Soul of the Deep (Skin of the Sea #2) by Natasha Bowen #bookreview #YA #fantasy

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.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

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.

After I finished the first book in this series, I wasn’t sure if another one was coming, and I hoped to learn what happened with these characters. Seeing this second book on NetGalley, I knew the author wouldn’t leave the readers hanging. We’d get the rest of the story.

My favorite things from this book remain the same as the first – incredible world-building, West African mythology and culture, the sisterhood of the Mami Wata (mermaids), and some of the characters. This story picks up several months after the first book. Simi is living with the hard choices she made to save the lives of others, but blame and guilt rest heavily on her shoulders. She’s not happy in her new home, but she takes her responsibilities seriously and is determined to follow through on the bargain she struck with Olokun. After learning of a betrayal, her circumstances change rather quickly, and Simi finds herself teaming up with old friends and fighting fierce opponents.

While I enjoyed this story, I was a little surprised that consequences of the first book were wrapped up/changed within the first fifty or so pages, and this sequel seemed like almost a different series. Honestly, it can be read as a standalone since the author provides backstory.

The ending leaves open the possibility for a sequel, but I could also see the author wrapping up things here and letting the reader predict what happens in the future. If you’re fascinated by creative world-building and enjoy learning about other cultures and mythology, this is a series to add to your TBR.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

19 thoughts on “Soul of the Deep (Skin of the Sea #2) by Natasha Bowen #bookreview #YA #fantasy

    1. Thanks, Diana! The ending of the first book came with some heavy consequences, but then all of that was smoothed over in the first few chapters of the second book. Maybe the author didn’t intend to have a sequel initially? Still, it’s a wonderful duology with lush world-building.

      Liked by 1 person

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