Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning, Book 1)

Goddess of the Sea  - P.C. Cast The first book in P.C. Cast's "Goddess Summoning" series promises a tale of romance wrapped within a fantasy or faerie tale wrapping. Since it was a book aimed for adults and I found the House of Night series leaving much to be desired, I decided to give this series a try. Suffice to say that I liked this better, but at the same time I come away from "Goddess of the Sea" feeling like more expansion and inventiveness could have made it a much better book.It feels like a retelling of "The Little Mermaid" in a mythological coat. Protagonist Christine Canady (simply referred as CC) is a 25 year old United States Air Force Sargent about to deploy for a tour. On one part, she's a hard working individual who has a sense of duty (I liked how accurate the military interactions and terms were), while on another she's very whimsical and wants some "magic" in her life.Two things occur: she recites a incantation that changes a lot about her usual demeanor (physical and mental), but also brings her ties to the Goddess of the Sea. When CC's plane crashes into the sea, she's given an opportunity by the Princess Undine to switch bodies. Thus, CC becomes the Princess of the Sea and thrust into a world that harbors its own sorts of troubles. The Goddess Gaea grants CC a chance to walk among the land, but CC realizes the one that catches her affections lies within the sea in a merman named Dylan.The story is fairly straightforward in its general conflict, but sometimes gives an unnecessary run around that almost made me lose the initial momentum I had with the book. It doesn't help that Cast repeats and preaches some of the themes she tries to establish within the book (female empowerment, true love, equality). I would've appreciated this book more if those issues were shown and not repeated in such blatantly measurable tones. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind empowering stories of women - I love such stories, but the most potent ones to me are those that aren't trying to hammer the issue into the ground and do so repeatedly.Aside from those confounding issues, there's really nothing I can say negative about the book when taking it for what it offers. It was very easy to digest (I read it in less than a day - could've been quicker if I weren't between other projects), the romantic chemistry was very nice, and closer to the end of the book brings the initial setup of the work full circle. The characters aren't very three dimensional, and I would've loved to see that in a work like this to be honest - but then again, I could argue that I didn't expect this to be more than a light read. Technically speaking, Cast gets away with a lot of periodic stretches she makes, and those who are historical buffs might shiver at the inaccuracies, but taking it as just a simple adult love story within fantasy, I think others won't mind it when looking at what she's ultimately trying to do with the story.The love scenes I thought were fine, and I genuinely liked CC's and Dylan's chemistry. Some of the other characters felt a little too polarizing or underdeveloped for me to care about them, but I followed them through the story and had to smile in places where the interactions were nice.Overall, a lukewarm impression of this series judging from the first book. I do want to give the Goddess Summoning series more time to settle on me. The first book was one that had an interesting premise, but didn't quite have the imagination or inventiveness to draw me into its fantasy realm. For a simple love story, however, it proved entertaining and sweet.Overall score: 2/5