“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.”

The Oyster Thief sees Faruqi flex her creative muscles to make an environmental statement in a different way, giving every reader a truly emotional and thought-provoking experience about what we’re doing to the oceans and their inhabitants.”
Vacation Idea

“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.”
Library Journal

The Oyster Thief is a fascinating novel that blends mermaid lore with social commentary on how we treat the environment.”
Syfy Wire

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.
Broadway World

“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.”
Publishers Weekly

The Oyster Thief is a richly realized underwater tale….[about] the importance of honoring your own radiance. It truly shines.”
Toronto Star 

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.”
The Ecologist

“Faruqi weaves science and environmental conservation facts into a fascinating tale of love, drama, and intrigue. It’s a fable for modern times.”
Desi News



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 

“As soon as I realized that this story involves mermaids I was very excited. I absolutely love stories that take place in the ocean and growing up, The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie! I really enjoyed this novel and found myself “a part of their world.”
Girly Book Club

“There is a distinctly Potterish vibe to The Oyster Thief…. I absolutely adore the characters. It’s a pity I finished the book because I would love to spend more time under the sea with Izar and Coralline.”
A Bookish Type 

“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.”
Literary Treats

“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.”
Nerd Daily

“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.”
Biblio Files

“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.”
Biblio Virgo

“The book had rich world building and beautiful language throughout.”
Thrifty Bibliophile

“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

Author Interviews

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 did further interviews with The Qwillery and Krimsuun Pages, in which I touched upon the story, setting, and characters of The Oyster Thief.

Guest Posts

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 also wrote a guest post for UK blogs Between the Lines and Chick Lit Club a diary entry of Coralline!

I discussed mermaids in human culture and imagination on the Adventures in YA Fiction blog.


I chatted on Sourcing Matters about environmental fictionfiction 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.”

Reader Reviews

The Oyster Thief is garnering plenty of praise among readers. I have copied one of my favorite reader reviews below. Visit The Oyster Thief on Goodreads and Amazon for the latest in reader reviews.

“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.”
—Michelle Roberts

Social Media

The Oyster Thief is viral on social media! I am sharing here some of the most beautiful and creative photos posted of the book. Visit me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for live updates.

Image courtesy of Melissa @thereaderandthechef
Image courtesy of Janelle @shereadswithcats
Image courtesy of Anna @thecityofdarkclockwork
Image courtesy of Chelsea @ the_bookish_runner
Image courtesy of Ali @the_bandar_blog
Image courtesy of Nicole @fearyourex
Image courtesy of Stacey @prose_and_palate
Image courtesy of Angel
Image courtesy of Tina @tbretc.png
Image courtesy of Kaya @lunaukaya
Image courtesy of Irene @my_magicalbookish.corner
Image courtesy of Alissa @morrigans_books
Image courtesy of Corinne @lavieestbooks
Image courtesy of Nur @cg_nurbayah
Image courtesy of Asma (@oasisgirlmd)
Image courtesy of Jacky (@betterwithabookinmyhand)
Image courtesy of Christine (@xenatine)
Image courtesy of Jen @bookbookowl
Image courtesy of Anna @thecityofdarkclockwork
Image courtesy of Elizabeth @bookishconnoisseur
Image courtesy of Lisa @remarkablylisa
Image courtesy of Tiffany @bookishly_tiff
Image courtesy of Lindsey @readingbetweethe_wines
Image courtesy of Jacky @betterwithabookinmyhand
Image courtesy of Kylie @frenchiefiction
Image courtesy of Heather @krimsuunpages
Image courtesy of Sara @novel.novice
Image courtesy of Nicole @fearyourex