Welcome back to the place that aims to please the reader in you as well as entertain those not attending BEA this year either by choice or by circumstance (I'm definitely the latter)...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. Hopefully when you leave here you've had a bit of bookish fun, have a story to tell and perhaps even a new read to investigate...including today's choice.
The book on the reviewing platform today was just released this past Tuesday and is the sequel to a title released around this very same time last year (2012). It stars a young girl (Emma) who has just learned that life under the sea A) actually exists beyond the fishies, B) a hot guy in pursuit of her isn't merely after her looks (though it might be enough), and C) she happens to be a long lost heir to the watery kingdoms possessing gifts that they haven't eye witnessed in eons...despite the fact that she can barely walk on two feet. (Hey, maybe THAT'S why I'm so clumsy! Jk!) Yep, life was a barrel of monkeys for Emma the first time around (for more, check out my overly enthusiastic but totally warranted review from once-upon-a-time), and yes, I'm being sarcastic to some degree, but she also left us in a bit of a lurch at the end of the book. A cliffhanger of mammoth proportions is what we got and a year later, we finally had the chance to discover just who was who, what was what, and where in the world all this was leading! Ready to dive back into the waters? Let's do this! A great big birthday week shout out to today's title of choice...
About the book...
The Syrena kingdoms are warring, and Emma needs to choose who she will save.
In this sequel to Of Posiedon, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half-Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?
A great follow up to book one filled with the characters we came to know and love as well as some new ones to loath. Yes, if you thought Emma had troubles to face in her first adventure...think again. You haven't seen anything yet.
Now, it's come to my attention that perhaps my review of book one was a bit TOO enthusiastic...i.e. too much of the story was revealed, at least to those that don't necessarily appreciate the fact that just because you have the "bones" of a book, does not mean you have to whole story. The details, the experience, the feelings and what not all go into actually making THE STORY; my review was merely a case of run-at-the-mouth syndrome. I'm sure you've all had it before. It happens when you just simply loved a read and everything is worth mentioning down to the last line. Yep, won't be making that mistake twice though so prepare for an air of mystery. *dons cape*
Emma is still Emma in this installment (hopefully "installment" because really, there is SO much more to explore in this underwater world and above with or without Emma....dun dun dunnnn)...only stronger. It's not simply in powers either, though those are rather impressive. Try having a play date with a whale and see if YOU could control him any better? I think not. Anywho, as I said, it's not merely her Syrenian powers that have increased, it's her own sense of self. Yes, she's still easily influenced...just check out the first part of the book for proof of that. Yes, she's still not certain where her relationship stands with Galen from time to time. However, she can handle her own with Rayna. She is through with trying to please everyone at every turn. By book's end, she's even found her footing within the two worlds (though how long she has in either one is debatable as chaos begins....dun dun dunnnn) and with the help of those she calls "friend" show the true size of her heart. Would I have done what she attempted to do? I'd like to think so...but I think I'd like to hire a few more "bodyguards that like to beat up..." well, you know (think Nickelback) before I get started. Believe me, they are TOTALLY warranted....as you will see in the story. Moving forward...
While Galen, Rayna and Toraf were more a focal point in book one, book two has us meeting them more in passing glances (don't worry, they still get face time...or fin time ^_^) as we focus on the bigger picture...the fate of the underwater kingdoms (hello reappearance of the long lost Poseidon princess...or is she? dun dun dunnnn), the potential exposure of all Synrenians to the human world, and just who will unite the kingdoms or bring them to a division unfathomable and beyond repair. Oh yes. There's politics of some sort no matter what race you claim as your own, but how the royal lineage comes into question will definitely raise a few eyebrows as well as introduce some new characters you can't help but love (Emma's grandfather...love him!). But I digress....
We win some and we lose some this time around, including a pretty central character. Just who might that
be? Ha! Yeah, my lips are sealed but suffice it to say that they will be missed. Who knows? Maybe there will be a spin off/add on to the set here that explores that particular person... (*winks at author*). My concerns while reading started early, as I was afraid that Emma's wishy washy feelings of self worth would preclude the story line from moving forward. The see saw of her trust in Galen's feelings...or not...was giving me a bit of a headache. Thankfully, that draws to a close sooner rather than later bringing us back to familiar waters fertile with story building potential....and boy were they utilized. Yes, to say I enjoyed the read would definitely work...just make certain you use your best cheerleader impression when voicing it. ^_^
In summary, this is a story of what happens when power is the most important thing in your life, love is on the line and what it means to truly be called friend or family. It's true, blood goes into the latter bit for certain, but it's not ALL that makes them who they are. It's the choices they make for better or worse and the kindness they show to their fellow man or Syrenian that creates their true character and makes them worthy of our adoration or contempt. Good thing our gal here has a BIG heart because honestly, what's swimming her way is a far worse fate than she ever could have dreamed. Recommended read for Young Adult fans of all ages and beyond...from experience no less. Seriously, I recommended the set to several coworkers that wouldn't have picked it up otherwise (yay for incessant rambling!) and guess what? They all loved it! (score one for me)
ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. (THANKS!) For more site, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. To discover more of the writing works of author Anna Banks, catch up on her blog or make her acquaintance on Twitter. This title was released THIS WEEK via Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan, and is most certainly available now on a bookstore shelf near you. Seek thee out a copy; you won't regret it!
information on their incredible catalog of books, be sure to stop by their
As for me, I'm in for a double day at work but job two I am most looking forward to tonight. Guess who we're hosting in store?
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.
For anyone in the local area or traveling through, be sure to stop by! (More info HERE!) I'd love to make your acquaintance and I'm certain Ms. Banks would too.
Until next time...happy reading!