Friday, October 4, 2013

The Mermaid And The Whale by Georgess McHargue

Sorry for the fuzzy image. This book is
a bit old, and it was hard to find
a good image!
Book Type: Children's book
Author: Georgess McHargue
Pages: 40

Recounts a mermaid's determined efforts to win the love of a whale.

My Review:
This old sea story was a very charming book. Although readers can find the tale of "The Mermaid And The Whale" in other collections of mermaid stories, I believe this one really has some salt in it, meaning one can sense the age of this classic sea shanty. McHargue has captured the magic of this old sea tale, and I felt like I was listening to an old sailor talk about a tale he heard on his travels. However, I was not crazy about the illustrations at all, especially for a story involving the sea, and a beautiful mermaid! The images look more like concept art than beautiful illustrations, and they just seemed to lack life and most of all, color. Overall, this book was okay, but it is a bit antiquated and I am unsure if children or adults would find it interesting. I give this book (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Syrena Legacy Series by Anna Banks

Book Type: Novel
Author: Anna Banks
Pages:  Book 1) 324  Book 2) 246   Book 3) 330

Of Poseidon by Anna BanksSummary of "Of Poseidon"(first book,
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance

My Review:

Book One:
When I had first began reading this series, I felt like the storyline was disjointed, there was a confusing plot, and too much going on. However, as the story progressed, the book began to grow on me! The storyline took a bit longer to develop then I expected, mainly because I was unaware that this is actually a series, with "Of Poseidon" being the first book. 
What I Liked:
I really think Anna Banks created an interesting culture that surrounds the Syrena's (the merfolk of the book) ways of life, especially the mating ceremonies and rituals. What I also found to be interesting was that there are little bits of science fiction and the Atlantis theory mixed in with the story. Emma and Rayna (Galen's sister) do play positive roles for teenage girls and women alike. They speak their mind, they're determined and strong, and aren't easily swayed by the men they adore. There is also a lot of romance in this book, and quite a bit of sexual tension between Galen and Emma, so readers who love romance will definitely love this first book.

Dislike! What Annoyed Me:
I found a couple of things to annoy me, such as the main character. I cant figure out her personality! She is clumsy and awkward one moment, then fiery and feisty the next. She also blushes way too much around Galen, and her phrase "ohmysweetgoodness" gets a bit old when its mentioned in the story so many times.  

I have to say, the ending of Poseidon was a great entry point into the second book! 
The first book gets (****) 4 stars.

Book Two: Of Triton
 I was very surprised when I finished the second book in the series. It was an excellent continuation of the series! 
In this book, the characters have matured so much, and this even includes Rayna. Instead of simple romantic scenes, the book has blossomed into more dramatic scenes that deal with the Syrena race and the Royals. Emma has also changed from being a clumsy "ohmysweetgoodness" teenager to a young woman, and her personality is more defined into a strong, independent girl who is no longer shy and passive around Galen. 
There was a deeper plot compared to the first book, and each chapter was left on an edge, leaving the reader wanting to continue.  
 I give this book (*****) 5 stars.

Book Three: Of Neptune
I was really dissapointed with the way this third book turned out, and frankly, I feel that it ruined the series for me. 

So This Is Love...? Not Really:
Although Emma and Galen supposedely love eachother, they still get embarrased to ask certain questions and are tentative to fully open up to one another. On one occasion, Emma wants to know if merpeople need laxatives  (why is she thinking of this?) and wants to ask Galen, but feels so embarrased that she might pass out. Love is about comfort and acceptance, and if she's embarrased about something so petty, how is this love?
Emma and Galen remind me of the fresh-out-of-high school couples that believe they are going to be together forever and think they're in love. However, there were a couple of times when Emma "tests the waters" with another man. In addition, I couldnt find any personality traits that they love about eachother. Everything is physical. Sure, I understand being enamored with someone physically when they first meet, but shouldnt the love have deepened by now?

Characters are Annoying:
Emma continued to annoy me in this third book. After Galen and Emma get into a fight, she starts to take interest in another character, named Reed. Although she turns him down when he wants to take it to the next level, she is a total lead on and flirt! That's not love! Get it together woman!
So let's talk about Reed. This kid is a half breed like Emma so naturally he has an interest in her. However, he is completely head over fins for her within a few days and even pledges life devotion to her! The relationships in this book are just shallow and unrealistic! 

Concluding Thoughts:
I would say the only thing that I liked about this book was that it reminded me of a dystopian book. Emma and Galen enter this village that is seemingly flawless on the outside, but has a lot of dark secrets and motives which readers will later discover.
I would rate this book (***) 3 stars. However, I would give this series (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie