*3.5 stars* I've always loved tales of the sea, and have yet to find the perfect mermaid novel. The first tim...moreOrginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*3.5 stars* I've always loved tales of the sea, and have yet to find the perfect mermaid novel. The first time I laid eyes on OF POSEIDON was at Rachel's blog, My Reading Pile, and naturally, I went a little crazy after seeing that it will only be released a few months later. But then I chanced upon it on Netgalley, and needless to say, I requested it immediately. I started this book with very high expectations, as is the case with all mermaid novels (I have no idea why), and....I was quite disappointed actually. Not that it wasn't good, it's just not as good as what I was anticipating it to be, what with that stellar cover, intriguing title and storyline.
My Brief Summary
Emma is truly a klutz when on land - all two left feet and all - and when on a vacation with her best friend, Chloe, she tripped on her own foot and sprawled on top of one Galen Forza. One of the most handsome and sexy guys she's ever seen and she practically fell on him. But what Galen sees isn't a clumsy girl, he sees her impossibly purple eyes - a trait that can only mean she's one of them. A part of Syrena. But why doesn't she transform when she went into the water? How is it that she's living on land when one of the laws that govern their people is that all Syrenas are forbidden to go on land, much less stay there? And the fact that she doesn't recognise him as royalty? He's determined to find out as his mission on land is to be the ambassador of Syrena in the human world and to solve any Syrena-related issues on land. Emma's in for a shock as she finds herself face-to-face again with that handsome stranger in front of her locker back at school, and practically in every of her classes.
He finds out that she has absolutely no knowledge of the world beneath the sea, and she finds out that the one person she's falling for is the Prince of Syrena. But then, if his mission is to teach her of her ancestry and such, then doesn't that mean what he feels for her isn't what she's always thought it to be? That she's just another person he has to get close to to complete his mission? Apart from emotional problems, she still has to worry about the underwater stalker behind her house. Is it friend or foe? Is Emma in danger underwater?
Let me start with what I did like about OF POSEIDON:
THE COVER!! It's absolutely stunning! The girl in a white dress underwater? The mysterious, dark blue sea around her? The title, the font...Everything's so surreal!
Then comes the plot. Though the pace was relatively slow throughout the book, the plot did thicken and the pace did this crazy crescendo at the end, finally ending with a...cliffhanger!! One thing I dislike the most is cliffhangers, but the final revelation at the end was enough to shock me for awhile that I overlooked it quite entirely. Galen was trying to figure out who was stalking Emma the past couple of days whenever they enter the water, Syrenas being able to sense another of their kind when both are within range of each other under the shoreline. He was finally putting together the pieces and, BOOM - he revealed the person in his own cool style! You won't even be able to see it coming!
I loved any stories related to the ocean, and incorporating powers and adventures underwater was enough to make me more than a little engrossed. For a surprise gift, Galen even brought Emma to see the infamous Titanic, docked at the bottom of the Atlantis.
Emma was a kindred, compassionate heroine who cried for those who lost their lives aboard the Titanic when Galen brought her to see the ship. She's loyal to her friends even in the face of danger. However, one thing that I did not like about her was that she kept fainting. She came across as weak initially. Every time Galen tells her something big, she goes all woozy and...faints. It's supposed to be because of some biological change in her that's making her unstable for awhile, but still, it was rather annoying as it was only explained at a later time.
Banks' writing style was cool, especially when she incorporated mindblowing facts about things which I know already, but haven't thought about it in depth. For example, she said that everyone had a finite number of heartbeats, that if your heart beat faster, you'd have a shorter life. Thus turtles, whose heartbeats per minute are incredibly low, live to about a century or more. I haven't confirmed the fact yet, but it does coincide with the evidence. Fallacy or not, it is some fodder for the mind, is it not? :P However, there is this one phrase that caught my attention: "whisper yell". That's a contradiction all by itself. I've seen this a couple of times already, is this a proper phrase? As in, approved by Cambridge? Or just some common authors' mistake?
Now on to the things that I did not like. As I've mentioned earlier, the pace could be maddeningly slow at times. I took some time to finish reading this book, and I attribute it to the fact that I got bored a number of times. I'm not a fan of Contemporary Romance, and OF POSEIDON did tend towards that genre as Galen went to school with Emma, and them hanging out together at Galen's. I do like paranormal high school romances - as in, the supernatural hero and heroine goes to a regular, human high school kind of thing (cliched, yes I know) - but not when it becomes the typical teen romance where everything's so....adolescent and monotone. But I must concede the point that it did get very romantic at times. :X Haha. Swoon~ Not only with Galen and Emma, but with some other side characters who were just as...sexy as Galen. If not more.
Galen's a cool hero, as far as I'm concerned, but not what I expected. He's brooding, he's a prince, he's a protective, possessive guy, he's handsome, everything's good. It's just...he's too perfect and typical a love interest in this genre. I've seen male protagonists of his ilk one too many times in the Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA Lit section, don't you think? I wanted something more, something that will make a deep enough impression to let me remember him long after I've reached the The End. Someone like Christian Grey...hubba hubba... Haha, but that aside, my expectations were higher too because mermaids have always been one of my favourite mythical creatures, and for him to fall short... Hmm..
