Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Oyster Thief” as Want to Read:
The Oyster Thief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Oyster Thief

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  149 reviews
“It took her a journey across the ocean to learn what she knew of love and fear and hate, but the essence of it came to her in an instant, as she succumbed to the churning black depths of the deep sea.”

Coralline is a shy mermaid in the Atlantic Ocean whose idyllic life is ruined by an oil spill that gravely sickens her little brother. Desperate to save him, she embarks on
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Pegasus Books (first published October 2nd 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Oyster Thief, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Candace Names of the underwater settlements in the book relate to algae; Hog's Bristle,Purple Claw,Rainbow Wrack and Velvet Horn. Blue Bottle is a
jelly fish.…more
Names of the underwater settlements in the book relate to algae; Hog's Bristle,Purple Claw,Rainbow Wrack and Velvet Horn. Blue Bottle is a
jelly fish.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  383 ratings  ·  149 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Oyster Thief
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Galley provided by publisher

CWs: sexual assault

I had - if not high, then at least some - hopes for this book. The synopsis sounded intriguing, and I thought there was some good potential for enemies to lovers. A bit like To Kill a Kingdom, maybe. And the cover was lovely, so there was that too.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out - to say the least.

To start off with, the writing was fairly poor. I know that's something completely subjective and everything, but on the first page, there was mention o
Sonia Schnee
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Oyster Thief is so beautifully written! I love how seamlessly the action intertwines with gorgeous descriptions, such as, "with emerald vines that met and separated over a glistening bronze fabric that precisely matched the bronze scales of Coralline’s tail.” The narrative flows easily and effortlessly, I felt like I was riding a wave, going wherever the story took me. Also, I loved the names of characters — Coralline, Izar, Ecklon — and places — The Irregular Remedy, Urchin Interrogations. ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a story! I was enthralled with it from the very beginning, from the first scene in which Coralline must decide whether she will accept the proposal of her suitor, Ecklon.

I loved the love triangle element of the story - I find Ecklon to be a more sympathetic and relatable character than Izar, but Izar is more intriguing. It was tough for me to decide who I was vouching for as I was reading.

Another element that I really liked and that made the oceanic setting feel real was the merpeople lang
Jamie Brackell
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full Review appears at Pop Culture Bandit

Set deep within the Atlantic Ocean and focusing on the complicated relationship between a mermaid and a human, The Oyster Thief naturally invites comparison to The Little Mermaid. Tonally, the novel fits between Han Christian Andersen's dark original incarnation of the fairy tale and Walt Disney's animated musical as our hero character sets off on a quest to rescue her brother from slow, agonising death at the hands of pollution. Much like the Disney clas
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book when I read a great review of it in The Globe and Mail, which described the book as one of the most anticipated fall reads. The review said: “Mermaids were a thing in the beauty world recently and it seems that these creatures of myth have swum over to the literary landscape as well. A stand-out in the current crop of books about merfolk is The Oyster Thief, the fiction debut of Sonia Faruqi……..The charm of this beguiling novel is in all the DETAILS of the underwater worl ...more
Salman Hasan
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Think the length is just perfect and the contrasting characters really makes the story engaging. The best part is the focus on underwater life and really the creation of a whole new world that is hard to imagine and even harder to describe in the depth the author has done. Highly recommend.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As an avid fantasy lover and reader really enjoyed this book, imagery/details are phenomenal and writing is top notch.
Cynthia Saxena
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored the Oyster Thief! I have always been a fan of mermaids and underwater stories however except for Disney’s Ariel, there is not much content available. In that sense, The Oyster Thief has really filled that void!

Faruqi built her underwater world with so much attention to detail that I felt like I was in the ocean with all the characters. She’s tackled on this unexplored area of fiction with such strong imagery that you actually end up learning so much about the ocean while reading. Her c
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Oyster Thief was a captivating fantasy with real world themes. The language and character development were superb and kept me reading for hours. The undersea events seemed to inhabit my mind long after I was finished reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy with an excellent plot and thoroughly engaging characters.
Cara Ashton
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is ... WOW!! I am a scuba diver who has been to many places around the world, and in the course of reading The Oyster Thief, I felt like I was back underwater. Faruqi has skillfully created a world that matches what I have seen in the course of my tropical dives… colorful corals, lots of animals, different currents. The main difference being that Faruqi’s world has people in it. Merpeople, to be precise.

