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Skin of the Sea by Natsha Bowen

The Story

From the Publisher

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.

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.

My Review: Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea invigorated me to want to read more fantasy. Especially by Natasha Bowen.

As a side note, prior to the pandemic, I devoured fantasy. It was my absolute favorite genre to read. Most of my bookshelves held fantasy authors and little else.

And, then, COVID hit.

I immediately retreated, like a crustacean hiding deep within its shell, into books that were steeped in romance and happy endings.

Now, as we sort of see glimmers of “normal” I’m finding myself gravitating more and more to some amazing fantasy books, Skin of the Sea being one of them. And it’s a well-crafted story brimming with magic, lush and vivid settings, and characters that are unequivocally brilliant. Where every page is a marvel. Skin of the Sea is a phenomenal debut.

A Few More Thoughts

It is a story unlike any other. Richly envisioned and bursting from the spine with indelible ink. And friends, we need more stories with Black Girl Magic! Readers will be entranced by Simi’s story, both as a human and mermaid is one of heartache and inspiration. The journey she embarks from the opening page to the very last is one you won’t want to miss.

I was hooked from the very beginning, like a fish caught in an intricate net. Swept up by the beautiful prose and the Yoruba language Bowen included in her novel. Each chapter’s ending is another cliffhanger, steeper and more perilous than the last. My heart racing, realizing I wasn’t ready for this story to end.

A debut you should definitely pre-order, Skin of the Sea is utterly captivating.

Be ready to fall in love with this book.

Happy Reading ~ Cece

Content Warning: Violence, enslavement, death, suicide, abuse, sexual harassment, severe injuries.

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Photo Collage by Sheaf & Ink of Skin of the Sea

From the Publisher

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
2-Nov-21978-0593120941336Random House Books for Young Readers14+NetGalley, Digital CopyOctober 26, 2021

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