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Skin of the Sea

af Natasha Bowen

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Serier: Skin of the Sea (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
8941324,527 (3.84)8
Fantasy. Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  The must-read Black mermaid fantasy series that #1 NYT bestselling author Nicola Yoon calls epic and original, in which one mermaid takes on the gods themselves. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Beasts of Prey.

Riveting. NPR
Evocative. Entertainment Weekly
Remarkable. Buzzfeed

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
 
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wataa mermaidcollecting 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 unthinkableshe 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.
… (mere)
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» Se også 8 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
“When you pull back the skin of the sea, you never know what you will find.”

Skin of the Sea is a YA fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid story with elements of West African mythology and history. It is set in the 14th Century in the Oyo Empire (modern day Nigeria), when the Portugese were taking slaves from the West coast, and centres around black mermaids or Mami Wata, and the Oyo pantheon of gods and goddesses. The author is English, of Nigerian and Welsh descent. Skin of the Sea, her debut book, has been shortlisted for several prizes and is the first in a series.

Simidele is one of the Mami Wata (mermaids) created by the goddess Mother Yemoja to bless the souls of the drowned, those being taken in slave ships away from their homes. One day she finds a shipwrecked man, Kola, who is not yet dead. Simi instinctively fights to rescue him, breaking her oath and setting the world of the Orisas (gods) in turmoil. Simi is then tasked with finding the obsidian rings to save Yemoja and the Mami Wata. Kola also has his own mission to rescue his young siblings. Together they embark on a journey, but can they reach the rings and the magical twins before the evil Esu reaches them?

I absolutely loved the first half of this book. The world building was well researched and intriguing and calls on West African mythology. As well as mermaids there are the yumboes (tiny fairies connected to the land), the abada, a magical African unicorn, the bultungan shape-shifters, and the Ninki Nanka River monster. There is also a gentle hint of romance. My attention faded somewhat in the second half as the action scenes became rather dramatic and drawn out. This book is important contribution with black representation in fantasy and fairytales, and a mythology based on African tradition and worldview. Be warned it has the kind of ending you can only get away with if there is a sequel to follow. 3.5 stars ( )
  mimbza | Apr 22, 2024 |
dnf @ 166

The Little Mermaid meets African deities and Trans-Atlantic slavery

This was a little ambitious with all its moving parts, but the premise wasn’t bad. Orisas (differentiated from orishas(?)) made the narrative a bit distracting for me.

Personally, I would’ve liked the book to focus either on the involvement of the orisas or Simi’s amnesia. Simi’s fractured memory of her previous life before being made into a mermaid was the most promising part to me.

Kola could’ve been a better companion. But his character was bland as was Simi.

Overall, this was too slow-moving for me, so it couldn't keep my interest. ( )
  DestDest | Nov 28, 2023 |
Slow start, What the ending of the book pushed me up to 4 stars ( )
  jdesjardins | Oct 9, 2023 |
Loved this book! It was quite a unique and different take on mermaids and I've always wondered about Mami Wata, so I loved getting to read this amazing story.
This is about Simi, who is a Mami Wata that collects the souls of those who die at sea and blesses their journey back home. One day while she's swimming about she goes to collect the soul of a boy who is thrown overboard and discovers that he's still alive. At the last minute, she saves the boy and has to make amends for breaking the rules in saving him.
As she and this boy, Kola set out on a journey to go to the Supreme Creator to make sure everything is fine, make amends and protect the other Mami Wata, they begin to be drawn to each other and have some sweet romance start to blossom between them. They meet and gather other members to accompany them along the way as they go to meet with the Supreme Creator that are great additions to the story with the fairy boy and Kola's friends/guards from his village. Along the way, they encounter various gods and legendary creatures and get to know one another. It all comes to a head when they get to their destination at the end and she has to communicate with the Supreme Creator to explain herself and make sure everything's okay and they face various dangers and there are inevitable losses as well. Simi, in the end, secures things to make things right with everything for everyone by making a bargain, and then it ends on an intense cliffhanger.
I can't wait to read this next installment of this story, which I'm hoping there is one because that ending was too much. Also, I would highly recommend this if you love learning and reading about West African Mythology, Mermaids, Fairies, and other such creatures. This also was a great story with the Mythology and history woven together about slavery and such, which this book reminds me of another take on the same or similar thing with the book, The Deep by Rivers Solomon.
If you haven't read this yet, go check it out! It's a fantastic read and I loved it. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Random House Children's for this awesome ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ( )
  Kiaya40 | Jun 19, 2023 |
The story and characters work, but the telling isn't compact or paced well to showcase the rich West African setting and lore to the best advantage. The choice to do a retelling of The Little Mermaid works well as an anchor for the mythic elements of the story, but has the unfortunate baggage of teenage longing between the mermaid and the young man she rescues. ( )
  quondame | Jun 6, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (1 mulig)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Natasha Bowenprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Badaki, YetideFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Manning, JeffOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Tardioli, SerenaTraduttoremedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Fantasy. Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  The must-read Black mermaid fantasy series that #1 NYT bestselling author Nicola Yoon calls epic and original, in which one mermaid takes on the gods themselves. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Beasts of Prey.

Riveting. NPR
Evocative. Entertainment Weekly
Remarkable. Buzzfeed

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
 
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wataa mermaidcollecting 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 unthinkableshe 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.

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