Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Of Poseidon

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Emma literally runs into Galen at the beach on vacation. Emma is embarrassed at her awkwardness, especially after seeing how attractive Galen is and his piercing, familiar eyes. Galen isn’t human. He’s Syrena prince (just don’t call them mermaids). Galen has been looking for someone that supposedly can communicate with sea life. But he isn’t sure Emma is the one he’s been looking for until a violent shark attack where Emma proves that she has the gift of Poseidon. According to legend, Emma has the power to save his people, but his attraction to her may be a problem as a treaty states she must marry his older brother, the king.

Banks’ Syrena/mermen blend a bit of legend into modern day, with intriguing results. I’m a sucker for stories about mermaids and fairy tales, and I was happily won over by this fantasy world and tale of forbidden love. Emma and Galen have a natural and easy connection and attraction. Yet both try to hold the other at arm’s length for fear of heartbreak. Emma’s mother bothered me, and wasn’t really believable. She acted overprotective at times, then allows Emma to spend the night at Galen’s house when she had never met his “mother” and knows nothing about Galen. Bizarre is the only word to use for her. But Galen’s sister and friend have a fun relationship that adds a light-hearted humor to the story.

There is plenty of romance, teen angst, and mystery in this new YA fantasy. Engaging and even paced, Of Poseidon was hard to put down. This charming story is an impressive debut from a talented new author. Events build to a surprising cliffhanger that will leave readers eager for its upcoming sequel.

Of Poseidon releases from Feiwel & Friends on May 22, 2012.

Book Giveaway: Rage of the Dragon

Courtesy of Tor Books, I have a copy of Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickmanfor one (1) lucky winner!

Enter daily to increase your chances! Contest is open to US and Canada only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 25. I’ll draw a name on May 26, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Rage of the Dragon

App Spotlight: Marvel Reads: The Hulk and Avengers

• “Avengers Origins: Hulk”
Follow Stan Lee’s story narration of Dr. Bruce Banner’s epic transformation into the Incredible Hulk. The app features detailed artwork, cutting-edge animations, and interactive touch-screen activities, including roaring, transforming into the Hulk, and testing the Hulk’s strength by breaking through walls, stopping tanks, and more. Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch ($1.99).

• “Avengers Origins: Assemble!”
The “Assemble” story is the perfect introduction to exciting Super Heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and more. The app features innovative, interactive activities include matching heroic accessories with each Super Hero, using Thor’s powers and the Hulk’s strength to stop the Atlanteans and Namor, and melting the ice to free Captain America from his frozen prison! Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch ($1.99).

Narrated by the iconic Stan Lee, these interactive comics are fun for all ages. There are several in-app short, easy games and fantastic background music that add to the experience. By clicking in the bottom left-hand icon, it brings up a menu of options so you can scroll to certain scenes or games. It’d be nice if there was a “pause” or “fast-forward” option, as Stan tends to read a bit slow with dramatic pauses. For adult fans, one time through may be enough. But younger comic book/superhero fans will enjoy reading along with Stan Lee’s dynamic narration, and the interactive experience will make it fun to view multiple times.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: Triggers

Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer

During a speech, President Seth Jerrison is shot by an assassin and rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, at the same hospital, Dr. Ranjip Singh is conducting an experimental procedure to alter memories on a veteran with PTSD. But when a bomb explodes nearby, it sets off an electromagnetic pulse, causing a power surge and brief outage – and affecting Dr. Singh’s equipment. Following the power outage, several people suddenly have access to strange memories that aren’t their own. The President’s security detail soon realizes a group of people within a certain distance to Dr. Singh’s experiment were all affected by having access to someone else’s memories. This means someone now knows everything the President does – on the brink of a top secret mission.

With a large cast of characters, Sawyer does a great job of giving each their own story and enough depth for the reader to easily keep them all straight. Surprisingly, the drama and how relationships are formed/affected by the memory-swapping was actually my favorite part of the story. The only other book I’ve read by Sawyer is FlashForward (developed into the short-lived TV show). I have found I really enjoy his writing style, and will definitely be reading his other books that I have on my shelves. Intriguing, with plenty of suspense – Triggers was fast-paced and exciting. This science fiction thriller was completely riveting from beginning to its climactic end.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: The Selection

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Thirty-five young women are Selected, one from each region of the country, to compete to win the hand of Prince Maxon. When America Singer is Selected she is anything but happy even for the opportunity to bring her family out of poverty, as her heart belongs to someone back home. But as she gets to know Prince Maxon, she forms a quick friendship with him. And that friendship slowly begins to develop into something more. Choosing between a forbidden love back home and a future she would have never dreamt of with a man who has grown to capture her heart may be an unbearable choice for America.

America is a strong, independent young woman with a good heart and a giving nature. America has loved Aspen for two years, so she feels torn when winning the Selection. Unfortunately, we don’t learn much about Aspen, and readers will quickly dislike Aspen and find it hard to sympathize with America’s feelings for him. Aspen sacrifices a lot for the sake of his family, but seems chauvinistic and too emotionally closed off for someone like America. When she meets Prince Maxon though, sparks fly. The chemistry between the two is fantastic. And the best part of their relationship is that it grows slowly and is much more realistic than other YA romances.

Cass has created a successful futuristic world where what is left of America is now a fairly new country relying on unsteady alliances and a unique caste system. Plagued by mysterious enemies from the north and south, with obviously different agendas, I’m curious to see the direction this takes in future installments. The Selection is the first in a new trilogy and is impossible to down. Blending futuristic dystopia, suspense, and romance, this surprising debut is irresistible. I think this should be the benchmark for a new subgenre – dystopian fairy tale. Both beautiful and heart-breaking, this well-paced story became a fast favorite. I highly recommend this to all who love YA dystopia and romance.

As of April 13, 2012, The Selection has been picked up by The CW for a TV pilot. Check out for casting updates.

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