Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Lost Voices

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?

The first book in a trilogy, 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.

**ARC Courtesy of NetGalley

Goodreads: 3/5 stars

I have never wanted to punch a mermaid before, but I do now.

This is straight up Mean Girls meets The Little Mermaid. The main themes in this book are DARK—murder, rape, abuse—so this isn’t a light read by any means.

Luce, the main character, finds herself in the ocean after her uncle tries to rape her, but she has no clue how she got there, or how several beautiful girls saved her life. It’s not until they reach the safety of their cave (their home) that she realizes she’s like them, complete with a shiny new tail. The girls welcome her into their group, but advise her of rules that are set in place. These mermaids hate humans and happily wreck boats with their singing capabilities. However, they can’t, under any circumstances, make contact with humans again. They also aren’t able to transform back into humans because the process is too painful and kills them. But Luce is still thinking about how her father was a fisherman, and how his boat was wrecked at sea. Could her new friends be the ones who killed him?

What I did like about this novel is how atmospheric it was. I felt like I was swimming in the water with these crazed merfolk and eating mussels for breakfast.

What I didn’t like about this is how passive Luce is. These girls are constantly mean to her, including their queen, yet she says nothing because she wants to feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

I also didn’t like how there were baby mermaids and that they were killed by orcas. A little too disturbing for my taste.

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