Eh. I had some serious reservations about continuing this book past the first two chapters. The heroine, "CC" (short for Christine Canady, a sergeant in the Air Force who is afraid of flying), is just annoying. Actually, correction: The way the author writes her constant blathering to herself is annoying. Beyond annoying. More like bizarre. If that sounds small and petty, I challenge you to read the first chapter out loud, and think - really think, about whether or not you or anyone you know has ever talked to themselves in this fashion.
The entire first chapter was flimsy and ridiculous. Seriously - we open with her coming home, checking her messages, commenting out loud about her parents' flirting on the said messages, then ranting at the phone, out loud, as if she were holding a conversation with her mother - something about cookies and whine whine whine and "I can't believe you forgot!" blah blah. This goes on and on, from her talking to the phone, to her bottle of champagne, to the television (not the program on the television, but the static on the screen because the cable's out), to her bucket of KFC, and then I don't remember what else. I honestly almost couldn't get past just that. But then it gets worse, when she decides, after watching The Witches of Eastwicke, that she "needs magic in her life." So just like that, with no backstory to tell us why this would suddenly and randomly 'inspire' a person to do so, she rifles through her old college textbooks to find a book on goddesses. Talking out loud at the textbooks the whole time, mind you. And then she reads out loud, these passages about the goddess Gaea or Gaia, and finds a magical ritual in said textbook, and gets all funky on her apartment balcony to "summon magic" into her life. There was so much about this that didn't work right off the bat - it's not a preset paranormal world that's introduced to the reader, here. Yet we're supposed to believe this mundane, USAF Sergeant Canady just randomly gets drunk and brings the goddess Gaia to her.
But, hey, I picked up this book because one of the later books in the series had caught my eye and I figured I'd start at the beginning to give it a shot. I loved the premise of this series, so why not? There were a ton of positive reviews for it, and sometimes I'm just a masochist when it comes to books, so I kept reading.
And really, it didn't turn out to be that terrible. My 2-star rating is a "gentle" 2 stars. Maybe like, a 2.8 stars. It was fairly readable, once I got past CC's apparent affinity for the sound of her own voice. Yes, there was much to dislike, even beyond CC's yammering and self-narrating: there were a ton of cliches, and I found myself pretty damned irritated by the whole concept of (the original) Undine's bait-and-switch which was just handwaved, really. And the "romance" in this story was one of those kind of ridiculous, lightning-fast, "it was already foreshadowed as twoo luv because there was a dream!" relationships. And the ending - OMG the WEAK-assed ending where everything bad is just magically undone "tah-dah!" And there was too much telling and not enough showing, especially with the "girl power! women are goddesses!" messages that were pounded out in plain black and white speeches amongst characters in the freakin dark ages. Not to mention, the writing itself was frankly sophomoric, not very well-edited for being a 'published work,' and no better than some of the self-published or small-published books I've read.
*pauses to catch breath*
SO. While there was all this stuff working AGAINST this story, it was still colorful and shiny and Gaia is awesome and Lir's pretty cool, and oooooh DOLPHINS! and the mer-sex was kind of hot too, so I DID manage to make it to the end without wanting to throw it against a wall. Would I recommend it to a friend to read? Maybe if there wasn't anything else to read, or if their only other option was like, Twilight, or something. Will I read the next in the series? You know what? Strangely enough, I very well might. Unless someone has a rec for me that's along the same vein as these books but, you know - better.