OF POSEIDON (Of Poseidon #1)Anna Banks
Paranormal Young Adult
Feiwel & Friends
Available May 22nd
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)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 . . .
Filled with humor and dreamy sigh-inducing romance, Of Poseidon gives us two strong protagonists between whom tension crackles like we’ve wrapped our hands around a live wire, the incendiary potential of them together causing our entire bodies to hum as we wait for that potential to erupt into emotional and physical action. Emma’s first person point of view alternates with the third person present-tense of Galen, a combination that’s a touch off-putting at first until we really settle into the back and forth rhythm, and while every now and then the present tense in Galen’s case causes us to stumble, the story progresses at a quick pace and keeps us in stitches as Emma repeatedly finds herself in situations that have us blushing on her behalf.
Emma captivates us from the opening pages, her inner monologue as she debates the best course of action to salvage her dignity after smacking into a shirtless Galen on the street giving us sore cheeks as a result of a broad grin held entirely too long. She’s charmingly clumsy and self-deprecating, and when she’s introduced to the world of the Syrena (don’t call them mermaids/mermen!) she handles it with a respectable maturity. That maturity does slip now and again in her dealings with Galen though, as she often ignores his instructions to stay on land simply to be contrary and punishes him with the silent treatment when he hurts her, but for the most part we’re able to cut her some slack knowing our own behavior isn't always exemplary when our hearts suffer what feels like a fatal blow from someone we’re attracted to.
Galen for his part is as endearing as Emma, his unfamiliarity with human interaction causing him to make many a mistake where Emma is concerned, and we can’t help but want to pull him aside and give him a rundown of what not to do when dealing with a young woman. He can be both refreshingly honest–blurting sometimes inappropriate things out when he gets uncomfortable–and also alarmingly misleading (though not in a malicious way) as he struggles between what he wants most for himself and what he wants most for the Syrena. While there is plenty of heat between Galen and Emma throughout the story, there’s thankfully no instant love, instead we have a relationship deliciously full of opposites: hurt and happiness, secrets and openness, and normal and paranormal.
Overall, Of Poseidon is a thoroughly entertaining debut by Ms. Banks, her sense of humor a true highlight in this tale as we laugh so loudly and unexpectedly we startle those around us with the force of our outbursts. We’re given a solid introduction to the world of the Syrena but are left with enough mysteries to have us itching for more, and while we easily catch on to certain things long before the characters, our early knowledge does not detract from our enjoyment. The conclusion is a bit abrupt, but it’s not a significant enough drawback to hinder our amusement with the story as a whole, and we set the book aside with a smile on our faces while our fingers fly over our keyboards as we attempt to glean any information we can from the internet about the next book and its possible release date.