Yes and no. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks technically features these mermaid-like creatures. But, if you don’t want to get your head bitten off by Galen, or the average Syrena—I don’t care if they don’t actually do that; it’s an insult—you’d better not go there, using the “M” word and all that. It’s not kosher. Besides, Syrena are actually triple way cooler than your average mermaid.
Can your average mermaid Blend into the water? Can they go at superspeeds and travel great distances? Do they also have fins? Maybe. But you just can’t beat out the Syrena. I hate to say this, but they’re flyer than Ariel and her band of school fish.
THERE’S A BOY NAMED TORAF?! SERIOUSLY?
For serious. But Toraf is actually made of awesome. He’s just ONE of the characters that charms our pants off. He’s funny and good-natured. He’s the comedy fix every good, solid paranormal book needs. We wouldn’t want the angstiness to get to brimming, now would we? Handsome, an excellent joke cracker, and the bane of the existence of Galen’s sister, Rayna, Toraf could’ve made a fabulous choice for the second point in the typical love triangle. Thankfully, there isn’t one and we don’t have to worry about this huggable boy’s heart. Well, we kind of do, because he’s in love with Rayna and she’s not having it. Reading as these two struggle with a relationship—Rayna being a stubborn idiot, Toraf being very persistent—brings out that lighthearted, fun tone to Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.
Unsurprisingly, Galen and Emma have less weird names but are just as amazing as their secondary character friends. Emma has, as I mentioned, the best sense of humor ever. She’s stubborn, sarcastic, laughable in a nice way where we laugh not at her but at the situation and how she goes about describing her misery, humiliation, and/or annoyance. Galen is the all-serious, arrogant, bit of a know-it-all big time Prince who is curiously fascinated and probing toward the lovely Emma. She’s this five hundred paged mystery novel. She’s beautiful. He’s having a hard time dealing with these unexpected, unwanted twin feelings of alarm and wonder.
Prince Galen does give off a bit of an Edward Cullen vibe, but he’s basically his own character. He’s impatient and determined, but what makes him so likable is his cheekiness. Blending into our society proves much more difficult, and, frankly, entertaining, than turning a lovely water color in the ocean so as to appear invisible. When he has the balls to try out things like “let’s chill” and “hey, boo,” things become unbelievably hysterical in the midst of all the serious drama revolving around the war brewing between the sea peoples and Emma’s enigmatic origins.
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks quickly becomes quite addictive.
WHO'S A MYSTERY NOVEL?
Emma is a big smack in the face to Syrena culture and tradition. She’s a giant stigma, an abomination. At least, she would be down under in the water. But discovering the hows and whys are what keeps propelling the story and shifts the weight off of the characters, however fantastic they are, so that it’s not all about them and our interest falls in two places. What is Emma? And where did she come from? How has her birthright been hidden from her all this time? Magnetic violet eyes and romantic tension aside, these questions grate on Galen’s peace of mind as he tries to work out an answer that won’t jeopardize his maybe chance to explore what’s crackling between he and Emma. Firstly because whoever gave birth to her is in serious doo-doo, then because the House of Poseidon and the House of Triton are due for a joiner marriage and guess who just might make the cut with her parentage?
We all see the dilemma here, right? And this is a colossal problem because Emma and Galen may or may not have something destined, something that only comes around everyone once in a while.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE...
My biggest fear for Of Poseidon by Anna Banks lies in the romance. I was worried that this would be unbelievable instalove in the making. “Both teens sense a connection” is enough to worry anyone who gets seriously turned off by unbelievable and forced connection and chemistry. However, that’s so not the case here.
Emma and Galen have a tentative friendship, with underlying romantic zings, at best and are ever bickering at their worst. Galen is all princely and he expects to be obeyed. Emma is stubborn and independent and just not capable of taking anybody’s crap. So she doesn’t. Often. And hard. Which is why it’s easy to respect her and her no-nonsense attitude. Even if it got to be a little frustrating at times because her attitude, and with misunderstandings fresh in her mind, gets in the way of the slow and tension-filled romance.
These misunderstandings cause all sorts of drama. Jealousy, a bit of deception, a hint—no a ton—of anger in all the right places so that eventually fate has its way and gently tugs the two together until they’re a superglued masterpiece.
ANOTHER MOTHER FRYIN' CLIFFHANGER
Initially, my reaction was to beat my fists on the walls, or, the closest thing to me at the time: the skinny boy with the too-loud music at the desk in front of me. Because just as things are finally making sense, the obvious happens. The drop hits. A CLIFFHANGER. And it’s not even like Morse Code where there are sublime messages inside the words or hints at the future in the moment.
The mystery is solved, yes. The romance is safe for now, yes. The characters are still lovable, indeed. BUT I NEED MORE.
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks is fun and engaging and full of that humor that sometimes misses the mark in so many other paranormals. These characters, and Anna, never forget to laugh at themselves despite the enormity of the situation they’re in. It’s what I liked about the story best of all.