Skin of the Sea (Skin of the Sea #1) by Natasha Bowen

Posted November 17, 2021 by jrsbookr in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Skin of the Sea (Skin of the Sea #1) by Natasha Bowen

by Natasha Bowen
Skin of the Sea (Skin of the Sea #1) by Natasha BowenSkin of the Sea Series: Skin of the Sea #1
Published by Random House Children's Books on November 2, 2021
Source: Netgalley Arc
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Young Adult Fiction / Mermaids, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
Pages: 336
Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
Format: Ebook Arc
Buy on Amazon

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Black mermaid takes on the gods themselves in this "impressive" fantasy debut that "blends West African history and Yoruban mythology to create a new fairy tale" (New York Times). The first book in a powerful series that is perfect for fans of The Gilded Ones and those eagerly anticipating the live action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

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.


Skin of the Sea is billed as the Little Mermaid fairytale weaved with lush West African mythology. Skin of the Sea suffers from all plot and no character depth. I was more interested in how Simi would make amends for her actions than learning more about the actual characters. I felt you could put any mermaid and the human she shouldn’t have said in, and the plot would still work. The action was intense, which made me want to read to the end, especially since this is a setup for a series or duology not sure yet. As we raised to the end, though, and anticipating this big climactic cliffhanger, it all came crashing down in a relatively flat way. If it is a stand-alone, the ending works fine but still lacks the finality excitement I wanted. But it did not make me clamor to continue the storyline: a very well executed plot-driven story but lack of character excitement.



About 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 over ten years. Her debut book book was inspired by her passion for mermaids and African history. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, watched over carefully by Milk and Honey, her cat and dog.

Rating Report
Overall: 3