There’s something very seductive about being a mermaid. Unearthly beauty, half-human, half… other. The power to lure ships (and men) to their doom simply by singing to them. Not to mention, not having work, school, bills, or any of the other responsibilities that tend to make being a human so boring. While Lost Voices by Sarah Porter was already on my reading list, my friend Kathryn and her blog Love Fearlessly inspired me to bump it up a few notches. Oh, and buy a mermaid tail. But, whatever!
LV tells the story of Lucette, better known as “Luce.” She is an orphaned, abused girl that lives with her alcoholic uncle on a craggy island. After she finds a strange child’s corpse on the beach and her uncle goes too far one night, Luce falls off of a cliff–she thinks to her demise. Little does she know that abused, unwanted girls are often turned into mermaids who form barbaric tribes in the surrounding seas. When her transformation is complete and Luce realizes what she has become, she feels more at home with her fellow mermaids than she ever did on dry land. But will Luce ever be able to reconcile the fact that mermaids are murderers? That even she–who’s father’s boat mysteriously disappeared never to return–feels a fierce joy in her chest when she sings humans to their deaths? Not only does her astounding voice put her at odds with the tribe’s queen Catarina, the arrival of a new (very materialistic) mermaid changes the sense of peace she once felt with her new found friends.
Lost Voices was great. Porter did an excellent job of describing underwater life and providing the reader with great visual details. You can almost smell the salt air and taste the slippery oysters on your tongue. (Ew…) I also loved that the whole mermaid experience was completely re-imagined, the same favor Maggie Stiefvater did for werewolves in her Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy. It’s always impressive when new authors can breathe life into old legends, and I give Porter mad props–especially since this was her first book. I liked that she had baby mermaids (called larvae) around the tribes, and made them into such heartbreaking, endearing characters since the other mermaids would never help or take care of them.
I did have trouble relating to how painfully shy and introverted Luce’s personality was. Half of her responses to negative stimuli made me freak out because I wanted her to fight. I’d like to think I would fight if I were in her… fins… I also did NOT like Catarina at all and rather than having sympathy for her mental breakdown I just found myself annoyed. I thought both her and Anais were both crazy bitches. But that was the point, I guess. Ugh. Anais… Just ugh.
All in all LV was a wonderful book and I look forward to reading more of Porter’s lyricism and prose. Mad props, girl, mad props. A new favorite has been born.
5 seashell bras of 5