Thursday, April 23, 2020

Series Review: The Syrena Legacy: Of Poseidon, Of Triton, and Of Neptune by Anna Banks

I have done series reviews in the past, so really I am just starting them up again. I want to simplify things and sometimes, having all the books from a series review makes it easier to get a feel on whether you want to read the books or recommend them to others. If I am able to read back published series close enough together, then I expect I will continue to do so. The pandemic has been heartbreaking and stressful for us all. What I am trying to do is focus on reading titles that have been sitting on my shelves for years because I know that I am blessed to have a backlog of titles to be able to do this with during this time. Hence, the restarting this feature here on Love.Life.Read.

Book One: 
Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)

Of Poseidon
By Anna Banks
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pure escapism and more, this was a great read. I could tell reading it now in 2020, it followed the typical pattern from many novels published around this time originally: girl meets boy, boy turns out to be someone with a past, girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, and there is a complication to them ultimately being together. All of that with the characters ages somewhere in their late teens to early 20s. Despite this, I was still quite content to read it. Is Galen overbearing at times, acting the more mature one, yes. But, Emma is feisty and holds her ground too and does not immediately succumb to him either.

The pacing in this is fitting, there were pockets of action and a bit of romance woven into as well. The main characters are well developed and the chemistry between the two of them builds and feels real. There are some of the minor character I am intrigued by too, in particular Rachel, Rayna and Toraf. I look forward to continuing on in the second book since this ends at a cliffhanger that may or may not be predictable to some readers. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a dramatic, chemistry filled, adventure story that will have you grinning, laughing, and speed reading to the end.

Book Two:

Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2)

Of Triton
By Anna Banks
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This is a continuation of book one, with Emma finding out her mother is the lost princess of Poseidon and not the ordinary human she believed. Once that gets straightened out the book shifts focus to be more a political detente between the Royal Syrena and the common Syrena. The Royals have to prove their worth and that they are doing what is best for Syrena, while also proving Nalia is really the lost princess of Poseidon.

With this book we get to know Grom and Nalia more and continue learning about Galen, Emma, Rayna, and Toraf. After learning who her mother truly is, Emma goes through a crisis of not wanting to believe her childhood was false--that her parents really did love each other. I believe Emma acted as any teen does when their single parent is in love with someone else after losing a parent. This book does have as much drama as the first book, though at times it seemed like more because of Nalia's past, the political detente, and more coming to head in a relatively short book.

Initially, I was thinking I would do 3 stars but really this is a 4 star book after I have had time to consider it. I was initially disappointed because this book is so short at only 240 pages. I felt at first the story line could have been condensed and woven throughout a duology instead of a trilogy (mind you at the time of writing this I have not started the third book--will be after writing this). Then, I realized that upon reading in 2020, duology are more of a thing now then in 2012-2014, especially in young adult fiction. When I stop and thinking of the time point this book was published, it makes more sense as trilogy were all the rage then. I look forward to continuing on in this series to read the ending of the Syrena Legacy series.

Book Three:

Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)
Of Neptune
By Anna Banks
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Emma learns from her grandfather (the Poseidon King), Antonis that there is another area where Half-Breeds (part human, part Syrena) folks live along with other Syrena and humans. Not giving all the details to Galen, they start off in hopes of having time together to process the events that happen in Of Poseidon. Filled with action, challenges, more political detente and drama, the events will test Emma and Galen, and whether a Half Breed and a Syrena Royal truly can be happy together.

This went in a different direction than expected, but even with that I cannot say I was unsatisfied with the complete wrap up. I felt the middle section dragged, with the two alternating storylines of Emma and Reed and then Galen's and what happens to him (do not want to say because of spoilers). I was not overly fond of Reed, I felt he lacked a maturity for being the same age range as Emma and Galen. One of the things I really appreciated and this could be me, is how history and stories are different depending on who's perspective you are learning it from, which is highly relevant given the way the world is now. Overall, this was a satisfying conclusion to The Syrena Legacy, with most of the questions I had wrapped up.

Final Series Thoughts:

I liked this series and felt overall, though I standby what I said after the second book in that I believe it would do better as a duology than a trilogy. That being said, duologies are much more common now (think of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows). While this is not one that has overwhelming stayed in the forefront of popular YA series, it does not seem like it will be one that will stand the test of time. Thinking of my readers in my library: since they do however still like The Selection series, I would not be hesitate to recommend this series to those readers who have finished that series up and want readalikes. Since there are not glaring technology holes, they have cell phones and GPS, but the author does a good job of not mentioning brands of either or mentioning how they work (Siri, Apps, etc) so current day readers will not be thrown by this aspect. Overall, I would still not hesitate to give this to readers, even with it published six to eight years ago. 

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