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    Original Essays | June 10, 2015

    Rob Hart: IMG The End of Apocalypse

    My plan here is to write about how New York City disappears out from under your feet. So I wanted to include a picture of Apocalypse Lounge, a bar... Continue »
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13 Local Warehouse Children's- Science Fiction and Fantasy
14 Remote Warehouse Children's Young Adult- General

Of Poseidon


Of Poseidon Cover

ISBN13: 9781250003324
ISBN10: 1250003326
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I SMACK into him as if shoved from behind. He doesnt budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe hes waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe hes waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope hes got all day.

I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that were hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him.

Options skim through my head like a flip book.

Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip-flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. Im betting Cinderella didnt feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasnt as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus.

Option Two: Pretend Ive fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this wont work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people dont blush while unconscious.

Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls—or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasnt paying attention at all.

For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I do get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, its coming from my shoulders. From his hands.

Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now.

I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that its sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic.

“Are—are you alright?” he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest.

I nod. “Im fine. Im used to it. Sorry.” I shrug off his hands when he doesnt let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me.

“Jeez, Emma, are you okay?” Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friends sandals suggests shes not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that shes grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand.

“Im fine. Everybodys fine,” I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. “Youre fine, right? No broken bones or anything?”

He blinks, gives a slight nod.

Chloe sets her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. “Im Chloe and this is Emma,” she says. “We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.”

I gasp. I also try to decide what kind of flowers Ill bring to her funeral after I strangle the life from her body. I should have stayed in Jersey, like Mom said. Shouldnt have come here with Chloe and her parents. What business do I have in Florida? We live on the Jersey Shore. If youve seen one beach, youve seen them all, right?

But noooooooo. I had to come and spend the last of my summer with Chloe, because this would be our last summer together before college, blah-blah-blah. And now shes taking revenge on me for not letting her use my ID to get a tattoo last night. But what did she expect? Im white and shes black. Im not even tan-white. Im Canadian-tourist white. If the guy could mistake her for me, then he shouldnt be giving anyone a tattoo, right? I was just protecting her. Only, she doesnt realize that. I can tell by that look in her eyes—the same look she wore when she replaced my hand sanitizer with personal lubricant—that shes about to take whats left of my pride and kick it like a donkey.

“Uh, we didnt get your name. Did you get his name, Emma?” she asks, as if on cue.

“I tried, Chloe. But he wouldnt tell me, so I tackled him,” I say, rolling my eyes.

The guy smirks. This almost-smile hints at how breathtaking a real one would be. The tingling flares up again, and I rub my arms.

“Hey, Galen, are you ready to—” We all turn to a petite black-haired girl as she touches his shoulder. She stops mid-sentence when she sees me. Even if these two didnt share the same short dark hair, the same violet eyes, and the same flawless olive skin, Id know they were related because of their most dominant feature—their habit of staring.

“Im Chloe. This is my friend Emma, who apparently just head-butted your boyfriend Galen. We were in the middle of apologizing.”

I pinch the bridge of my nose and count to ten-Mississippi, but fifty-Mississippi seems more appropriate. Fifty allows more time to fantasize about ripping one of Chloes new weaves out.

“Emma, whats wrong? Your nose isnt bleeding, is it?” she chirps, enjoying herself.

Tingles gather at my chin as Galen lifts it with the crook of his finger. “Is your nose bleeding? Let me see,” he says. He tilts my head side to side, leans closer to get a good look.

And I meet my threshold for embarrassment. Tripping is bad enough. Tripping into someone is much worse. But if that someone has a body that could make sculpted statues jealous—and thinks youve broken your nose on one of his pecs—well, thats when tripping runs a distant second to humane euthanasia.

He is clearly surprised when I swat his hand and step away. His girlfriend/relative seems taken aback that I mimic his stance—crossed arms and deep frown. I doubt she has ever met her threshold for embarrassment.

“I said I was fine. No blood, no foul.”

“This is my sister Rayna,” he says, as if the conversation steered naturally in that direction. She smiles at me as if forced at knifepoint, the kind of smile that comes purely from manners, like the smile you give your grandmother when she gives you the rotten-cabbage-colored sweater shes been knitting. I think of that sweater now as I return her smile.

Galen eyes the surfboard abandoned against the wood railing. “The waves here arent really good for surfing.”

