Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Title: Lost Voices
Author: Sarah Porter
Publication Date: July 4, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Pages: 302 (e-book)
Source: NetGalley*
Buy the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary via Goodreads:

What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?

Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she 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. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.

Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?

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.

The very reason why requested this book on NetGalley was because I love mermaids plus the cover is SO stunning! Mermaids are one of the many supernatural beings that will always fascinate me! My perception on them are generally bubbly and lively creatures but Sarah Porter portrayed mermaids in this beautiful yet dark story of Luce in way that I would never imagine in a million years!
First thing you should know about Lost Voices book: This is NOT a light book. I instantly felt the gloomy, cold and dark atmosphere of the setting when I started reading the first few pages which is ironic because I felt much more drawn into the story because of that. The story was like a siren’s song, pulling me in every page and drowning me to every emotion contained in this book.

I think the best part of this story was Sarah Porter’s flawless writing. It felt powerful, vivid, emotional and just utterly mesmerizing. I felt every struggle or suffering the characters had felt. It was as if I was in their very own…tails. I think Porter’s writing is the main reason why I keep going with story.

I really admire Luce as a protagonist. Poor girl, she’s been through a lot. I think most of it hit her emotionally and because of that, she had every right to kill humans but she didn’t. She remain faithful to her humane side, she had her moments, yes, but for the most part she fought that urge and because of that, she became this strong-willed and independent character. Catarina, the Queen of the mermaids, was a one tough character to read. One moment she’s this very gentle and motherly type of character and then the next moment she’s infuriatingly annoying! But, in general, I liked her character.

However, the ending did not satisfy me. It made me wonder what the story really was about. Furthermore, there were characters who were being introduced from time to time but I didn’t see what exactly their purpose are in the story and that made me felt a bit confused at times.

But overall, I enjoyed reading Lost Voices and I am looking forward into reading the next book. I’m giving this a 3.5 stars out of 5 and I recommend this to everyone who wants a quick read and just fond of mermaid tales just like me!

*I received this galley for free from publisher, Harcourt Children’s Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Jennifer A

    June 5, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Yeah, I totally agree with you. The end felt a bit… depressing. Like, what was the point? It's supposed to be a part of a series though, so hopefully things turn around.

    Otherwise, it was really good.

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

  2. Precious

    June 6, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Great review! Oh, this one is gloomy? It's challenging to read books like that but I think I'll try this.

    I'm so curious about the mermaid mythology!

  3. Bonnie

    June 8, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    This is an absolutely beautifully written review! I am also facinated by mermaids and cannot wait to have a chance to read this book!

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  4. mary ann

    June 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    never heard of this book but I think I'll love it by the way you review the book;))

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