By Sarah Porter
Lost Voices Book 1
Available July 2011
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
The idea of damaged girls becoming mermaids is a fascinating one, so I was eager to read this book.
Luce’s life is hard. She lost her mother at a young age when she watched her mother die. Her father was a criminal until he decided to go legitimate and the ship he was working on disappeared. She finds herself under the care of an alcoholic and abusive uncle. One night she hits her breaking point and can’t take anymore.
Next thing she knows she’s underwater, singing, and there is a boat coming right at her. When she is saved by a group of girls at first she doesn’t understand how they can swim so fast or how they can survive in the ocean alone. She quickly learns what they are and what she is. Luce has an amazing voice and is envied by many of the other mermaids. She is committed to the queen but Luce’s talent makes Catarina nervous. Sometimes Catarina treats Luce as though she loves her, other times Catarina acts suspicious of Luce and isn’t very kind. When Anais, a new mermaid, joins their tribe life goes downhill fast for Luce.
Luce finds herself spending more and more time alone in her own cave practicing her singing. I am glad that even though Luce won’t consider the possibility that Catarina and the other mermaids are probably responsible for her father’s death, she stills holds onto her memories of him and their happy life together to maintain her humanity. She sings for the joy it gives her, not to use it to murder people. She is so talented and her practice pays off enough that she learns new ways to sing that the other mermaids hadn’t tried. She figures out how to teach other mermaids to sing, when they long believed that singing couldn’t be taught. She even discovers her voice is so marvelous she can do something they all believed to be impossible.
I love that in spite of how she was treated by the mermaids and by Catarina that Luce doesn’t break and become something she doesn’t want to be. She is stronger than she knew, and I like that about her. I wish she was more willing to stand up for herself, but wanting to love and be loved is part of who she is. I hate the way the end left me hanging wanting to read the 2nd book Right Now when the first hasn’t even been released yet! I want to know what happens to the mermaids and what happens to Luce.
This story is like a dark fairy tale. If you enjoy a fantasy YA story with a dark edge then this is the story for you. Be sure to pick it up in July when it is released.