Thursday, September 29, 2011


Title: Lost Voices
Author: Sarah Porter
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; None edition (July 4, 2011)
Pages: 304

Fourteen-year-old Luce isn't just shy, she's also afraid to speak her mind. Luce lives with her alcoholic uncle, and when things go from bad to worse, she dies as a human and becomes a mermaid.

Luce is welcomed into the tribe of mermaid where she learns the rules of being a mermaid. If she breaks any of them, she risks being expelled from the group. The thought of being alone is too much for Luce to comprehend.

An important part of being a mermaid is their singing voice. Something Luce seems to be a natural at. Each mermaid has a horrific past where a human has destroyed their life. The mermaids sing to ships to take them down, killing every last soul. After Luce's first ship sinking, her morals won't allow her to continue the senseless killings. But to let the others know would mean losing the friends she's made and the only home she's known.

LOST VOICES by SARA PORTER is not a book that would typically catch my attention. Certainly not one I would chose to read. So how did I come to read this book, by an author I never heard of?

That would have to be because of my fourteen-year-old daughter. It was she who spotted LOST VOICES and wanted to read it. Honestly, it isn't a book she'd normally read. To her credit she gave it a good try but it wasn't for her.

So now it was my turn. I must say I was a little more than hesitant. Everything my daughter has given me to read this far she really enjoyed and so have I.

When I began to read LOST VOICES, like many books, it was a bit confusing and hard to get into. But curiosity and the subject matter kept me going. As I continued to read I waited for more to happen, but sadly it never materialized.

I wasn't able to grasp the whole mermaid concept. I believe if there was more time spent on deep point of view instead of voice and water descriptions, I would have been able to connect with the characters, thus bringing the story to life. LOST VOICES was done in narrative rather than first or third person. I believe first person would have given the story more depth and stronger characters.

On the positive side, Ms. Porter has an amazing ability to depict moving through water as well as explaining singing in a way I could never imagined. Her writing was almost like a song. Like poetry in motion.

The concept of the story was there with great potential, though I felt she didn't seize the opportunity. I was able to grasp the points she was trying to get across, though they were so subtle I fear a teen wouldn't pick up on it.

A reviewer stated there was no romance, which was a little disappointing. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the reviewer hadn't picked up on that subtle romance brewing. In viewing an interview with the author, I discovered Luce falls in love in the second book.

Despite my feeling of how the author dragged out the story and missed the opportunity for the direction she could have taken it, I wanted to know what happened to Luce and Cat.

The next book in the trilogy doesn't come out until a year from the LOST VOICES. When that time comes, if I run across it, I may just have to get it.

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