Review #321

The cover is breath-taking. But I’m giving this mermaid-esque fantasy novel a 2.9/5 stars. I read the first novel in this series many months ago but I’m immediately overwhelmed by too many names being dropped by page 2. To be reintroduced to all of these all at once is a bit too much too fast: Yemoja, Folasade, Mami Wata, Olokun, Kola, Olodumare, & Orisa to list a few…

Here’s some of my thoughts live while reading:

The vibe of being imprisoned (voluntarily?) is depicted well through the details of the setting under the sea and her internal thoughts about her role to ferry the dead. This book starts with a funeral of sorts. I watched Black Panther 2 last night which began with a funeral and also attended a shocking and devastating funeral today personally. It’s been a month full of contemplating death, our purpose, prioritizes, the afterlife, the legacy we leave, our relationship ships with loved ones, grief etc.

Wait. Who are Iku, Arun, Ofo, Egba, Oran, Epe, Ewon, and Ese? It’s all too much. What is the ajogun?

Is Folasade a friend? How did she find our main character? And since the heroine seems to have many names I’m unsure what to call her.

If he is the trickster then why is she believing his story so quickly?

I have no concept of what these characters look like. Do they look human? Or monsters? Or sea sirens? Or something else?

In the beginning it seemed like she was trapped with Olokun but twice now she has left him behind so was then only thing keeping her there for 6 months was her word and their agreement? 

Chapter 7 had a lot of exciting action which I love but I wish there were a few less characters interacting because it was difficult to track all of them and their movements in a large fight like that. 

The short chapters are all doing a really good job of ending on tiny cliffhangers so you keep wanting to turn the page. 

I’m surprised that even though the narrative is written in first person-present tense I feel disconnected from the heroine as if I’m hovering and watching her instead of being her myself and living her experience. This is rare for me when it’s written in first person so I’m unsure why. (Maybe because of all the unfamiliar cultural vocabulary…?)

Okay. We’ve got all 3 of these and I have no idea what they mean since they’re not explained well. 




Who is the Tapa? 

What is the Nupe kingdom? 

I feel like I have no idea what’s going on and need more info, yet when the story is reviewing the backstory the author keeps repeating the same stuff I’ve already known. Instead of explaining the confusing stuff. 

No. No. There’s more 

What’s the ajogun? 

Who is Idera?

What’s an Oba? 

Who is Ninki Nanka? 

What is a sasobonsam 

Idk if I can keep going. Nothing is sprinkled on it’s just dumped and I’m so lost.

Finally we have a time crunch. Two days I think until basically the end of their world? Yeah that raises the stakes. So at page 100 we get a clear goal, to kill Mokel-mbembe and take its soul. This will somehow give them power to stop the bad guys from destroying everything. 

I can’t easily tell the difference between the premonition and flashbacks since they’re shown in the same way. I’m unsure which has happened and which may happen. 

So chapter 13… who is Yinka? I don’t know why I should care. I’m quickly losing interest and am not invested. What is a bultungin? Things are not explained well and the story doesn’t feel connected. 

I’m so frustrated because I simply skimmed the second half and looked up reviews about this book. This has been very common for the last few books I’ve tried and I’m in a total book slump. Help please

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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