Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Year Published: 2012
My review of The Stranger
My review of Legacy Lost
Synopsis: 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...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
Review: The last mermaid book I read was Jackson Pearce's Fathomless, and it was one of my favorites. I've been looking for another great take on mermaids since then (even if it isn't at all related to The Little Mermaid), so I finally decided to give Of Poseidon a shot. And I am so upset with myself that I didn't read it sooner! Complete with incredible world-building, a decades-old mystery, pop culture references, humor, and romance, this book is definitely one you don't want to pass over!
Although this book takes place in our world, the supernatural touch that Banks put on it is very well done. Beneath the sea is a whole world that humans know nothing about, although the Syrena are well aware of the humans. I really enjoyed learning about the Syrena from Galen as he tries to figure out how to tell Emma about his people, and also as he travels between the two worlds. I found there to be quite a bit of world-building that is more subtle than in-your-face, which I really enjoyed. Plus, all of it is a great mix of mythical and realistic, and I could totally believe that the Syrena are real.
I absolutely adored all of the characters. Even the minor characters are so well developed, and I love that there are so many subplots running alongside Emma and Galen's story. There's the Grom and Nalia story, Toraf and Rayna, Rachel, the cold war between the Poseidon and Triton camps, and so much more. I didn't know so many plots could all coexist in one book and be done well, but Banks does it perfectly! It never seems like there's too much going on, and all of the stories fit so well together. It's like a gorgeous puzzle that you just keep finding more pieces to.
I think one of my favorite things about this book was how the alternating perspectives were done. While Emma's chapters are first person, Galen's chapters are third person. Although it took me by surprise the first time it happened, it becomes very natural after that. The pacing doesn't slow down at all because of it, and I think it adds more to the story than if the whole book had been first person. I also really enjoyed watching Emma and Galen change from each others' perspective (as well as their own), because it makes for some pretty hilarious commentary. Both of the characters have pretty great senses of humor, and I actually laughed out loud several times! Actually, Rayna can also deal out the snarky comments too, and had me giggling most of the time.
The romance is well done too. Galen follows Emma because he thinks she might have an important gift, and intends to bring her home for his brother to mate with. He never expects to fall in love with her, so the romance is very slow and believable. The two fall for each other because of their flaws, not in spite of them, and I'm always a big fan of that. Toraf and Rayna's relationship is well-done too, and the character dynamic between all four of them is so easy and well done. I found myself really wanting to be a part of their little group.
Everything about this book is just wonderful. The mix of romance with Greek mythology and mystery and adventure is a perfect blend. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a supernatural romance with more of a story. Also, to any fans of Fathomless, and to anyone who wants a fun summer read. I honestly think there's something in this book for everyone. A 5/5, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series!