Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today it’s time for me to share with you my thoughts about the recently released Skin of the Sea. You can find the link to the blog tour schedule here along with what types of post everybody will be sharing. As always, my thanks to TBR and Beyond for all their hard work.
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.
After being told by her goddess not to break any more riles, Simi saves the man when he falls into the sea surrounding her as she tracks a slave transportation ship. She knows her job, and has promised that she will stick within the boundaries of it, but he is alive, and she cann’t stand to just watch him die. So she does the unforgiveable – she takes him to the sacred island, and lets him see her transform.
Fuelled by her determination to make it up to her goddess, and the secret growing feelings for Kola, Simi embarks on an adventure to apologise to the chief of gods. Throughout her journey, she meets more humans than she has known since changing to a mermaid, and the recommendation from the goddess that she remembers what she is and keeps her distance becomes harder to heed. As she spends more time in her human form, more of the memories of her past life that have been washed away by the water start to come back to her, and staying focused on her mission becomes more and more difficult.
I really enjoyed Simi as a protagonist. She is a complicated character, and I really like that; things weren’t staightforward for her, and often the person she’s battling against is herself. Little details, like the fact her feet are not used to walking when she transforms, are really good at building the atmosphere and akllowing a full picture of the story to form.
One thing I will say that was very personal to me is that being visually impaired and relying on the shape of words often to read, meant it took me longer to read than normal. There were so many unfamiliar words and many with accents which confused me.
However, it was brilliant to read such a badass in a young person’s book about mermaids, and finding out where you fit in, whayever the cost.
Amazon US / Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
About the Author
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.
Thanks for joining me for this blog post, and I hope you find some of the posts linked to via the schedule interesting too. Thanks as always to TBR and Beyond for everything.