Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Anna Banks, Of Neptune, New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2014, 410 pp.
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Markus Janka, University of Munich, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Banks (Author)
Anna Banks grew up in a small town named Niceville, Florida and lives with her husband and daughter in Crestview, Florida. Of Poseidon was her first novel, in her blog she called it: “A hybrid of mythology, fairytale, and hormones, Of Poseidon could be the modern, twice-removed cousin of The Little Mermaid.” The whole Syrena Trilogy (Of Poseidon, Of Triton, Of Neptune) is a New York Times bestseller. Banks works full time as a writer for Young Adults and complains that being a writer means not only writing but doing all sorts of other things, like promotion, meetings with readers etc. She writes also romantic novels under the pseudonym Anna Scarlett. She has a website and a blog and gives advice to beginning writers. What inspired her to become an author, was reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
Official website (accessed: September 9, 2019)
Blog (accessed: September 9, 2019)
Bio prepared by Michael Stierstorfer, University of Regensburg, Michael.email@example.com
German: Anna Banks, Blue Secrets. Der Ruf des Ozeans, trans. Michaela Link, cbt, 2015.
In the third volume of the series The Syrena Legacy, Emma’s grandfather recommends that Emma and Galen visit a lost city named Neptune, because there live Sirens and half-bloods like Emma together in peace and harmony. After reaching this mythical location Emma gets to know the diver Reed, who suddenly falls in love with her and stalks her. Galen gets in big trouble, because Reed kidnaps him to keep him away from Emma. Reed is keen on destroying the houses of Poseidon and Triton, since he is a friend of Galen’s archenemies Jagen and his daughter Paca, who recklessly struggled to become the rulers of the underwater world using fraud. After having been arrested in Of Poseidon, they are locked away in caves made of ice as a punishment for their crimes. Once Galen saves himself and rescues his beloved Emma from the conspiracy of Reed using his superpower, Emma is once again kidnapped, this time by Tyrden, a chief executive officer from Neptune. He intends to eliminate all half-blood-creatures from the world. Soon Galen is abducted by a mad scientist named Dr. Kennedy, who plans to reveal the secret life of the Sirens to humans. At the last moment the couple is rescued from their enemies by Emma’s Mum Nalia and Grom, her new husband and king of Triton, who already appeared in the first volume, Of Poseidon. They make use of their magical superpower. Afterwards Emma und Galen get married, and Galen celebrates this with incredible underwater fireworks. Then they move to a small island to start a family. With this marriage all houses of Sirens (Poseidon, Triton and Neptune) are reconciled in peace forever. As a half-blood, Emma also wants to spend her life in the realm of mankind and get a good job. To do that, she enrolls at the Monmouth university in New Jersey.
In this third volume of the series the girl Emma functions similarly as in the two former parts as a Messianic figure, that spreads hope over the whole Siren-community by using her power over water inherited from Poseidon. Emma plans to connect the three houses of Poseidon, of Triton and of Neptune, because her intention is that these three nations can live in permanent peace and harmony after having suffered in several wars. The ideological message of the text is strongly anti-war and pro-freedom. This is the important for young readers in uncertain modern times, when war is fought in many countries of the world. Since she demonstrates her superpower in fights against enemies e.g., by causing under water storms, the underwater world recognizes her to be their new princess. The new city, which Emma and Galen visit, is called Neptune, the Roman equivalent of Poseidon, because it is the name of the third house of the Syrenas. In the US, the country of the author, conservative Christian parents and their teenage children are against pre-marital sex. This view is imposed on the ancient mythological world of the Syrenas to reaffirm conservative values in today’s modern world. After the marriage, as a happy ending they spend the first night together (cf. Of Neptune, pp. 411-412), but it is not described in detail. Maybe this would be from the point of view of the author not suitable for young adults. To sum up, it is a mythopoetic fantasy reception of the myth of Atlantis and of Sirens allowing to show in the mirror of a parallel mythological reality genuine problems of an adolescent girl, who wants to marry and become a powerful princess. There is no focus on the theme of her awakening sexuality. Her marriage causes Emma to adopt traditional way of life even to the point of becoming a student at Monmouth university in New Jersey. The novel reflects conservative values popular in large segments of American society.
Markus Janka, Michael Stierstorfer (ed.). Verjüngte Antike. Griechisch-römische Mythologie und Historie in zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendmedien. Heidelberg: Winter 2017, pp. 13-27.
Michael Stierstorfer, Antike Mythologie in der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Gegenwart. Unsterbliche Götter- und Heldengeschichten? [Ancient Mythology in Current Children’s Literature. Immortal Stories of Gods and Heroes?]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2017.