Of Poseidon (#1) by Anna Banks

Published: June 1st 2012
Goodreads badgePublisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Pages: 324
Format: Book
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Galen is strong, protective and gorgeous, with striking violet eyes and a body to make you shiver – and that’s just when he’s in human form. He’s from the House of Triton, god of the sea, and he’s searching for a girl with the gift of Poseidon to save his brother from marrying a fraud. Emma is a human. Or so she thinks. When Emma meets Galen on the beach, they both sense a sizzling chemistry. But can Galen convince her that she holds the key to his kingdom – without letting on that he’s falling for her?

The second installment in this series is due to be released later this month so I feel an introduction of the series is in order. Of Poseidon is a novel by Anna Banks, and mixes in the mythic with the real. When I finished this book I was rather at a loss of what to say about it. I read it extremely quickly, it dragged me along and I didn’t want to stop, but when I put it down at whatever hour of the morning it was, I actually couldn’t figure out what to say.

This is the story of Emma, an ordinary girl who finds out that she has an extraordinary gift. When Galeb, prince of the underwater kingdom Syrena, is sent on to land to seek out a mysterious girl who it is rumoured to have the ability to speak to fish, he find Emma and a connection is felt between the pair. Convinced she is the girl to save his kingdom Galen sets out to convince Emma of her abilities. Banks tells us this story from both Emma’s and Galen’s point of view allowing us to see both sides of the story and see reasons and secrets for the events, as well as the consequences on both sides.

I had read a summary in a magazine and had been looking forward to reading this for months. I liked the thought of it concerning Greek mythology which is never a bad thing, and similar to Percy Jackson I suppose it brings it into the modern era. From page one I could tell this was going to be written with the voice and thoughts of a very typical teenager. The language and narration screams teenage girl with all the attitude and colloquial approach. What struck me at the time was the mention of Google and some other things. I knew the day would have to come, but everyone had been so good (in everything I had read) as to set something in the modern world without referencing everything from Google to Facebook or modern TV shows. Where was the modern but alternate universe where these things were not there and the best we got was generic email mention and a mobile use? It was a fleeting reference but it still stood out from the story having it there.

I felt that the pace was rather fast, everything happened over a short period of time and everything was accepted fairly quickly. Emma accepts her changing life and everything around it well but not without conflicts and problems mind you. Sometimes you forget she is suppose to be eighteen when you read how she sometimes speaks and acts, more towards the mid teen range I thought until I remembered. Banks gives us the unbelieving side, but as soon as she accepts what is going on everything seems perfectly normal once more.

Minor characters are unique in their own way, with Emma being new to their lives and with every one having long histories helped those interactions seem real. She was introduced to their world and no one was trying to learn everything together, nor did they try recapping more than needed. Some characters like Emma’s mother and Rayna stood out for me throughout the book for their own reasons, but everyone has key elements of their back stories explained and how they came to be where and how they are, even if it appears in odd places.

The mystery in the book, as well as Emma and the underwater conflict is slowly revealed but by the end, I had already figured it out. Which wasn’t a bad thing, the clues are there, Banks wasn’t trying to hide anything. It is just up to the reader to either follow along with Emma and Galen or work it out alone by themselves.

I really did like the book, the story was great, it wwas very engaging and easy to read, the mystery was good and was dealt with in a logical and reasonable way given the situation. As I write this I realise what bugged me ever so slightly. It was more the little things like moving on so quickly from the events at the start no matter how hard Banks tried to portray them, and also the peculiarity that Emma displayed at times. I enjoyed the interaction and conversations between all the characters when Emma wasn’t around. They were strong, in-depth and believable, very adult. When she was involved everything became a trifle strange and a bit childish and unbelievable regarding everyone’s actions and conversations. There were glimpses of great moments from Emma where you thought she’d had an enlightened moment and would strong and powerful from then on but they were unfortunately fleeting. I think if she had been a strong character with the wit and an independent personality she would have been ok, but more often than not she doesn’t seem to act her age.

The sequel is definitely on the cards to read given the conclusion, but also the fact that it is a great story concept no matter what faults it has in execution, and until there is a short story prequel that was released as well. It is briefly mentioned in this book but it goes into greater detail apparently story wise. Not a necessity but for those wanting more from the unseen and passing characters it might be of interest.

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