Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter [Review]

Title: Lost Voices
Series: Lost Voices, 1
Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: Young Adult
Release: July 4, 2011
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's
ISBN-10: 0547482507
ISBN-13: 978-0547482507
Reviewer: Shannon

4 out of 5 Robots!

About the Book:
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?

My Review:
I have read a lot of fairy, vampire, werewolf books but I had not yet read a mermaid book.  It was really interesting to see how the author handled it.  I have to say I was very surprised by this book!

Luce is the main character.  Her mother died when she was young and her father died in a shipwreck.  She is living with her uncle in Alaska who abuses her.  One night he gets really drunk and tries to rape her on the way home from the bar.  He realizes what he is doing and runs off.  Luce is left alone in the dark and falls off the side of a cliff.  It is there that she turns into a mermaid.  At first, she doesn't understand what happened to her but she is taken in by a tribe of mermaid headed by Catarina, their Queen.  Luce discovers that being mermaid means that she is now more beautiful and stronger than she has ever been.  It also means that she is more savage and impulsive than before.  Having suffered at the hands of humans, the mermaids seek revenge by drowning ships with their singing.  They are like the sirens of greek mythology.  The desire to sing is so strong that they almost can't tame their voices.  Luce struggles to reconcile her uncontrollable desire to sing with the destruction it causes.  New mermaids appear and rifts begin to form within the tribe.  Luce finds herself in the center of the conflict and tries to keep the tribe together.

The concept of the story is really intriguing.  The author takes her time to set up the backstory and the plot.  She does not rush, but instead the story builds slowly but surely.  Her writing is very fluid and imaginative.  But this is also a dark story.  I was surprised by how dark it actually is -darker than most young adult I've read.  There are some awful and disturbing events that happen both to the girls and because of the girls. I actually liked that aspect because it gave real weight to the events that take place instead of being glossed over. It made a much bigger impact on me because of it.  Not a book for the faint at heart!  This is no "Little Mermaid!"

The only thing I didn't like was the lack of resolution.  There was a lot of build up and references to past secrets and lives, but not much was revealed in the end.  I found the ending a little abrupt.  I was expecting more.  But then I discovered this is the first book in a trilogy and the plotting made a lot more sense.  I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book because I want to see how things get resolved!

Definitely recommend this book!

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