“Sonia Faruqi had me at the word ‘mermaid.’ The Oyster Thief creates a lush, imaginary underwater world that somehow manages to reinforce the reality of the need for environmental awareness—it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read.”
—Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper
“The Oyster Thief deftly weaves a mermaid’s tale while bringing real and urgent ocean conservation issues to the reader’s attention.”
—Dr. Sylvia Earle, award-winning ocean scientist and National Geographic explorer-in-residence
“Sonia Faruqi has created an imaginative, fast-paced adventure with a strong theme of ocean conservation.”
—Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows
“The Oyster Thief is a wildly imaginative journey on land and in the ocean that will have you anxiously turning pages late into the night to discover the fate of Coralline and Izar—and the underwater world itself. Beautifully written and emotionally complex.”
—Julie McElwain, author of A Murder in Time
A Globe and Mail “Best Book of The Year”!
“A stand-out in the current crop of books about merfolk is The Oyster Thief, the fiction debut of Sonia Faruqi. In its own way, The Oyster Thief is an activist tale too…. The charm of this beguiling novel is in all the details of the underwater world that Faruqi has dreamed up.”
—The Globe and Mail
“The world’s first ocean conservation novel. Faruqi possesses a unique ability to create a fantastical underwater world while tying in explicit scientific facts…. The Oyster Thief is an entertaining and informative mix of ocean science and literary fiction.”
“In The Oyster Thief, Faruqi creates a full-fledged, highly believable merworld using beautiful imagery and demonstrating a deep understanding of ocean conservation and marine life.”
“The Oyster Thief is a fascinating novel that blends mermaid lore with social commentary on how we treat the environment.”
“The Oyster Thief opens a portal to a world of merpeople for readers to have an exhilarating deep-sea experience, while underlining the significance of ocean conservation as a real-world issue. The book is becoming a favorite among readers.”
“Faruqi creates an ecologically informed and whimsically imagined underwater culture as the setting for her magical mermaid-human love story. Adult fans of movies such as The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo will find The Oyster Thief delightful.”
“The Oyster Thief is a richly realized underwater tale….[about] the importance of honoring your own radiance. It truly shines.”
I wrote an article about ocean science and conservation in The Ecologist, a world-leading environmental affairs platform based in the UK. Here’s a sentence from it: “Over the course of writing The Oyster Thief, I started to think of the ocean as not just a giant ecosystem, but a giant organism.”
“Faruqi weaves science and environmental conservation facts into a fascinating tale of love, drama, and intrigue. It’s a fable for modern times.”
“The Oyster Thief is an amazing debut novel. With gorgeous prose and extraordinarily real characters, this is a book you will easily fall in love with. From the very first page, I was hooked.”
—Looking Glass Reads
“There was something timeless about this book. It is definitely one that I will remember.”
—The Pages in Between
“The Oyster Thief is a captivating blend of fantasy and environmental activism—and it is more than that. It is the first novel to feature an underwater civilization alongside themes of ocean conservation.”
—Green Living Guy
“Like the ocean is deep, The Oyster Thief has layers that ask you important questions about sacrifice.”
—Utopia State of Mind
“I absolutely adored The Oyster Thief! I cannot recommend it enough… I couldn’t put it down. Faruqi is a gifted storyteller, and I was captivated by the story and by the world she’s created. It was a rich and imaginative fantasy adventure.”
“I found the novel truly enchanting throughout.”
—Pop Culture Bandit
“The Oyster Thief was a beautiful story. Sonia Faruqi built up an incredible world through poignant and fluid writing.”
“This book is dreamy, refreshing, and heartening.”
—Read with Sam
“There isn’t often a book that both successfully educates as well as entertains, but The Oyster Thief manages to do both deftly. It a marvelous escape that features beautiful storytelling, engaging readers in a world unlike any other.”
—Don’t Forget Your Boots
“The Oyster Thief is a great adventure story with memorable characters.”
—Kristin Kraves Books
“The Oyster Thief creates a world like no other.”
“This book is a beautifully written story of an underwater adventure.”
—Books on the Bookshelf
“Faruqi’s writing really shines through the description of her setting.”
“The book had rich world building and beautiful language throughout.”
“Faruqi’s beautifully written story is a charming invitation into marine biodiversity.”
—Lori’s Book Loft
“The Oyster Thief is one part fantastical tale, one part call for environmental awareness.”
—Carly Craves Books
“This is a wonderful read for those who like fantasy and adventure books.”
—Level Headed Book Obsessive
I did an author interview with Book Time. Here is a fun fact from the interview: “Half of the Earth’s surface is the deep sea, which commences at about 5,000 below the surface (or one mile). Much of the deep sea is a greater mystery to mankind than the moon.”
I did an enjoyable author interview with Flavia the Bibliophile, in which I answered questions from the perspective of Coralline, the protagonist in The Oyster Thief.
I elaborated on my writing process in the UK blog We Heart Writing. Here is a sentence from the piece: “In addition to relying on my firsthand experiences, I read books and hundreds of articles relating to the ocean.”
I discussed mermaids in human culture and imagination on the Adventures in YA Fiction blog.
I chatted on Sourcing Matters about environmental fiction—fiction that features environmental themes.
I talked to Brian on Don’t Forget Your Boots about Project Animal Farm, The Oyster Thief, and sustainability.
I had a chat about The Oyster Thief with Golden State Media Concepts Book Review podcast, based in California. Sarah Meckler, the book reviewer, states in her description of the book: “Faruqi has created a beautiful, intricate and extremely well thought-out underwater world…. In addition, there is a strong theme of ocean conservation which flows seamlessly throughout the story.”
I spoke about nature writer Rachel Carson and the ocean on the Book Riot podcast.
I chatted with Jamie on Get Lit about The Oyster Thief and the writing process.
Have you ever wondered how mermaids live? What they eat, where they sleep, what they use for currency? These questions, and more, are answered in a new four-minute video titled, “What if You Were a Merperson?” The video has amassed ~1 million views. I wrote the script and the production was done by the talented team at What If. You can plunge into the vast world of merpeople by watching the video here!
You can watch the following vloggers discussing The Oyster Thief:
Roya Eve, who says, “It really makes you feel as if you’re in a whole new world, one that is magical yet also a celebration of our natural oceans.”
William Keeble (otherwise known as Bald Book Geek), who says, “I’ve never read a fantasy book like this and it’s genuinely quite surprising.”
Iasmina, who says she enjoyed the “writing and world-building.”
“This book is a gem. I cannot praise this book enough. How would I categorize it? A love story. An environmental tale. A mystery. A suspense novel. A book about friendship. A story of finding your true purpose in life. Any of these would accurately describe The Oyster Thief, but none of them do the book justice. The author, Sonia Faruqi, has not only written a captivating story about environmental threats to the ocean (an important and timely topic), but also created an underwater world that feels as real and believable as our above-water world. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN.”