Title: Skin of the Sea
Author: Natasha Bowen
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: Nov 2, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, Ebook
An unforgettable fantasy debut inspired by West African mythology, this is Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid, in which a mermaid takes on the gods themselves.
A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata–a mermaid–collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable–she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But something is amiss. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn’t, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.
Skin of the Sea is an absolutely heart-pounding adventure filled with West African mythology and characters that will steal your heart. I love learning about new cultures and different mythologies. I had never heard of these gods and new nothing about the background of the story. This book was utterly fascinating. I could not put this book down, as the tale is so engrossing that you find yourself saying “one more chapter” time and time again.
My heart felt every flashback moment that Simi experienced of her life before becoming a Mami Wata.. experienced her yearning to go back to the way she was before. Her journey with the young boy she saves from death is fraught with danger and sadness. Her longing is apparent.. to feel human touch and to be wanted and loved. The characters that join their quest are so well developed.. each having a distinct personality that adds just the right amount of conflict and friendship.
Issa… oh my gosh my heart. A brave young soul who joins the crew as a guide. He has my heart.
Several twists along the way really got me as I had no clue they were coming. You will have to read to find out what I am talking about. Also the ending left me devastated, heartbroken, and instantly wanting more from this world. Thankfully, there is a look into the next book to tide me over until it is actually released or I might have just fallen into a depression. I can not wait for more from Natasha.
Natasha Bowen is a writer, a teacher, and a mother of three children. She is of Nigerian and Welsh descent and lives in Cambridge, England, where she grew up. Natasha studied English and creative writing at Bath Spa University before moving to East London, where she taught for nearly ten years. Her debut book was inspired by her passion for mermaids and African history. She is obsessed with Japanese and German stationery and spends stupid amounts on notebooks, which she then features on her secret Instagram. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, watched over carefully by Milk and Honey, her cat and dog.