Book Tour: Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen | Review

Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen. I’ve been having a lot of luck this year with great diverse retellings, so I had this high on my anticipated list for this year! Another gorgeous cover that makes me want to own it for my shelves! To find out other’s thoughts, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.

Thank you to Natasha Bowen and Random House Books for Young Readers for providing me with an ARC for this review.

Meet Author

Lorem ipsumNatasha 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 Skin of the Sea 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.

About The Book

Title: Skin of the Sea
Author: Natasha Bowen
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: November 2nd, 2021
Page Length: 336
Genre: Fantasy | Retelling
Age Range: YA
Rating: 4.5⭐
Rep: Black (West Africa)

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. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

My Thoughts

I just finished this and my mind is reeling from it. This is all that I had hoped and wished for, minus a couple details. I found Natasha’s writing to be a perfect fit for the West African retelling. I felt every bit a myth/fairytale as The Little Mermaid, but with the details of the West African myth of Mami Wata. I found Natasha did a great job at taking myths and gods from West African culture and introducing them. Natasha wove in so many different myths and legends from West Africa that I found myself searching each one to understand more about these.

The story I found went at a nice pace, especially with the fairytale feel it sometimes had. There were the odd moments where I felt a little lost, but overall the story was great. I found a few characters I had less attachment to, but our mains, Simi and Kola had me from the start. I wanted to know more about Kala’s friend though. This is Where I think this would have benefitted from a duology. We could have gotten more of the gods/goddesses and more about Kola’s village and friendship. But of course this is more for selfish reasons.

This does deal with slavery and I am not the reviewer to read opinions of that. I believe it was well written and I know from the authors notes that this time period was well researched. That being said, I highly recommend you reading from black diverse reviewers: Cocoa With Books, Reading Stewardess, and Bri’s Book Nook

I haven’t read many Little Mermaid retellings and those that I have hated ended up only being fine. This one, however, went above what I could have hoped. This shows that we really do need to diversify our retellings even more! If this wasn’t on your list, put it there! I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys fairytales and mythical retellings that hold true to the originals while making their own path.

Tour Schedule

Blog Schedule

November 1st
The Bookish Coven – Interview
Books-N-Bullsh!t – Top 5 Reasons to Read Skin of the Sea, Playlist & Mood Board
The Litt Librarian – Review
One More Chapter – Review
Blonde and Bookish – Review & Tik Tok

November 2nd
Talk of Tales – Interview
Mocha Girls Read – Promotional Post
Kait Plus Books – Journal Spread & Promotional Post
Jenerally Reading – Review, Playlist & Favorite Quotes
Betwixt The Sheets – Review

November 3d
Stuck in Fiction – Promotional Post
The Fictional Journal – Review & Journal Spread
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review
Read With Serena – Review

November 4th
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Book Tag
Bri’s Book Nook – Review
And On She Reads – Review
Kerri McBookNerd – Review & Favorite Quotes

November 5th
Brinns Books – Review & Favorite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review & Favorite Quotes
Stuck in the Stacks – Review
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post

November 6th
Love, Paola – Favorite Quotes & Mood Board
dinipandareads – Review & Journal Spread
Cocoa With Books – Review & Favorite Quotes
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review

November 7th
Reading Stewardess – Review
Heylittlesiren – Review
Book Lover’s Book Reviews – Review
Nine Bookish Lives – Promotional Post

Instagram Schedule

November 1st
reading_with_chloe – Review
thelittlibrarian – Blogger’s Choice
_leahreads – Blogger’s Choice
blondeandbookish – Blogger’s Choice

November 2nd
pcreads – Top 5 Reasons to Read Skin of the Sea & Favorite Quotes
jenerallyreading – Blogger’s Choice
theink.slinger – Blogger’s Choice

November 3d
tbrandbeyond – Promotional Post
feliciareads11 – Blogger’s Choice
popthebutterfly – Blogger’s Choice
sanvi.bhaisare – Blogger’s Choice

November 4th
dhirviepages – Review & Favorite Quotes
whisperingprose – Review
the_bookish_coven – Blogger’s Choice
kerri_mcbooknerd – Blogger’s Choice

November 5th
thisreadergirl – Review
brinnsbooks – Blogger’s Choice – Blogger’s Choice
thebookdutchesses – Blogger’s Choice

November 6th
808bookdr – Top 5 Reasons to Read Skin of the Sea & Favorite Quotes
cocoawithbooks – Blogger’s Choice
gwendalyn_books_ – Blogger’s Choice

November 7th
timeswithbooks – Top 5 Reasons to Read Skin of the Sea
heylittlesiren – Blogger’s Choice
bookloversbookreviews – Blogger’s Choice
ninebookishlives – Blogger’s Choice

One thought on “Book Tour: Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen | Review

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