Friday, 8 July 2011

Early Review: Lost Voices

Lost Voices
-          Sarah Porter
Publisher: Harcourt Books
Ecopy courtesy of netgalley & Harcourt Books
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 her 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's own remarkable singing talent 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’ve been really torn about Lost Voices. It is beautifully written with the descriptions of the sea and the mermaids voices mesmerising. The language was simple but elegant and I managed to read the story quickly. I also liked the unique twist on mermaids who are similar to Sirens, luring sailors to death with their song. They are also all the girls that were beaten, abused and unloved, who had nowhere else to go. I thought that was a great twist and I really felt for them, at least initially.
However, I struggled to connect to the main character, Luce. She had had a hard life and was without hope, yet there was some spark of defiance in her that I admired in the beginning. Yet, when she became a mermaid I found my sympathy for her draining away. She knew that drowning people was wrong, but she never stopped it. The other mermaids never seemed to have the same conscience so I can forgive them, but Luce carried on DESPITE feeling bad about it. She never expressed her qualms – just swam off alone occasionally. This really annoyed me as the spark in her in the beginning implied that she was more human. Overall mermaids are like any group of teenage girls and while I didn’t really connect to them, I did understand how they could act that with all they had been through.
I loved the idea of mermaids here and am curious at how the rest of the trilogy plays out, but I need more of a connection to the main character. However, the writing was enjoyable and story different from the usual supernatural Romeo and Juliet style story – that made a refreshing change!
Recommended for fans of Lauren Kate and Mean Girls. 6 out of 10


  1. I have heard that before about Luce, well on one other blog ;) And it did make me think that I would not really like her either

  2. Bum deal, Mel because the cover is beautiful. I haven't really read any mermaid stories because, to be honest, I hate sea food so reading about things that swim in the sea isn't very appealing to me. LOL

    I know, my logic is dumb.

    At least you enjoyed the writing. I think that is always important, even if Luce is a bit of a contradiction.

  3. You are absolutely right about Luce. It also bugged me as well. However, it worked for me because she was not strong enough in the book to go against the group. Her battered self-esteem would not permit anything else but to go with the new "family" where she got her "love" from. I think it was about the gang mentality. I do think that Luce will gain herself throughout the trilogy. Eh... my 2 snails. ;)

  4. If I was going to read any paranormal/strange creatures book, it would definitely be one about mermaids! And the cover of this one is just beautiful.

  5. I think that's a good point about Luce. It wasn't something I even considered until I read your review. I also agree with Melissa, though. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy.

  6. l am unsure as to whether l will read the rest of this series. It was probably just a bit too strange for me!