Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
Genre: YA Fantasy
"Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce possesses an extraordinary singing talent, which makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?"
I am obsessed with ocean/mermaid stories; I'll read nearly almost any I can grab my hands on. I think this is partly due to the fact that I live a long ways from any sea (or water) and have always been fascinated by the sea. So, when I saw the cover of this novel and read the back of it, I was immediately interested, although wary of the siren/singing kind of mermaid it portrayed. Why do authors all of a sudden think mermaids have to be some kind of evil creature that lures young men to their deaths?
I've read several books in the last few years about this kind of mermaid, and Lost Voices was unique from the other stories I've read and seems more real (yes, I know it's about fantastical creatures). The mermaids who have become mermaids in this novel have changed because humans were horrible to them, which I think is a fascinating and poignant idea.
I also like how the main character struggles with who she is now, but the author doesn't solve the problem by just turning her back into a human at the end. I also love how the singing is described in this book, in a way where I could almost actually hear it.
However, there is a lot of drama between the girls in the main character's mermaid tribe, which I found a bit irritating, the mc's lack of action also bothered me at times, though I suppose she had a good reason for being like that. There is also some cussing and saying God's name in vain, which bothered me more than anything. For these, I give the novel a 2.75 out of 5.
I started reading the sequel, Waking Storms, which looked promising, but it cussed several times in the first pages, which made me decide not to continue the story. Mrs. Porter is an excellent writer and the plot is really interesting, but why do young adult authors think that they can just throw in cuss words whenever they want? Oftentimes it distracts the reader from the story and is just plain uneeded. Sigh.
What I Learned/was reminded of: Humanity is messed up. Material possessions do not solve anything or bring happiness.