Skin of the Sea: Book summary and reviews of Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Skin of the Sea

by Natasha Bowen

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen X
Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
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About this book

Book Summary

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 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 doesn't, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In Bowen's dazzling debut, rooted in West African mythology and mid-1400s history, Simidele is a mermaid, or Mami Wata, tasked by orisa Mother Yemoja to collect and usher to the afterlife the souls of deceased West African people thrown overboard from passing slave ships...Bowen relays a story as lushly described as it is cinematic, centering a brave, headstrong protagonist coming into her own power in an age of change." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The vibrant focus on West African religious traditions organically enriches beloved, familiar elements...in a story bursting with innovative inspiration, such as maps braided into hair that showcase West African civilizations' mathematical prowess. A divine debut that explores the glories of West African myth, religion, and history." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Despite its heavy subject matter, this book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit amid tragedy that never shies away from the horrors it conveys. Give this book to everyone, but especially fans of mythological and well-crafted fantasy." - School Library Journal (starred review)

"One of the most epic and original fantasies I've read." - Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Instructions for Dancing

"Knocks your socks off and leaves you wanting more." - Namina Forna, New York Times bestselling author of The Gilded Ones

"A triumph of storytelling." - Kalynn Bayron, bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead

This information about Skin of the Sea shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Natasha Bowen

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.

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