Galens gift is not small talk. Just like his sister, theres a forced feel to his manners. But unlike his sister, theres no underlying hostility, just an awkwardness, like hes out of practice. Since he appears to be making this effort on my behalf, I cooperate. I make a show of looking at the emerald crests of the Gulf of Mexico, at the waves sloshing lazily against the shore. A man waist-deep in the water holds a toddler on his hip and jumps with the swells as they peak. Compared to the waves back home, the tide here reminds me of kiddie rides at the fair.

“We know. Were just taking it out to float,” Chloe says, unconcerned that Galen was talking to me. “Were from Jersey, so we know what a real wave looks like.” When she steps closer, Rayna steps back. “Hey, thats weird,” Chloe says. “You both have the same color eyes as Emma. Ive never seen that before. I always thought it was because shes freakishly pasty. Ow! Thats gonna leave a mark, Emma,” she says, rubbing her freshly pinched biceps.

“Good, I hope it does,” I snap. I want to ask them about their eyes—the color seems prettier set against the olive tone of Galens skin—but Chloe has bludgeoned my chances of recovering from embarrassment. Ill have to be satisfied that my dad—and Google—were wrong all this time; my eye color just cant be that rare. Sure, my dad practiced medicine until the day he died two years ago. And sure, Google never let me down before. But who am I to argue with living, breathing proof that this eye color actually does exist? Nobody, thats who. Which is convenient, since I dont want to talk anymore. Dont want to force Galen into any more awkward conversations. Dont want to give Chloe any more opportunities to deepen the heat of my burning cheeks. I just want this moment of my life to be over.

I push past Chloe and snatch up the surfboard. To her good credit, she presses herself against the rail as I pass her again. I stop in front of Galen and his sister. “It was nice to meet you both. Sorry I ran into you. Lets go, Chloe.”

Galen looks like he wants to say something, but I turn away. Hes been a good sport, but Im not interested in discussing swimmer safety—or being introduced to any more of his hostile relatives. Nothing he can say will change the fact that DNA from my cheek is smeared on his chest.

Trying not to actually march, I thrust past them and make my way down the stairs leading to the pristine white sand. I hear Chloe closing the distance behind me, giggling. And I decide on sunflowers for her funeral.



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Disquietus, April 27, 2014 (view all comments by Disquietus)
After hearing Anna Banks describe her books at the Fierce Reads event, especially Galen, I knew I had to read them. So I immediately bumped them up my to-read list and I am so glad I did. This was the perfect post-Siege and Storm read to heal my heart; funny, cute and romantic.

I love mermaids. I was that kid who insisted on watching The Little Mermaid pretty much every day for months after the VHS came out, and when it re-released in theaters in 1997, I saw it at least half a dozen times. Despite my love for them, this was my first foray into a mermaid book and it was a perfect one. I was immediately hooked by the first paragraph and refused to put it down until I’d devoured every word.

This is not an action-packed book. It’s one of those novels that is really built on the strength of its story, its characters, their relationships to each other and the world building, rather than epic battles and fights for survival. The writing was refreshing. I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions, and since I always snort when I start laughing really hard I received multiple LOOKS from my family. While I did find the switch in POV between Emma and Galen distracting at first, I eventually adjusted. Reading from Galen’s POV was a blessing. He’s so awkward at trying to be human and that was definitely a highlight for me. The characters are great. The teens all have authentic voices and are filled with snark and Emma’s mom is just right in her over protectiveness. I enjoyed the detail of the Syrena culture, although I do wish there had been more underwater scenes. Really the only negative thing that I can say about the writing is that if I never hear the phrase “Ohmysweetgoodness” again, it will be too soon.

Naturally there were a few things that bugged me, but none of them were big enough to retract from my immense love for everything else. Like Emma, the woman in me was immensely offended at Rayna being mated to Toraf without her knowledge or consent…but then I reminded myself that they are a different species with different customs and it’s pretty obvious that the two are completely in love with each other so I let it go. I also did not like that it took so long for Galen to fess up to Emma about the truth, or the fact that he treats her like property at times.

I loved the characters. Emma is one of my new ultimate favorite protagonists. She’s no-nonsense, has a temper, is a smart-ass, and is definitely gullible and frustrating at times but she’s also incredibly brave and lovable. She gets hit with some major stuff, essentially having her entire world turned upside down in just a few short months, starting with a shark attack that kills someone close to her, but she still manages to keep herself together and stand up for herself and her beliefs. I do feel like the shark attack is glossed over and her reaction to losing the person isn’t as realistic as it could be, but I’m sure having Galen around to distract her played a big part in why she wasn’t overtaken by grief.

