I don't read and review very many novellas or short stories simply because I am a greedy reader who enjoys a longer story that I can settle into and take my time with. However, Zetta Elliott has provided a story that not only throws her reader into a horrific journey to slavery, but does it in a way that once you read the first sentence, you know that the story unfolding will be a difficult one to shake free. Mother of the Sea gripped me in a way that there is no way that I would have put this story down until the end. I read this story with my hand over my mouth for most of it and I teared up at the end. Elliott provided everything that was necessary for this novella to feel like a complete story and I really couldn't have asked for anything more. Yet, being who I am I would have loved for it to have been longer and gotten more details, but that's just asking for what's unnecessary; it's perfect just as it is. Naturally, Mother of the Sea is going on my favorites list.
I first saw Mother of the Sea on Njeri's Youtube channel Onyx Pages. If you don't follow her already and would like to learn more about Afrofuturism she is a must follow! I don't know if I would have discovered Zetta Elliott if I hadn't seen Njeri's review and that is why I love following an eclectic mix of readers. Ms. Elliott has just gained a new follower in me and although I keep saying that I am not a fan of Teen/YA stories I am a fan of damned good writing and Zetta Elliott is damned good!
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.