It’s time, once again, for another blog tour post. This time, it’s for one of my most anticipated reads of 2022! Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen is the thrilling sequel to Skin of the Sea, a book filled with stunning descriptions and Black mermaids. You can read my full review for that here. I was completely enraptured with the first book in this series, so you can imagine my excitement when I got to be on the tour for the sequel! Unfortunately, a pretty nasty head cold has slowed my reading to a near stop, but I still wanted to be able to shout about this book because what I’ve read so far has been incredible.
Fair warning: If you haven’t read Skin of the Sea, you might want to avoid reading further as there might be spoilers.
Before I get more into my stop, though, there are people I need to thank. First, all the wonderful people at TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me a spot! Second, to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC so that I could participate and (eventually) review the book! All opinions contained within this tour stop and my inevitable review are my own. One last but very important thing, make sure y’all check out the other incredible bloggers and bookstagrammers that will be participating in the Soul of the Deep tour! You can find the full schedule here.
Now, let’s dive in!
- Title: Soul of the Deep
- Author: Natasha Bowen
- Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: September 27th, 2022
- Genre: Fantasy
- Age group: Young Adult
- Content/Trigger Warnings: Depictions of violence, enslavement, and death
The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she loves. Now she is sworn to serve a new god, watching over the Land of the Dead at the bottom of the ocean.
But when signs of demons begin to appear, it’s clear there are deeper consequences of Simi’s trade. These demons spell the world’s ruin . . . and because of Simi, they now have a way into the human realm.
With the fate of the world at stake, Simi must break her promise and team up with a scheming trickster of a god. And if they succeed, perhaps Simi can also unbreak her heart along the way, and find herself again.
Natasha Bowen is a New York Times bestselling author, 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. 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.
I’m gonna say it right here and now: give me all the Black mermaid stories, please, especially if they are anything like Natasha Bowen’s books! After the ending of the first book in this series, Skin of the Sea, y’all know I was eager to get my hands on the sequel. And, so far, Soul of the Deep does not disappoint.
First of all, the writing is just as lush and descriptive as it was in the first book. Natasha Bowen has a way of weaving words that truly immerses you into her story. I feel like I’m swimming right alongside Simi on the bottom of the ocean! It helps ground you in the novel from page one and makes it feel like no time at all has passed since I picked up Skin of the Sea. I’m instantly back in this world that I grew to love and excited to return!
Second of all, much like the first book, this one tackles some traumatic topics. Simi is a Mami Watu, after all… a mermaid tasked with retrieving the souls of slaves stolen from Africa that were tossed overboard for a variety of reasons as they crossed the sea. When that’s the legend from which you’re working, the story is bound to contain some hard-hitting topics. That said, I love that Natasha Bowen doesn’t shy away from it. She feeds the words in her book with the raw emotions that one can only imagine those who were forced onto those slaves ships must have felt and it bleeds through the pages. You feel the anger, the helplessness, the sadness as you read about Simi and what she experiences at the bottom of the ocean. I love a fantasy novel that holds a mirror to the real world and our past.
Overall, I’m having a fantastic time with this sequel so far! The pacing is spot on; fast-paced enough to keep me on my toes but not so much that I feel confused. The characters are just as wonderful and nuanced as they were the last go around. And talk about an immersive read! I can’t wait for this brain fog to clear so I can properly sink into this story and get lost in this world!