Lost Voices – by Sarah Porter
It’s been a year since Luce’s father was killed in a shipwreck, leaving her alone with her abusive, drunkard uncle. One night, he goes too far, and in the aftermath, Luce finds herself transformed into a mermaid. She joins a tribe of other mermaids, all girls who were treated poorly as humans, and is thrilled to finally be welcomed and treated as worthy, particularly by Catarina, the beautiful and talented queen of the tribe. The one thing Luce doesn’t like about her new life is the way that the mermaids use the seductive power of their voices to lure ships to their deaths, drowning everyone on board with their songs. Luce has a special talent for singing, but she badly wants to find a use for it that doesn’t mean killing humans. When a new mermaid arrives and threatens Catarina’s authority, putting the whole tribe in danger, it’s up to Luce to find a way to stop her.
I started this book with some trepidation. I found the concept of abused and abandoned girls turning into mermaids a fascinating one, but did I really want to read a whole book on such a depressing topic? That didn’t turn out to be a problem, however. While the storyline does get pretty intense and brutal, it also kept me engaged all the way through. I think I can largely attribute that to Luce’s character. I liked and sympathized with her, though I never quite understood her instant devotion to Catarina. I was going to cry foul on the lack of mermen (boys get abused too) but, I’m glad to say, the subject was eventually discussed. I do hope, however, that there will be a more satisfactory explanation in future books. I went into this book assuming that I wouldn’t be continuing with the rest of the trilogy, but I’m actually sufficiently intrigued to want to continue on.