Review: LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter

TITLE: Lost Voices
AUTHOR: Sybil Hodge – Web, Blog
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
PUBLISHED: Harcourt Children's Books (July 4th 2011)
FORMAT: Kindle
SOURCE: ARC provided by NetGalley

SYNOPSIS: (Provided by 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?
This book has a beautiful cover and an interesting enough synopsis for me to request to preview it. But page after page left me disappointed. I was thrilled that someone was using mermaids instead of vampires and were-animals. The story was very slowly paced and not a whole lot happened. I kept wondering what the point of the story was and when it would really blow my mind. It never did. It is very dark and there are many aspects of the book that made me cringe.
Luce was a decent main character and could easily be sympathized with, but when a main character alienates themselves, there tends to be a set-up for mediocrity. Because you only see the obsessive lonely thoughts of that one character and not a lot to see. When main characters don’t do much the book drags on and on. I just wanted her to get to the point already. I didn’t really know what the point was until the end. So I had a hard time coming back to the book day after day.
The descriptions of the mermaids were adequate, but I’ve never read a book that had to describe singing. It was hard to conceive at first but it was interesting how she described the way the mermaids sang the seafarers to their death. She used emotional and physical descriptions on how the song would rise or fall. I would say that it was the only cool thing about this book.
Oddly enough this story is quite unique and original. But that doesn’t compensate for how boring it was. It really could have been so much better. Maybe the author is holding the good stuff for the next two books in the trilogy? If so, that is a big mistake, because she lost me at Book 1. I won’t be reading them because of how disappointing this book was. I’d rate this book at a 2: Fair. Not quite worth the time to read.

I would not recommend this book for younger teens because elements of child abuse. But mostly I don’t think this book will keep younger teens’ attention long enough to complete it. So I’d recommend it only for older teens and adults... if you dare.