Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Jacket art for Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. RocklynTitle: Flowers for the Sea (audio narrated by Amina Koroma)
Author(s): Zin E. Rocklyn
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy Fiction / Horror Fiction / Apocalyptic Fiction / Novella
Format: ebook and downloadable audiobook via hoopla digital
Rating: Thought it was good. Might read other works by the author.
3 Things I Liked About This Book: Evocative prose, character-centered world building, reads like a fever dream
3 Words I Would Use to Describe This Book: Visceral, gritty, claustrophobic

Somewhere, somewhen, on a boat in the middle of an ocean, are the remnant of an island nation and Iraxi, the pregnant, outcast woman they despise but desperately need. At least for now. The boat is failing, the people left alive aboard after seventeen hundred and forty-three days at sea are starving, and the babe she carries might be the key to their survival.

Iraxi doesn’t care about their survival. She hates them, hates the pregnancy they force her to endure, and the “parasite” she carries. Her wrath consumes her, fuels her, drives her destiny and the destiny of all others aboard in ways no-one could foresee.

Wow. Flowers for the Sea is one of those stories that won’t let go. Reading it felt like slipping into a nightmarish fever dream full of dreamlike horrors and an inescapable physicality. There’s a strong element of body horror to Flowers for the Sea and the author has prefaced it with content warnings for “depictions of infant harm and death, the realities of birth, and generational trauma” that should be taken seriously.

Narrator Amina Koroma does an outstanding job with the narration. I recommend you both read and listen to Flowers for the Sea to catch all the nuances and undertow.