Firstly, let me get this off my chest.  The New novel by Sonia Faruqi is the Avatar of the Oceans!  The highly anticipated novel   is more than just a “captivating blend between fantasy and environmental activism”.  No it is a thriller like Grisham and as detailed in learning about each person and the scene like Tom Clancy.  This is literally the first novel to feature an underwater civilization alongside themes of ocean conservation.

So the Clancy part to the setting in the book is depicted based on true ocean science.

Sonia Faruqi_The Oyster Thief

Quick plot is Like in Avatar, Two worlds collide when a mermaid and human man meet. This plunges audiences into a vast underwater realm brimming with adventure and intrigue.

The Oyster Thief obtained a glowing review in Forbes: “Faruqi possesses a unique ability. One to create a fantastical underwater world. So cool. I mean one while tying in explicit scientific fact. Again like a Tom Clancy type book.

For The Oyster Thief is really such an entertaining and informative mix. One  of ocean science and literary piece I always enjoyed growing up.


Coralline is a mermaid who is engaged to the merman of her dreams. But when an oil spill wreaks havoc on her idyllic village life, her little brother falls gravely ill. Desperate to save him, she embarks on a quest to find a legendary elixir made of starlight.

Izar, a human man, is on the cusp of an invention that will enable him to mine gold and diamonds from the depths of the ocean. His discovery will soon make him the richest man on earth—while threatening merpeople with extinction. But then, suddenly, Izar finds himself transformed into a merman and caught in a web of betrayal and intrigue. Meeting Coralline in the ocean, he decides to join her on her quest for the elixir, hoping it will turn him human again.

The quest pushes Coralline and Izar together, even though their worlds are at odds. Their pasts threaten to tear them apart, while a growing attraction adds to the danger. Ultimately, each of them faces an impossible choice. Should Coralline leave her fiancé for a man who might betray her? And Izar has a dark secret of his own—one that could cause him to lose Coralline forever.

Sonia Faruqi_Author

As well,  The Oyster Thief has drawn critical praise from Dr. Sylvia Earle (the world’s foremost ocean scientist) and Jodi Picoult (bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper). It has also obtained glowing reviews in Publishers Weekly and Canada’s premier publication The Globe and Mail. Sonia snorkeled, scuba-dived, and swam with sharks to research The Oyster Thief. All the animals and algae you’ll see mentioned in the novel are true-to-life. Even the names of all the characters are scientifically grounded, drawn from the sea and the stars.  

When I asked Sonia how she wrote such a wonderful book, she wrote back:

I was never passionate about the ocean. Like most people, I knew little about it. Even on those rare occasions when I went to the beach, I hardly ever took the time to listen to the lapping of the waves or to inhale the salty scent of the froth. In my life, the ocean was always background, never foreground, little more interesting than the dirt under the feet.

That is, until I fell into the ocean.

Not literally, but as a writer. On January 1st, 2015, it was a freezing morning in Toronto, Canada, where I live. I looked out my apartment window at the snow draping the buildings and roads like a fluffy white ghost. It was so still, so flat, so cold, and I had a sudden, irrepressible desire to escape it. My mind drew up an image of turquoise tropical waters, of hot sands between my toes, of palm trees with long, finger-like leaves swaying in the breeze. But my face fell even as the image anchored itself firmly in my mind. The fact was, I could not afford to book a last-minute flight.

No matter, I decided. I could not escape externally, so I would escape internally (as writers often do). I made a cup of tea, sat down on the couch, and started inventing an underwater world all my own.

Over the next while, the more I immersed myself imaginatively under the waves, the more real and beautiful it all felt. I understood for the first time what Jacques Cousteau, oceanographer and explorer, meant when he said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

As well, Sonia created “What if You Were a Merperson?” “I wrote the script and the production was done by “What if.” In less than 24 hours, the video has amassed more than 600,000 views. It indicates the high level of interest in merpeople and also that it is possible to make a beautiful live action underwater video. ”


Source: Sonia direct interview and the first chapter here., Sonia is published by Pegasus Books in the U.S. and is with Penguin Random House in Canada