Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review: Of Neptune

Emma and Galen’s kingdom and their love is threatened by long-lost Syrena in the brilliant conclusion to Anna Banks bestselling trilogy.

Emma, half human and half Syrena, and her Syrena love, Galen, need time together alone. Away from the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. Emma’s grandfather, the Poseidon king, suggests the two visit a small town called Neptune.
Neptune is home to both Syrena and Half-Breeds alike. But Emma and Galen didn’t sign up to be peacemakers between the ocean and the land-dwelling, freshwater Syrena. They didn’t bargain for meeting a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. And they especially didn’t expect to find themselves in the middle of a power struggle that threatens not only their love but their ocean kingdoms.  Quoted from Goodreads


I went into this book completely blind---again the case of not reading the blurb, but I figured, what's the point?  I already read and liked the first two, so of course I was going to read the third one.  The interesting thing about this series is that it easily could have ended at book two. I had no idea where this book was going in this third installment.  Basically Galen and Emma had everything they wanted, so what was next?

I actually loved this format because it made the second book VERY relevant to the series instead of a placeholder like so many middle books.  Plus, it left this third one open to a new (sort of) adventure.  Don't get me wrong, everything is still connected to the first two books, but we get new places, new people, and it doesn't matter that I read the second book a year before because half of this book is new stuff anyway.

This actually was a delightful little adventure. It didn't feel quite as earth-shattering as the end of book two but it was much more personal and in Emma and Galen's scope. The town of Neptune was a perfect blend of welcoming small town with secret, sinister undertones, so you never quite knew who to trust.  Plus, Galen and Emma saw everything differently, so each brought their own viewpoint and suspicion to what and who they should believe.  Emma and Galen also spend a good portion of the book apart. While I'm generally not a bit fan of this, I loved it here.  We've already established them as a couple, so the romance didn't have a lot of suspense left, but the creepy factor of the town certainly did. Separating them, contrasting Galen's experiences with Emma's, made for a much more exciting story.

As for the love triangle? Meh.  Honestly, it wasn't really much of a factor. It's not like you don't know what's going to happen there from the beginning. Mostly I was just worried Emma would do something stupid (which she occasionally did, but so did Galen), resulting in drama and taking away from the book's more exciting and mysterious plot lines.  I think the whole plot line was more designed to create problems (really, the purpose of all love triangles) and to show that Emma had options before committing to Galen.

So if you've read the first two books and enjoyed them but didn't know how you felt about reading this one because the ending of the second one was so perfect, I would absolutely pick it up.  I'm bumping it up to a surprised 4 stars.  I sort of had low expectations, and this totally exceeded them.  Mermaid books are hard, and while this one is a far cry from perfect, this series is probably the best I've read so far.

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