Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
"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?"- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed this book, though it was a bit slow at times in comparison to other YA paranormals. The writing is very atmospheric and I love the world that Porter brings to life in this book. I'd never read a mermaid book that dealt with their singing and luring people into the sea (and it's not a case of mistaking sirens for mermaids, like I thought, because after a bit of research, I saw that mermaids do this as well). The hierarchy dynamic too was really interesting and seeing it being shaken up halfway through the novel was a nice twist.

I liked reading a bit of Luce's pre-mermaid life in the beginning. It really helped me get to know her better, along with the flashbacks to her life as a younger child with her dad. Luce was nicely flawed but also fiercely loyal. I just loved her character and many of the others. Anais is not one of the ones I loved; I pretty much constantly wanted to slap her.

The ending was pretty quiet. There isn't a huge cliffhanger, though I do want to read the next book as soon as possible to see what happens. It's not a flashy kind of ending, like some books can have and they are nice, but sometimes it's a nice change of pace to have a more subtle ending.

Overall, a really good, well-written debut with depth and if you're looking for a different take on mermaids, this is the book for you.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. I've heard mostly good things about this book. I love reading about sirens and mermaids. I'll have to give it a go. Wonderful review as always, James. :P

  2. What a thoughtful review! I agree that the writing is quite spellbinding and I think Lost Voices has the depth that you mentioned, but I like a splashy ending and I felt that this one left me wondering if my copy was missing a few pages... (I know this sentence is one cringe-worthy run-on!)

    The concept of mermaids who have the power to kill with Luce trying to find a better purpose for her voice is rather interesting!

    I will have to keep an eye out for the sequel to find out what happens next!

  3. Have you read "Siren" by Tricia Rayburn? If so, how would you compare the two and which did you like most? It's the only mermaid book I've ever read.

  4. John- Thanks for the wonderful comment! I really appreciate it.

    Epic Rat- Thanks so much! I know how it feels when you think there should be more, though luckily for me, it didn't happen with this book. As for the sequel, it'll be out next summer!

    Kelly- I have! I reviewed it last summer, and will be reviewing the sequel, Undercurrent, next week. They are definitely different, especially with the terminology- Siren is about sirens, and this is about mermaids, though the focus on luring people to the sea is similar. But Lost Voices spends more time with the main character as a mermaid and her getting used to that. Siren is about stopping them, and you don't get to see too much about the goings-on, at least if I remember correctly. Definitely give Lost Voices a shot though, if it sounds interesting!