Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.
I haven't read many mermaid books in the past, so I was pretty excited to read this one, especially with its gorgeous cover. The mermaid (or Syrena) lore is interesting, and I enjoyed learning more about Galen's beautiful underwater world as the story progressed.
The story is told from Emma and Galen's alternating perspectives. Emma's side is told in first person narrative while Galen's is told in third person, which threw me off at first. While I did adjust to it, it still feels weird, and I never was able to fully relate to either character. This doesn't help in a novel that is pretty character driven, from Galen's motive in approaching Emma to Emma's role as one who has inherited Poseidon's gift.
Emma is easily likable. She's funny, and she has personality. However, what there is of her is unstable at the moment. She's been voted sweetest girl and yet she can't try to get along with Galen. Her personality is constantly at odds with him, defying him, and she even attacks his sister. And when she isn't opposing him, she's wishing that he will kiss her? Then Galen. He's interested in Emma, but he orders her around, expecting her to listen to him. For someone so interested in the human world, he doesn't know much about how to communicate with the one girl who isn't trying to throw herself at him. Emma and Galen's relationship is sweet and has its fun moments, but for the most part their characters seemed juvenile to me although Emma is eighteen and Galen is older.
While there were elements that kept me from fully engaging with the story, there is potential for the plot to expand and mature. Anna Banks leaves us hanging on a cliffhanger answers many questions that have been posed over the course of the novel while opening readers to so many more, and it suggests that there is going to be more action in book two. I'll be picking it up in the hopes that it is the case!
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.