Monday, April 25, 2011

Lost Voices (Lost Voices #1) by Sarah Porter

What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she 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. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?
Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

Lost Voices was dark, magical, but also beautiful. These mermaids believe that becoming these magical, otherworldly beings makes them better than humans and incapable of feeling pain and loss, but they're still very much able to feel hurt and loss, and some of this book's most powerful moments are when the mermaids realize they are not different than humann beings and must deal with the grief and suffering they all face.
Most of the mermaids are generally unlikeable, but it makes sense that they would feel resentment towards the humans who wronged them. However, Luce realizes the mermaids are no better than the humans they drown, but nevertheless the other mermaids view her as an outsider.
Catarina was another interesting character. In one moment, I felt sorry for her from the heartaching past she endured, but then her mood swings were so frequent and so disorienting, I didn't know whether to feel sorry for her or to dislike her.
Sarah Porter has a beautiful, lyrical style of writing. She paints with her words a beautiful dark outlook on the Alaskan coast. Her descriptions of the mermaids and their underwater world is stunning, breathtaking, and mesmerizing.
All in all, I found this to be an excellent book - filled with deep emotion, hypnotic beauty, and the painful realization of what it means to be human. I hope Lost Voices is indeed the first in a series, because the story ended in a way that suggests Luce still has so many more adventures to tell. so many more adventures to tell.
I received this ARC from

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