I don’t want to give any spoilers (unlike the reviewers before me) so I’ll jus
Aug 01, 2018 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition
This could either be really good or really bad but I'm intrigued either way 👀 ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Oyster Thief. Throughout the time that I was reading it, I felt like I was underwater in a beautiful world full of colors and light. I loved the development of the world of merpeople—the nuances of their language, the way they live, their values. The author put a lot of time into developing a civilization that feels very believable, from the way that merpeople live and dress to their use of currency.

I loved the characters in the book, especially Coralline, one of the two lead charac
Irshad Ahmed
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My sister received a copy of this book since she is a blogger. I like the blue and gold cover (reminded me of The Nightingale) and borrowed it.
I am not a fan of fantasy so I wasn’t expecting to get into this book, but after the two chapters, I wanted to continue. I liked Izar’s character and his struggles with his father and brother. I also identified with his drive to succeed at all costs. It is a version of the rat race so many of us are stuck in.
The book surprised me many times with both th
J.B. Stone
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got a galley of The Oyster Thief in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book utterly enchanting. It was such a fast-paced story with lots of unpredictable turns (nothing about it was formulaic). It made me remember how much I enjoyed reading The Harry Potter books. It's been quite a while since I've found a story that pulls me in nearly from the start and keeps me hooked until the end. For the sheer enjoyment factor alone, I definitely find this a "5 star" story.

I especially loved how
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I tend to read books for the characters; when I like certain characters, I will follow them to the ends of the earth. And that's how I felt about the characters in The Oyster Thief, Coralline and Izar. They were so likable and real that I kept imagining them as friends in my life. I felt as though I was swimming alongside Coralline and, at other times, was standing next to Izar on an Ocean Dominion ship.

All in all, the book is full of lovely people and places. It takes readers through various m
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Faruqi paints a beautiful and relatable world under water. Her in-depth description of the merpeople and the under water world, makes it ever so real! This book had me deeply engrossed right from the beginning. The plot builds at the perfect pace, giving the readers enough time to get acclimatized to the world she is creating as well as to start falling in love with the characters. The back in forth in perspective between Caroline and Izaar, kept the book moving along smoothly and kept me waitin ...more
Dawn Muller
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's something irresistible about a love triangle. Let's face it, Bridget Jones, Twilight, Great Gatsby... none of them would have been the same without the love triangle. It's usually one woman who is choosing between two suitors, and it's no different in this book. But it is unusual in a love triangle to like both contenders equally. That's how I felt here. Ecklon with his thoughtfulness and loyalty is just as appealing as Izar with his rough charm and ruthless ambition. Makes for a great r ...more
Erik Dewitt
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved a good travel adventure story and this is one of the best since the underwater setting is so different from other books. Following Coralline and Izar's journey through various parts of the ocean settlements was a real thrill. There's also a lot of animal characters in this book, which is great. Faruqi has exercised her imagination in giving each a unique voice and personality. I can see why Dr. Sylvia Earle, the world's top ocean luminary, endorsed this book. It's one of a kind ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Oyster Thief is imaginative, engaging, and suspenseful. Life and intrigue in the underwater world were perfectly developed. I immediately became invested in the characters’ thoughts and actions and their relationships to one another. Sonia Faruqi created an alternate world where the reader becomes fully immersed in the plot. I cared so much about the characters that I am truly hoping for a sequel.
Check out this review and others on my blog:

The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi is a whimsical story of mermaids, love, and cruelty. When Izar, a man who loathes mermaids, turns into a merman himself, he finds love and understanding in Coralline, a mermaid who’s on a quest to save her brother.

I thought this book was just okay. On one hand, the story concept was really neat and intriguing. On the other hand, parts of the book meandered, and the pace was on the slower s
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m always up for a mermaid story and this was a good one! 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. The writing was beautiful and helped me to feel immersed in this place. Loved the characters and was happy with how everything panned out. The only reason that I gave it 4 rather than 5 stars is that it felt a bit slow to me - “quest” type stories are just not my favourite.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone who loves the ocean and has spent a lot of time under the waves,. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. This environmental non-function does a great job of marrying a story full of twists and turns with a setting that we don’t think much about on a day to day basis: the ocean.

