Author: Sarah Porter
Series: 1st in Lost Voices series
Published: July 4, 2011 by Harcourt
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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?
I Give This ...
I've been drawn to mermaid books as of late. Since The Little Mermaid was one my favorite movies growing up, this is really no surprise. Yet, I find that I haven't found the perfect mermaid story yet.
Luce as a human had an interesting story to tell. Her mother died when she was young and she spent a good portion of her childhood years on the run with her father. As long as she had him, she was happy. But in an effort to settle down and provide Luce with a normal life, he takes them to a small Alaskan fishing village. When he dies tragically in a fishing boat accident, Luce is left with her uncle. Luce is a constant reminder to him of all that her father manged to do wrong. When his abusive ways take the turn towards the unthinkable, he leave her alone on a cliff. But instead of dieing, she falls into the ocean and becomes a mermaid.
Luce as a mermaid, sad to say not as interesting. It seems that she's so content having escaped her previous life that she has no desire to explore the full depths of her ability as a mermaid. Granted, I think that this has a lot to do with the mermaids unquenchable desire to cause death and pain to the human race. They reminded me a lot of the mythological sirens. They lure ships in and the cause the humans to drown, all with the power of their voices. There's a good chance that this group of mermaids is why Luce is alone in the first place. And, Luce has a powerful signing voice that she hates to see used this way.
I enjoyed the mythology of the mermaids. Girls and young women turned because of the evils done to them by others. Paints them into a not so nice and beautiful picture. I didn't really like the idea of babies and toddlers being turned as well and how the older mermaids treated them. As for the mermaid themselves, I found that I really didn't enjoy a single one of them as a character. It made the book really hard for me to read. They way the could be goaded into turning on their leader was really kind of stomach turning.
The story did have the writing going for it. I'm just not sure on the sequel to this story. I might pick it up to see if Luce can change the goal of the mermaids.