Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date: July 4, 2011
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 tuck 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 timbles 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 firls 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?
I went into Lost Voices still expecting somewhat of a light read despite the synopsis simply because it was mermaids. I was very, very wrong.
Lost Voices is dark and haunting, but not in a scary way (although, I’m a little afraid of boats now). Though it was dark, it was also beautiful. I don’t go around saying books are beautiful a lot, this book definitely deserves it. The writing itself was almost musical and fit the story perfectly.
Sometimes I really didn’t want to like Luce, because of the way she clung to her solitary outlook on life. But in the end, I couldn’t help but admire her. Her refusal to accept the ways of her new life is something I’m not sure I’d be capable. She was determined and fierce in her protection of those she loved. She’s definitely one of my favorite female leads in quite a while.
This look on mermaids was completely new and interesting to me. I liked that it wasn’t all happiness and rainbow-covered kittens. Not that I don’t appreciate a fluffy mermaid story, but I definitely enjoyed delving into the dark side. I especially enjoyed the kind of good or evil dilemma that went along with it too.
It was definitely a change to read a book without romance, but I’m down for that.
The Nutshell: Lost Voices is different than other mermaid books, but that’s a really good thing. It has strong characters, no romance, and moral that kind of makes you question things. If you’re in for a dark and hauntingly beautiful change of pace, you should definitely give Lost Voices a try.
Series: Lost Voices #1
Rating: 4.5 stars