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

Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A blend of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Simon Winchester’s Pacific, a thrilling intellectual detective story that looks deep into the past to uncover who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know.

For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Harper
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 Sea People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sea People

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews

Sort order
Donna Davis
Christina Thompson is the author of Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All, which I read and loved. I was thrilled when I saw that she was about to publish another book, and even more so when I found a review copy; thanks go to Edelweiss and Harper Collins. This book is for sale now.

For centuries, Western scholars have tried to tease apart the many unknown aspects of Polynesian history. The islands are spread across an area of the Pacific Ocean (and beyond) so large that all of the Eart
Clare O'Beara
This exploration of explorations of an exploring people is full of fascinations, friendships and frightening distances. Also birds - as guides, as food, as giants made extinct.

The author tells us she is married to a Polynesian gentleman who is one of a people who inhabit remote islands across the Pacific, which today are in a nine hours' flight on a side, triangle.

To explore a people who didn't have a written history, and lost much oral history when diseases struck, is to give an account of how
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
See my review below from the March issue of Baltimore Style.

Humans have had wanderlust for as long as they’ve been in existence. Christina Thompson’s
Sea People : the Puzzle of Polynesia uses a variety of sciences to determine the who, what,
when, where and why the South Pacific became inhabited. Much of what we thought we knew
was seen through the eyes and culture of 16th century European explorers and turned out to be
flat-out wrong. Using linguistics, cartography, archaeology, anthropology and g
Seth Turner
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating ethnographic look into the migration puzzle of the Polynesian peoples. Clearly a passion project that starts to unpack the puzzle presented in the book. Highly recommend it for anthropologists, historians, and related fields of interest.
Laura Trombley
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sea People is a wonderful little book about how and when the Polynesians ended up in Polynesia. Beginning with the moments when Europeans first discovered unknown inhabited islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean going forward through all of the documentation and then science used to answer these questions. I cannot even imagine getting into a outrigger canoe and traveling to some unknown island that may or may not be there. It was fascinating.
Kathy Stone
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book from a First Reads giveaway here on Goodreads.
This is the History of what we have learned about Polynesia and how we learned it. Christina Thompson is married to a New Zealand Maori and she wished to know more of his culture and the people that populate the Polynesian Triangle. The book uses every branch of the social studies starting with history and goes into ethnology, anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. Mythology also places a large part of the story. She than conclud
Becky Diamond
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Piecing together a vast number of elements including history, science, mysticism, folklore, archeology and ancient genealogies, Thompson creates a mesmerizing account of the Polynesian puzzle. A revelatory summary of this vast area steeped in culture and tradition. Highly recommend.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Jessica Howard
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-nonfiction
Very interesting!
rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2018
else fine
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2019
Aileen Ma
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2019
Brian Litster
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2019
Lovely Loveday
Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia is a complex story of travel, history, archeology, and ancient genealogies written by Christina Thompson. A thrilling account of the Polynesian people who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific. This remote set of islands in the Pacific Ocean that forms an area that stretches from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Thompson writes from personal experience as her Maori husband and their sons have descended directly from these ancient navigators.  ...more
Haydn Jenkins
rated it it was ok
Feb 26, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2019
Ryan Luetzen
rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2019
rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2019
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2019
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2019
hgt jhg
rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2019
Ben B
rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2019
Patrick Dean
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2019
Jordan Finch
rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2019
rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2019
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2019
Lucia A.
rated it did not like it
Feb 27, 2019
« previous 1 next »
  • When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution
  • The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern
  • The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia
  • Lolas' House: Filipino Women Living with War
  • Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela
  • My Soul Is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered
  • Disease & History
  • Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television's Most Influential News Broadcast
  • Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia
  • Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle
  • Asia's Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century
  • The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829
  • By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia
  • Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11
  • When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
  • The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War
  • A History of South Africa
  • In the Land of Giants: A Journey Through the Dark Ages
Christina Thompson writes about the history of the Pacific. Her first book, Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All, was at once a history of 18th- and 19th-century New Zealand and a memoir of her her marriage to a Maori man. Her second book, Sea People, is a history of the settlement of remote Oceania by the ancestors of the Polynesian people. A dual citizen of the US and Australia, she is ...more