Saturday, May 19, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (May 22, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1250003326
ISBN-13: 978-1250003324
Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish.

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.
Review:

I breezed through this book, only took me 2 days--mind you, I have school to contend with as well. There's so much jammed pack information about the Triton and Poseidon territories to start this series off, but for me it still wasn't enough. 

Plot: We've got Emma whose violet eyes connect her to the Syrena, both Triton and Poseidon house, but her white hair and skin are anomalies since Syrena have olive skin and dark hair. Her ability says she's of Poseidon, more connected to the sea world and its creatures than any known Poseidon Syrena. One fatal tragedy in the deep oceans on the Florida coast brings out her astonishing capability in the ocean, but too late to stop the shark before it bites. She didn't know that earlier, the strange boy and girl she'd crashed--literally, she's quite the klutz--into were twin royals of the human-loathing Triton house who, after seeing her violet eyes and sensing her through touch, could . Galen may be a prince of Triton but he's also their human ambassador. He knows that if Emma is a descendant of Poseidon himself then she should be the Syrena that mates with the next in line for the Triton throne, his brother Grom. It would be the only way to stop the current bloodless war between the two Syrena from escalating to violent methods. In order to protect the people he loves he has to follow Emma back to New Jersey where he can make her understand. He doesn't anticipate, however, how difficult that might be, for her and him.

Writing: I know that the tragedy spin is supposed to give the book a somewhat darker spin--or at least, that's what I surmised from the Goodreads synopsis--but Of Poseidon was more humorous than daunting. I didn't anticipate my love for this book to grow with every page but I'd spend a long time zoned out and thinking about the dynamics Ms. Banks presents in the mythology and mythological creatures that make up this book. I've become a little wary on the topic of first books in a series since I know it's the introduction into a fantastical world that's going to unfurl as the books release. It's almost always the execution that rubs me the wrong way because some authors have all this information and creativity in their minds but the structure of their novels don't always match the level of originality. This, however, is far from spetactular execution of Ms. Banks debut novel, for something couldn't me more intriguing to read than a book from an author that knows the voices of young adults so well and can communicate that in her writing. Bravo, Ms. Banks, Bravo. 

The pacing kept me flipping the pages at break-neck speed, and the use of dialogue between characters was funny and entertaining, but sad and disheartening when called for. Is it ironic that teared up a bit in English class in a particularly discouraging scene, or just sad?

Characters: Emma and Galen have so much sexual tension writhing between them that it's plain as day to everyone but them. They got to know each other better before deeper feelings made it into the picture.  The fight and resistance that their relationship creates between them produces a tantalizing romance that made me want to see develop into something more. Rayna, Galen's twin, was also a bit of obstacle when she saw Galen getting friendly with Emma before she could even develop into a full-blown Syrena and meet their brother Grom. I suppose that's what made me like Toraf so much for putting up with her and taking her away every so often. While being able to meet all these new people becomes special to her, Emma questions her past and parents, faces the decision of what to do in the future and how to come to terms that she is part fish.

Originality: More and more sea-related stories are being written and published in the YA genre, but Of Poseidon has taken the cake in creativity and imaginative disposition. 

Now, the one thing I would caution potential readers about and feel I have to mention becomes it seemed fatal was...the cliffhanger ending almost damned me. I said so many OMGs and was pacing around my house before I could fully calm down to get a well-deserved rest. WHY?! Why do authors do such cruel things to their readers? Sigh. Sadly (or fortunately), this in no ways stops me from dragging everyone by the hair to buy this book when it hits store near you.

A


Source: Netgalley

LiLi