named Toraf, without her permission. She only becomes angrier and angrier with Toraf until she realizes that she doesn't hate him quite as much as she thinks.
- Emma - She is the heroine of this book. She is mentally strong, and she doesn't allow Galen to push her around. She tends to disobey Galen as much as she can, which I like in my heroines. She has her own mind, and even when she thinks things aren't going well with Galen, she still tries to move her life in a positive direction.
- The cliff hanger: I really didn't see this one coming. Maybe it was obvious to some readers, but not to me!
Here's what I didn't like as much:
- For the love of all that is good - the term of endearment that Galen uses towards Emma really makes me want to scream. He calls her an angelfish. I'm not kidding. As in, "What would I do without my angelfish?" (Not a direct quote from this book, just an example). I get it. They live in the oceans. They're around fish all the time. But please stop referring to everything as an underwater creature.
- Toraf and Emma's jealousy plan - Let me begin by saying that I like the characters of both Emma and Toraf. What I didn't like was their plan to make Rayna and, as a byproduct, Galen jealous. First, it is unbelievable to me that Toraf is coming to Emma for relationship advice. He is more worldly than Emma to begin with, and has dealt with Rayna for his entire life. Emma's plan is to make Rayna jealous. This plan could work. Right? Okay. Toraf then chooses to lay a long, deep kiss on Emma just as Rayna and Galen are coming out of the sea from a meeting with other Syrena. With one kiss given to another woman, Rayna immediately accepts Toraf as her mated husband and her attitude completely changes. I found Toraf's plan a bit immature, and Rayna's immediate acceptance of Toraf a bit too easy.
- The back-and-forth: It was obvious from the very first page that Galen and Emma were destined to be together. This is not a spoiler. There was a lot of back and forth that became a bit tedious. First Galen thought she would be mated to another Syrena, so he tried to scale back his feelings. Emma finds out, and then thinks Galen doesn't really like her. So what do these two do? Well, they pretend to be a couple, or course. There is a ton of sexual tension between these two! How could Galen not want Emma? How could Emma not admit her feelings for Galen? Emma even goes as far as dating another boy, who is never a serious contender for her affections. Blah!
Overall, I did enjoy this book, although it was a bit more "high school" than I would have liked. I liked the premise, and I loved the cliff hanger. I will definitely read the next book in this series, just to see where the author takes these characters. It is a good effort for a first book, and I expect so much more in the second.