Tuesday, 21 February 2012
(Review) Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page count: 304
Genre(s): Young Adult/Fantasy/Mermaids
Buy it: Amazon/Book Depository
Add it on: Goodreads
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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
This is a hard book to review, and I'm still not entirely sure what I felt about it. But I think there lies the problem. It kind of just left me feeling...nothing. From the very beginning, this book was sad. Not sad in a 'boohoo' way, just sad in a really empty, hollow way. And it basically stays this way through the whole book. I can't really recall any moment that made me smile. Every time I got a little hope, it would be dashed straight away. There were a few moments where I thought the story was going to turn a certain way and I was really excited, just for it to be all taken away and go back to the sadness. The story could be exciting at times, but I think a major drawback was not having characters to care about.
Luce was an okay protagonist, but I didn't like how it took her so long to speak up for herself. Most of the other characters don't even bear mentioning to be honest. They were either irritating to the point I wished I could jump in the pages and slap them silly, or submissive and unmemorable. I suppose that is one emotion this book made me feel. ANGRY. I thought Catarina was bad, but a later character is introduced who is a contender for most annoying fictional character ever. I don't need to name her, you'll know when you read it.
The writing in this book was beautiful. I liked a lot of the concepts and history to the mermaids. It's just a shame it was all so depressing. I understand not every book has to be positive, and I did enjoy some of the darker elements of the book, but when there is no ray of light during the whole book, you can't help coming away feeling worse than you did going in. I didn't really gain anything from reading this book, and I don't see why I'd ever re-read it. However, I will read the sequel, simply because this book was left in an open-ended manner, and I have hopes it will go in a more positive direction. I commend Sarah Porter for daring to write a darker story about mermaids, and she is definitely a talented writer. If you can handle a darker story and love your mermaids brutal, I'd say give this book a try.
I give this 3/5.