Review: “Skin of the Sea” by Natasha Bowen

Release Date: November 2, 2021
Series: Skin of the Sea #1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description

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 goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable–she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.

To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. 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 fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

My Thoughts

Blending “The Little Mermaid”, West African culture and spiritual traditions, and real history from the 15th century, Skin of the Sea by debut novelist Natasha Bowen is a striking young adult historical fantasy. The only downside to reading this book now is that you’ll have to wait until next year for the sequel.

Read the rest of my review at locusmag.com.

Buy this book at bookshop.org (affiliate link).

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