Galen. Excuse me while I key-smash. AKJKLFASDFYEDCOABDF! Okay. Now that I have that out of my system. I fell in love with him almost instantly. It’s not even just that he’s hotness personified. He’s just such an incredible character. He’s sweet, loyal, determined, brave, loving, stubborn, awkward, oblivious, and just so real. It would have been so easy to portray him as the clichéd , egotistical, I am prince here me roar and boss your life around, alpha-male kind of character but Banks avoids that and instead created this complex and beautiful man-boy. Yes, he has moments that make you want to tear your hair out, he can be possessive and domineering and a know-it-all, but those moments flesh out his character rather than dominate it.

And the romance between Galen and Emma? SWOONY SWOON SWOON. I have a lot of feelings about it. This is not one of those romances where the couple is obviously EPICLY DESTINED SOUL MATES that are instantly in love the minute they awkardly (and adorably) collide into each otehr. Yes, they obviously have some rare connection that is vaguely mentioned, but I didn’t feel like it was ever fully developed or played upon. Rather we get some delicious tension and the slow-burn of Emma and Galen getting to know and understand each other and fall in love based on that. The romantic tension is just. Gush. I love it and them. If anyone deserves a happily ever after, it’s these two.

The supporting cast is also amazing. Rayna is another favorite female character for me, and I would love to see something from her POV at some point. She’s fierce and hilarious and I just want to hug her at times. Toraf is also great, even when he’s being pushy. I would read an entire series about these two alone tbh.

This was such an enjoyable read. So go pick it up. Now. Go.
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Leah Hubert, August 26, 2012 (view all comments by Leah Hubert)
This book is truly amazing. I loved all of it. I read it cover to cover in one sitting. I was truly impressed by the originality of the plot and characters. Although it ended off with THE BIGGEST CLIFFHANGER!!! OMG when will the second book be released?!?!?!
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SarahS WondrousReadings, May 24, 2012 (view all comments by SarahS WondrousReadings)
What an awesome book! I was hooked from the first chapter.
I love mermaid stories but I don't read a lot of them.

You and I would call them mermaids/mermen just don't let Galen hear you. He hates the 'M' word. To him they're Syrena.

Emma is you'r average run of the mill clumsy girl, or is she? Emma is on vacation in Florida with her best friend, Chloe, when she bumps right into (literally) the uber hot Galen. They feel a connection right away. Shortly after their little run in the unthinkable happens, Chloe is attacked by a shark. That's when Emma finds out she exhibits some not so human qualities, she can not only talk to the shark but it understand her as well!

This was such a hilarious story. I was laughing throughout the book. The characters were so funny.
Emma: I liked her, but her clumsiness made me unable to not like her
Galen: hot, funny, sarcastic, caring, totally swoon-worthy, an being a prince doesn't hurt ;)
I liked the relationship between Emma and Galen, they were so funny together with their arguing and bickering.
Rayna: Galen's twin sister, Toraf's 'mate' (wife) stubborn, she acted like a spoiled brat but it's only the first book in the series, you can't count her out just yet!
Toraf: he was funny, and sweet

The cover is beautiful. And the ending?! Ohmysweetgoodness! Such a cliffhanger ending, it makes me want to read the next book for sure!

Thank you to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for this copy.
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Product Details

Banks, Anna
Feiwel & Friends
Fantasy & Magic
Love & Romance
Children s-General
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Science fiction
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edition Description:
Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 8 up to 13
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 13 up to 18

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Science Fiction
Young Adult » Fiction » Paranormal
Young Adult » General

Of Poseidon New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.99 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Feiwel & Friends - English 9781250003324 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "For a sweet mermaid romance, Emma McIntosh's story starts out rough. Her father has recently died of cancer, and her best friend is mauled to death by a shark in the opening scene. Baggage enough for any 18-year-old, but then the hot guy who witnessed the carnage at the beach shows up in Emma's world history class. Galen is gorgeous, seems to have money to burn, and is completely focused on Emma. He claims to know Emma's 'secret' — one she doesn't even know she has. He also has a sister with a big mouth, whose willingness to wade into any fray soon pushes Emma into awareness that her love-hate feelings for the ocean are more than just a consequence of her friend's death. Banks's first novel has some beginner's bumps, notably the lack of a self-contained plot, but also a great deal of charm. The mix of first-person and third-person present-tense narration is not seamless, though it imparts immediacy and warmth. Much background is given and few questions are answered, but Emma's emotions propel the narrative. Ages 13 — up. Agent: Lucy Carson, the Friedrich Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Its while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

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