You know I love a magical boarding school, and as a Classicist I was really tempted by the description of Poseidon’s Academy when it popped up on NetGalley. This is a super enjoyable middle grade school adventure!
Book: Poseidon’s Academy by Sarah A Vogler
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided free of charge via NetGalley. All opinions my own.
This is a really fun and inventive read that I’m sad is going to be lost in the inevitable comparisons to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. It really deserves to be measured on its own qualities, as apart from the boarding school setting and the use of Ancient Greek mythology, it isn’t really much like either of those. It actually reminds me much more of the School for Good and Evil books, which I also thought put a fun spin on upper middle grade adventure.
The magic system here is super cool – essentially, the Greek Gods’ powers were all transferred to human kind, so everyone has one kind of power, whether they be a Demeter (control of plants) or a Venus (love and attraction powers) or whatever. Our main character, Hailey, is a Zeus – in fact, the only Zeus in a century. She has weather powers, but her new magical school is underwater, so she has a hard time proving it unless she leaves the school… It’s really compelling, and I loved the conceit of having the reasoning behind the magic system spelled out in Hailey’s history lessons – but then, you know I love it when you get to actually see classes in a school setting!
There’s a wide array of friends and enemies to be made, as well as an assortment of oddball teachers. There’s danger, of course, and a mystery to solve, but for me, these took a backseat to Hailey’s general experience of Poseidon’s Academy and the school itself, which is always what interests me in these sorts of books. The atmosphere is really fun, and I know I would have adored this as a kid, with my mythology obsession. I’ve already downloaded the next book in the series, and can’t wait to carry on!
Five out of five cats!