Sweet, flirty, and unashamedly fun, Of Poseidon is bringing back mermaids. Angst? Nope. These teenage supernaturals eat fish, not blood, and no-one heSweet, flirty, and unashamedly fun, Of Poseidon is bringing back mermaids. Angst? Nope. These teenage supernaturals eat fish, not blood, and no-one here is sprouting hair and claws. Fins, though? Well that’s a different story...
The Story: When Galen, a Syrena (read: merman) prince watches a human girl single-handedly fight off a shark, and win, he knows she’s not what she seems. Perhaps not human at all. After all, the Syrena themselves can pass as human—growing legs, breathing air, and walking on land. But this is news to Emma, who thinks she’s as human as you and I. As is why, the albeit gorgeous, Galen, suddenly turns up at her school and won’t leave her alone. As the two fight a growing attraction, they must work together to uncover the mystery of Emma’s heritage, because while Galen cannot have Emma for his own, her rather singular gifts may just be the key to saving his kingdom.
My Thoughts: Though it may seem strange calling a book which opens with the bloody death of a girl 'light', it’s precisely what Of Poseidon is. Jumping from death-by-shark-mauling to fun and playful, Of Poseidon never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, and it frees Banks up to tell precisely the right story: a fun, effervescent romp offering laughs and romance in generous, decadent serves.
Emma, Galen, and Of Poseidon's cast of friends and family are fun, quirky, and compulsively readable. Emma’s chatty, funny and slightly neurotic first-person is a delight, and there’s a certain amusing naivety to Galen’s third person. His unfamiliarity with the human world and occasional bewilderment at Emma offer countless comic opportunities, and despite Emma’s description of Galen’s classic ‘Type A’ personality, he is not without a sense of humour about himself, allowing for playful, teasing banter between the couple. The split point of views work to excellent effect, not only lending greater depth in the book’s two leads, but to the world, and its delightful array of supporting characters who, rather than simply being ‘supporting’ characters are fleshed out, and as charming and entertaining as its leads.
The mystery of Emma’s Syrena heritage—do not call them mermaids, folks, especially not the guys—plays out over the book, and is the plot’s driving force, but Of Poseidon is all about the romance. And it’s fun. The chemistry between Emma and Galen is electric, sexy and intense, and when they’re not sharing a sweet, heart stopping moment—we’re talking girl meets boy, boy takes girl on date... to the Titanic—they’re bickering, or needling each other with charming, hilarious intensity.
The Verdict: In a world of vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night, Of Poseidon brings something new, fun and funny to the table. Sharing a sensibility far more in common with Disney’s Ariel and Eric than Rose and Dimitri, it proves different doesn’t mean less. There’s a playful quality to Banks’ storytelling, giving Of Poseidon a refreshingly light, fun tone, while never lacking in substance. Banks doesn't miss the opportunity to make pointed barbs at overfishing and and environmental negligence, but she never comes across as preachy. Flirty, teasing, and enormously entertaining, Of Poseidon brings exactly what it promises: good, beachy fun, romance, and delicious deep-sea mysteries. But be prepared: this book will leave you screaming for more.