Anna Banks has shown this clumsy, two-legged human that mermaids are COOL. Except when they spear me with their tails for calling them mermaids. Apologies, 'Syrena'. Of Poseidon opens with a manly-chested, melodramatic scene, that sets the tone of the book and instantly gives you a feel for Emma's highly infectious voice. That one day on the beach changed so much for her. Where she lost one important element in her life, she gained another in the form of Galen and his fiery sister, Rayna. Galen is a Syrena and he senses something similar in Emma, he just can't figure out how or why. He's determined to find out, because if she is what who he thinks, she will play a vital role in uniting the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. But Galen is not exactly adept in human relations.... that boy does not understand the rules of socialising, despite the fact that he acts as 'human ambassador' for the syrena. It makes it all the more entertaining to read as he makes himself present in Emma's life.
I like that we got to read from Emma and Galen's perspective, both with entirely different attitudes toward life. Their chapters compliment each other and allowed us a more thorough knowledge of their respective worlds. Their banter was a breath of fresh air when compared to those many YA relationships where everyone is so serious and fighting to maintain their tortured, secretly-pooping-my-pants expressions. Galen is not used to a girl who will stand up to him - a Syrena Prince! - of all people, and it both frustrated and deeply intrigued him. The more she pushed, the harder he fell for her. And the more she had to battle her growing attraction to this strange and pretty mereboy... er, attractive water critter.... I mean, sexy syrena. They teased, they argued, they charmed the fins off each other. Most importantly, they challenged one another and that's what made their relationship exciting.
Galen did have me flapping the pages in annoyance a few times, urging him to 'freaking move it already! Don't just watch, you idiot!' But despite my growls of frustration, I could understand his reasons for not intervening. He is not me. He thinks differently. He IS different. He's not human, and I had to adjust to a few of their differences. As soon as I did, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the addictive and undeniably enjoyable novel. It's fun and light, but that doesn't make it vapid. It's a book that knows how to enjoy life, but when the stakes are raised and smiles shift to frowns, you're just as captivated and even more so invested in what happens because you've grown to adore the characters.
Rayna and Toraf are secondary characters, but just as integral to the story. As is there ever complicated and woefully entertaining relationship. Toraf makes it boldly obvious that he's in love with Rayna and his attempts at trying to get on a base warmer than the bottom of the arctic are adorable. Rayna is clearly in denial mode. It's obvious she has feelings for him, but I absolutely understand why she kept pushing him away and goddamn, I would too! Sort of. Maybe. A little. If I could ignore his charming personality. She wants a choice, something syrena women are rarely entitled to and be damned if she's going to let some man take it away from her. I loved her girl power and that soft, kitten centre that pawed behind her walls of fire and steel.
I was fascinated to learn more about the Syrena history, their laws, tradition and hierarchy. Every time we learnt one thing, I was immediately waiting for the next nugget of information to be revealed. Of Poseidon is a grin-worthy, enchanting swim through the deep blue sea. It's cheeky and romantic, while still maintaining an engaging plotline that offers plenty of fodder for fishy drama and exciting revelations. Definitely pop this one on your wishlist!