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.
4 1/2 stars
You know, there was a day when I swore I would never hop onto the mermaid trend. I mean, I’m a Disney girl through and through but I never even really liked The Little Mermaid. But I kept seeing my blogger friends everywhere loving it, so some force unknown it to me caused me to buy it.
And boy am I so glad that I did.
You know how I knew Emma and I were going to be best friends? On page one, she describes herself as being as clumsy as an “intoxicated walrus.” Those of you who are unfortunate enough to know me in person know that SO AM I. Add clumsiness, coupled great personality and snark, and I was hooked on Emma before the story even really started.
And then the story STARTED. With a shark attack.
To be fair, the rest of the novel didn’t really have that level of action at all, but it certainly had enough to invest me into the story. I did feel like the ramifications of the shark attack were dealt with too quickly, but I can at least understand the reasoning.
Despite a promising beginning and an instant connection with Emma, I wasn’t as quick to catch onto Galen, his sister and his sister’s husband. His sister came off as too bratty for too long before getting some depth, and her husband just wasn’t given a chance to shine despite definite star quality. I honestly can’t tell if I didn’t like Galen for characterization reasons or the POV drama that was going on.
See, for starts, the book itself is written entirely in present tense. That’s a difference in and of itself. But then the chapters, which switched back and forth between Galen and Emma’s POV, switched back and forth between first person present (Emma) and third person present (Galen). For the first couple of chapters especially, that was ridiculously jarring.
Yeah, yeah, I know, this is a four and a half star review and I’m sounding overly critical, right? What made me rate it so highly then?
For starters, Emma. Emma is hysterical and I love her and I want her as my best friend. She’s pig-headed, temperamental and has a fantastic narrator’s voice. Sure, she falls for the whole insta-love thing with Galen, but she sure is vicious when she doesn’t get her way. Despite being head over heels for Galen, she sure as heck isn’t going to let him run her life. Now that’s refreshing.
The mythology of the story is also really interesting. We got to learn so much about Banks’ merpeople without it ever feeling like an infodump, and I still wanted more. Everything from the Gifts, to the reimagining of Atlantis, Poseidon and Triton was absolutely fascinating.
Plus, there was that ending. There are endings that leave you excited for the next book and then there are ENDINGS LIKE THAT. I’m pretty sure I could sue Banks for torture and the judge would agree with me.
The bottom line? This is the best book I’ve yet to read of the new mermaid trend, hands down.
The second book of this series has a title–Of Triton–but no release date as of yet.