There was this loophole that I've spotted. *Please do not read it if you haven't read the book. MAJOR spoilers!*
(view spoiler)[If Emma's mom is Nalia, then Galen has surely met her before because she was Grom's intended, and therefore recognise her both in terms of appearance and when he sense her in water. Then how is it that he didn't when he saw her at Emma's house? Or when he sensed that underwater stalker, how did he not recognise that pulse he sensed? (hide spoiler)]
Other than that, I thought that OF POSEIDON was a pretty average, light, mermaid read. If you're in need of some YA Romance, part Contemporary, part Urban Fantasy, then maybe you'd like to try this out.
P.S. Though there isn't a sequel announced for OF POSEIDON yet, the odds look good for one. That cliffhanger needs a resolution!! And there is still much that can happen, so yes, I'm hopeful.:)
*eARC courtesy of Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought of...moreOriginally posted on A Bookalicious Story.
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought of as "Cliche", "Childish", and "Totally not worth the time". Well, ok I have to admit that: Cliche? Yes. Childish? A liiiittle bit. Totally not worth the time? Utter bullshit. Cause this book had my completely under its thrall throughout the reading process. It was, and is, THAT good. Hence, I was shellshocked.
Just a brief summary before I continue with my shellshocked ramblings - Leah died. It was a rather wronged way to go - drunk driver crashed into her, she died, he didn't. So while she was floating in the alternate dimension, her fairy godmother appeared.
Muffin is a plump, jovial woman. A little eccentric, but still possesses a genial disposition. She admitted that the accident was all her fault for not paying enough attention, and so grants her a second chance at life. Catch is (there will always be a catch. NO FREE LUNCH IN THIS WORLD!): She has to make a guy in another time and place fall in love with her - Fairytale-style.
So Muffin decides that Leah would take after Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Leah will be turned into a mermaid, and while she's on land as a human, she won't be able to talk. What's worse is that her intended target, one Lord Royce Northcliffe, is a weather-bitten, war-hardened warrior who doesn't indulge in things such as love. So how, oh how, will poor, mute-when-human Leah seduce old Royce's granite heart?
Well, I'm still reeling from the shock of having fallen in love with this book.. For one, I'm not big on the whole happy-gayness novels with an easy plot which I can breeze thru in no time. Nuh uh, no can do. But the thing is, this book, tho cliche in general, do have the elements of surprise that kept my eyeballs freaking glued to its pages. I assumed that this book would be very predictable, but Myles just kept the surprises rolling in, and I really liked that a lot.
Leah and Royce together, were just simply adorable. The suspicious nature of our dear warrior definitely did hinder their relationaship from progressing much, but well, it did liven up the atmosphere sometimes. For example when Leah was first found naked on shore (and subsequent times too), Royce was totally unamused to find, at that time he assumed to be, his enemy's leman or wench, or simpy, his prostitute, on his shore. So he immediately thought her a spy and was all macho-man, "What the hell are you doing here, girl?" Ok, not direct quote, but you get the point. And she fainted. LOL. So he threw her over his shoulder and carried her to camp. Wrapped in a cloak like a burrito.
The, um, I can't really say banters since Leah can't talk, but their exchanges are hilarious. I absolutely enjoyed them. Y'know, the fact that Myles could make it so engaging is phenomenal in itself. One party of the conversation can't freaking talk, for god's sake! But she did it. Oh, and I think she kinda made up for it by showing us what Leah was thinking in place of any verbal responses, so yep, it was still like a conversation. But whenever Royce said something Leah thought was ridiculous, Leah would stamp on his feet. It was real sweet. Haha. Albeit a little gay, but sweet all the same.
This book...is it under adult fiction or Young Adult? Um, it is childish in a YA way, but the sexuality of it is definitely adult fiction. Tho a LITTLE bit more childish than YA at the beginning (the rest was fine!), and a LITTLE bit less porny than adult fiction, so... To each his own.:)
To sum it all up, I am still shocked. Shocked that such a cliche fairytale story can be twisted and rewritten so well where all others have failed (and it wasn't because of the lack of attempts); Shocked that, well, I fell badly for such a gay story - but not the point; Shocked that the plot and storyline could be handled so well even when so much other problems were brewing in the background - made it all the more exciting that it's so eventful; Shocked that Myles could've made a mute's conversation so entertaining. List goes on. But all in all, I loved the story.
P.S. It kinda reminds me of The River of Times series because of the travelling back in time and falling for a lord of some castle, and Kathryn Lasky's Daughter of the Sea series which features women who can turn into mermaids when they come into any bodily contact with water. So, if you're a fan of either one, why not try this one?(less)
*4.5 stars* TANGLED TIDES is a beautiful and enchanting story that swept me up in its currents, immersed me...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*4.5 stars* TANGLED TIDES is a beautiful and enchanting story that swept me up in its currents, immersed me in a magical world filled with mythical creatures, and at the end left me gasping for more. It is truly every girl's childhood dream come true. Lol, at least for me it was. The Little Mermaid has always been my favourite Disney movie (I still watch it now and then), and to say that I am addicted to TT now is a gross understatement.