The Oyster Thief is also very relevant to the present-day world in its themes. In the book, Izar invents a way to mine diamonds from the ocean; in reality, this has also started just last year. The story also
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author has masterfully constructed an immersive fantasy world, making it easy to get lost in the deep ocean setting. I am a big fan of the fantasy genre and I loved the book’s exploration of environmental themes alongside captivating storytelling. The focus on a mermaid-human relationship between Corraline and Izar is quite unique as well - a new kind of mythology for the adult fantasy and environmental fiction genres. The Oyster Thief is a great escape into a fictional world on a rainy day ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Coralline is a budding apothecary and she’s also a mermaid. Izar is a brilliant inventor and heir to a powerful corporation that wants to mine the ocean of all its resources. A devastating accident connects them and they embark on a quest to find a mysterious elixir that can lead to redemption or death.

Great mermaid world-building and science-building.

Thanks to the publisher for access to the review copy.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
My review is on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

This book was a beautifully written story of an under water adventure. I found it to be like a modern day tale of The Little Mermaid. Faruqi takes you on a beautiful journey in the sea as a young mermaid takes on the journey of finding an elixir in the hopes of saving her brother who has become ill.

Along the way we are introduced to many likable characters and I loved learning about them all and their different ways of life un
Lara Marshall
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with mermaid fiction and will read anything I can get my hands on to do with mermaids, so this was right up my street!
The cover is beautiful and I was very excited by the premise of a mermaid on a mission that doesn't start with her wanting or ending up being human.
Once I delved into the book the major stand-out factor was the world building. Wow! Faruqi has created a world that is tangible and beautiful. I've always thought that this must be the hardest part of creating society in
Debra Teachout
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It offered highly relatable characters and mission, yet beautiful and imaginative fantasy at the same time. The story itself kept me reading and wanting to know more; meanwhile, I loved the process of being guided through an amazingly enchanting ocean underworld. The author’s attention to detail had my own imagination pushing boundaries – previously the flora and fauna of my mind’s ocean were those featured in nature programs – now I saw into the lives, homes, and rich kaleido ...more
Alexis (hookedtobooks)
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019
Thank you to @pegasus_books for sending me a copy of the Oyster Thief for review!
This was a fun book to read! I love mermaids, as Ariel is definitely my favourite mermaid, so I was really excited by the premise of this book.
There are two main characters that we get to follow: Corraline and Izar. Corraline is a young mermaid who seems to have it all. She has the perfect job working in an apothecary in town, and is about to marry the man of her dreams, but then an oil spill threatens her communit
Tapas Easwar
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone who is an avid fan of the fantasy genre, I thoroughly enjoyed how well-written and paced The Oyster Thief was. The world-building that Sonia was able to achieve was incredible - think Harry Potter meets Game of Thrones meets The Little Mermaid. While that might sound strange at first, it absolutely works.

The characters are rich, complex, and multi-faceted, and the story focuses on the unique and complicated nature of human-mermaid relationships. It truly is a novel that all types of
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot about the ocean through this book. For example, that sharks don't sleep (they are always partly conscious and awake). I learned that the ocean is divided into three zones bases on depth (sunlight, twilight, and midnight). It was quite fascinating to learn that there are three kinds of algae: red, green and yellow. I double checked a lot of the facts that I came across in the book and they are all very well-researched. I am now intrigued enough to want to learn more about the ocea ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cold Millions
  • Saving Zoë
  • We Hear the Dead
  • White Stag (Permafrost, #1)
  • The Margot Affair
  • The Canyon's Edge
  • Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon
  • The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, #1)
  • Beyond Fear
  • Stage Fright (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, #4)
  • The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
  • The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog, #1)
  • A Murdered Peace (Kate Clifford #3)
  • The Separation
  • The Grazier's Wife
  • Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet.
  • The Last Convict
  • Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day
See similar books…
Hello! I am the author of THE OYSTER THIEF, an underwater fantasy novel with themes of ocean conservation. The book features a bright, beautiful world of merpeople. I am also the author of critically acclaimed PROJECT ANIMAL FARM, a work of global investigative journalism about the world's food system. I live in Toronto and maintain a website and monthly newsletter at ...more

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
98 likes · 15 comments