Lost Voices, by Sarah Porterfin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Girls so mistreated in their human lives that they liquefy in their deaths. So unloved that they become shed their humanity and morph into mermaids. So desperate for connection that they form tribes and seek vengeance on the race that wounded them.
Lost Voices is the haunting tale of a girl-turned-mermaid who finds herself part of one such tribe, struggling with the new desire for revenge and the old desire to be accepted. She faces many challenges in adjusting to her new life, which ironically contains the same violence and death she encountered as a human. The difference now is that she is the one inflicting the horrors. As she learns more about how she might find balance, she must make decisions that could mean the same isolation that haunted her in her human life.
The author’s vivid descriptions of the mermaids’ songs lulling their victims into death traps were almost balanced out by her picturesque imagery of the sea. In the end the book left me with a dark feel, like the beauty of the mermaids, their surroundings, and their songs didn’t quite make up for the cruel way of life, the brutal murders they committed, and the sadistic longings they embraced. As this is the first book of a series, I’ll be interested to see if the heroine is able to maintain some semblance of her humanity and fight against her mermaid longings to kill.
Despite the current trend towards this genre, I still find this book too dark for an early- or mid-teen audience. I won’t be passing it along to my daughters, ages 12 and 14, but I would recommend it to an adult friend.