Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication Date: July 4, 2011
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Buy It: AmazonBorders | Barnes & Noble 
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?

The first book in a trilogy,Lost Voicesis a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

SARAH PORTER is a writer and artist.Lost Voicesis her first novel. Sarah and her husband live in Brooklyn. --Goodreads
When her father died, Luce was forced to live with her alcoholic uncle. When he crossed the line too many times, beating her and punishing this poor 14 year old, Luce transformed into a mermaid.

I haven’t read many mermaid books so I was very grateful I heard about this one. I had some expectations concerning this novel when I first saw the lovely cover, but I was very much disappointed. Just before I get ranting on about this book, I want to say how great Sarah Porter’s voice is. She’s like one of the sirens from Lost Voices. She lured me in and if it wasn’t for her beautiful diction and syntax I would have no desire to finish this novel. This book should be targeted to 12-14 year olds, a younger YA age group rather than for older readers. However the intended audience is a bit difficult to decipher because of certain scenes that seem a bit graphic for younger readers.

The mermaids in this novel are like sirens; they sing and lure humans off their ships. The characters were unique but I thought it strange that Luce accepted her own transformation so quickly. Normally children wish to be older but Luce’s messed up and childlike vision of the world twisted her opinion more like Peter Pan and Neverland. Caterina, the queen of the mermaid tribe, seemed to change her mood every ten seconds. It kept the whole thing interesting like waiting to see what she would do next but by the end it was completely annoying.

The plot was slow. I couldn’t fully get into to it. It seemed to revolve around this tribe of mermaids who made the whole book into a day of high school. It was all about fitting in or being an outcast.

The ending seemed bland. It didn’t really end for me. It seemed that there should be more to it and I’m sure there will be more in the next installments. Overall, this book was not for me.

First Sentence:
“’Lucette? Did you even hear the question?’”
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter, p. 1


Cover: 5
Characters: 3
Writing Style: 5
Ending: 2
Plot: 2
Overall: 3

Rated PG-13 for adult content, moderate language, and brief nudity.

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