Yara Jones lives in Eden's Hammock, and recently, there were lots of freak storms happening there. She was having a hard time lifting, heaving and dragging one of her Uncle Lloyd's mermaid statues outside to board up her window so as to protect it from the crazy winds when one of the most handsome guys she's ever seen walks up to her front door and offers his help. Topless. Lol, just had to add that.
After Yara invited Hot Topless Guy, Treygan, into her house to weather the storm, Treygan told her to trust him and wish for him to bring her to some place safe. She feels this dreamy sort of lull, and did as she was told. After some time, Yara wakes up and finds herself underwater, breathing, and has grown a tail in place of where her legs used to be. All of a sudden, her wish for a safe place doesn't sound so good anymore.
The story now will be mostly about Yara discovering a whole new world that she was now, and had always been, a part of, a mystical place where everything seemed like magic. But all is not flowers, daisies and gayness - Yara's found out that her "human" boyfriend, Rownan, back at Eden's Hammock wasn't human at all, in fact, he was very much a part of her new fishy life, and that she actually has a destiny to fulfil, one that involves her dying at the end. Turns out that Yara's birth was never meant to be, but through some unwonted means, she was, but because her parents committed a grave mistake, almost half of the mermaids' and selkies' population have been thrust out of their paradise home, out into the modern world where they can only survive by smoking a special type of weed that was very limited in supply, and Yara must be the one to right that wrong.
Big destiny for a seemingly small mermaid to handle, huh, especially when Yara was just getting comfy with the idea of being one of the "monsters" herself, and of course, to a cobalt-eyed, sexy mermaid that had introduced himself in a storm and welcomed her into her new life, with new friends, and new love. A life that she will want to help save even if it means sacrificing her newly-found beloved fishy existence...
I seriously can't do this book any justice, it was so good! So good that I was hooked throughout the 3 days of reading it (I took so long because of my exams). And how did Edward Cullen phrase it again? Right, "you are my personal brand of heroine". Yep, that sounds about right. That was Tangled Tides to me.
One thing that stood out was Hooper's writing style. It was so smooth and flawless, so... appropriate! One example:
“Gentlemen.” I nodded.
Pango spit a mouthful of water at me and flicked me with his tail. “Don’t gentle man me. You two sped ahead so you could discuss our newest Goldilocks. You better share some juicy porridge with Papa Bear.”
“Pango, there isn’t that much to tell.”
Merrick rolled his eyes. “Even I’m declaring sharkshit on that one.”
Sharkshit? Lol, while I was reading it, her writing was so fluent that I didn't notice that oddity at first. And another one was, "She's tough as a seawall. She'll be fine." Loved the language; It matched the world that they were living in and made it all the more believable.
Yara was a very inquisitive and stubborn hero. Even though she was new to the Greek-myth world, she showed no fear and kept asking questions and learning the mermaids' way of life. Treygan, her beau-to-be, and whose team I am very much in, was fiercely protective of Yara even though he refuses to admit it. He was so cool, those brooding guys with a mission in life, and who happens to be the fastest swimming merman alive. Yeah, he's so mine. HAH. Movin on.
What's even cooler is that not only is the male protagonist very macho-man and testosterone-y, even the side characters displayed similar traits! I don't want to quote it cause that part I'm thinking about is filled with surprises and humor, and of course that macho-man-ly goodness.
The plot was in no way simple or convenient. It was filled, absolutely jam-packed with suspense and action, and betrayals and such. I loved the second-guessing that everyone had to do. It was just that Hooper wrote TT in an alternating first-person/POV way, which switched from Yara's point of view, to Rownan's, to Treygan's, then back to Yara's. It wasn't confusing, not at all actually, but it took away some of thrill. For example if we didn't know what Treygan and Rownan were thinking, wouldn't you think it'd have made them all the more mysterious and, well, cool? I like that the male protagonists are usually an unknown element, someone who only the female protagonist had the ability to unlock. But the story's still cool, and I thought that Hooper's take on the gorgons and Medusa part of Greek myth is very different from the norm, and the input itself is awesome enough. And the ending! When all hope seemed lost and I had no inkling at all whatsoever of how the protagonists are going to save their sorry asses out of all that trouble and chaos, Hooper somehow made it work. And I loved it so much.
I have always, always loved mermaid novels, but have never been able to find the perfect story. Recently I've discovered THE MERMAID'S KNIGHT by Jill Myles, loved it to bits but I thought that I wouldn't be able to find any that would be able to hold a candle to it. But here I am, being proven wrong.
I absolutely adored the entire cast of TANGLED TIDES, and I think any YA fan would too. Try it out when it releases on November 25th, 2011.:)(less)