Black Mermaids & Sea Creatures In Novels
Sistah Girls, by now you should have hit theatres to watch our good sis Halle Bailey in the remake of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid. If you haven’t, you still have time, I won’t hold it against you.
If you’re anything like me, once you love something you search everywhere to find more of it. And since I love a good book, I wondered how many books featured Black mermaids and sea creatures and all the things I loved when I watched The Little Mermaid.
I’ve compiled a short but exclusive list of books that have magical Black mermaids and sea creatures with dope storylines.
The Mermaid of Black Conch: A Novel by Monique Roffey
In 1976, David is fishing off the island of Black Conch when he comes upon a creature he doesn’t expect: a mermaid by the name of Aycayia. Once a beautiful young woman, she was cursed by jealous wives to live in this form for the rest of her days.
But after the mermaid is caught by American tourists, David rescues and hides her away in his home, finding that, once out of the water, she begins to transform back into a woman.
Now David must work to win Aycayia’s trust while she relearns what it is to be human, navigating not only her new body but also her relationship with others on the island—a difficult task after centuries of loneliness.
As David and Aycayia grow to love each other, they juggle both the joys and the dangers of life on shore. But a lingering question remains: Will the former mermaid be able to escape her curse? Taking on many points of view, this mythical adventure tells the story of one woman’s return to land, her healing and her survival.
A Song Below Water: A Novel by Bethany C. Morrow
In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.
Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.
But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.
Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.
An African American Mermaid Paranormal Series by LeeSha McCoy
For the waters to be perfect, an Odessa must connect to all life within them, and if the reigning Odessa loses her life, her sorcery is always passed to her first-born daughter.
Only, the daughter the waters know of, is not the first. Asia’s mother went missing eighteen years ago and since then, Asia has feared the one thing she always dreamt of working with. The ocean.
So instead, she’s been living life as a lab tech. She doesn’t exactly love her job, but it pays the bills and she has money to spend on nights out with her girls. However, her most recent night out ends up with her gaining markings on her skin and losing body parts…
Prince Zale is son to Emperor Ecthelion and Empress Océane. They rule Ocêllus, also known as the Royal Waters. News quickly arrives of O’Marilla’s murder and the waters become a state of panic. Read the full synopsis HERE.
Skin of the Sea Series by Natasha Bowen
A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail . . .
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, & Jonathan Snipes
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott
When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother–a fierce warrior–is coming to claim them all.
2043…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be) (Black Stars) by Nisi Shawl
African-descended USians are finally obtaining reparations—underwater. Plunge into the action of a visionary future by the award-winning author of Everfair, with narration by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Five miles off the South Carolina coast, Darden and Catherina are getting their promised forty acres, all of it undersea. Like every Black “mer,” they’ve been experimentally modified to adapt to their new subaquatic home—and have met with extreme resistance from white supremacists. Darden has an inspired plan for resolution. For both those on land and the webbed bottom-dwellers below, Darden is hoping to change the wave of the future.
Siren Series by Jessica Cage
Snatched off the street and drugged, Syrinada wakes strapped to a bed with a predator in the next room. At that moment, a side of herself she never knew existed emerges. While relieved to be free, she finds herself plagued by questions she can’t answer.
When Malachi—a longtime friend—witnesses her tapping into this unknown power, he steps in to help. Soon she realizes he knows far more about her heritage than he lets on.
After diving into secrets of the past, mounting truths of fin and scales challenge everything Syrinada thought she knew. Despite Malachi’s warning to stay hidden, the call of her newfound heritage is a strong one.
Can Syrinada deny her swelling urges? Or will the ravenous darkness closing in consume her?
The Dark Mermaid (Cursed Water Book 1) by Christine L. Barr
“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”
On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.
Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.
With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.
Sistah Girls, if you plan to read or you’ve already read any of these books, let me know in the comments…