Review Blog

Jul 24 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

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Hardie Grant Egmont, 2012. ISBN 9781742972817.
(Age: 12 +) We've had angels, vampires, demons and werewolves attracted to teenage girls and now it seems mermaids, or rather mermen (despite the protagonist's objection to this description of himself) are the new angels. Galen is a Syrena - one who has human form on land but grows a fin and swims at incredible speeds when at sea.  He feels an electrical connection to Emma and her white hair and violet eyes would indicate she, too, is a Syrena. Although she discovers she can swim underwater for a long time when Galen takes her into the deep, her legs never morph into fins. He is a Prince but she is a commoner, unaware, until puberty, that she has the Gift of Poseidon. Furthermore, as the only living heir of Poseidon, she is destined to marry Galen's brother Grom and produce offspring for Royal House of Triton.
This is a glorified teen romance with the requisite hot male, hostility with intense mutual attraction on meeting , a controlling male and reacting female, break-up and make-up. There is violence, an arranged marriage and even a visit to the wreck of the Titanic. The device of alternating chapters of Emma's first person voice contrasting with Galen's story told in the third person allows for the inclusion of the stories of the minor characters. This archetypal Cinderella plot is slow-moving but has humour in Galen's adjustment to human life. There are underwater descriptions and concerns about overfishing. The cliffhanger ending sets up the sequel, Of Triton. The target audience will love it but it seems a missed opportunity to learn much more about sea life and sea mythology.
Kevyna Gardner

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