Monday, December 13, 2010
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
This book made me miss my mom. I know that seems a little strange, but my mother was a CASA worker and a long time foster mother (over 30 foster children, plus her own 4!). She would have enjoyed this interesting take on what happens to abused children.
Lost Voices is the first book in a series and to be honest, it sometimes feels like pieces are missing, making the plot a bit disjointed. The book follows the story of Luce (short for Lucette) who is a mild mannered, troubled young teen. Her father, who was a “diamond in the rough” type, has presumed dead after being lost at sea and now Luce lives with her alcoholic and bitter uncle. She is treated poorly by almost everyone in she encounters and has become a weak slip of a girl. After the abuse hits a breaking point, she transforms in this dark and mysterious way into a mermaid. In Ms. Porter's world, abused females turn into vengeful mermaids/sirens who take revenge on the human race for having wronged them in their past life.
Ms. Porter's mermaid lore is very interesting to read and I found it a nice twist from the romantic paranormal young adult books I've been reading as of late. While this book definitely falls into the paranormal category, it is a book that deals with real life issues including abuse (physical and sexual), revenge, the moral dilemma of right and wrong, etc. I really enjoyed seeing Luce's character develop from someone who has been beaten down for years to a strong young woman who follows her own moral code, which is different than the society she lives in. In addition to interesting character development, the writing style of Ms. Porter is incredibly exquisite. She definitely has a gift for using words as an artist as well as a storyteller. Lost Voices stimulates the imagination with absolutely gorgeous visual images. I do not think that I have ever saved so many passages from a fiction book to my clipboard on my Kindle. I just wanted to be able to re-read these visual passages again. They were like beautiful sweets to feed my imagination.
While I greatly enjoyed Ms. Porter's novel, it did have its downfalls. The plot seemed a bit disjointed at times and I wasn't sure where it was going. There was no real action. However, I'm eager to see how the second book develops. It might explain some of the questions I now have after completing Lost Voices.
Overall, it's a solid debut novel that takes an interesting real life topic and adds an unusual paranormal twist. Great job, Ms. Porter!
Lost Voices is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They provided me with an advanced reader's copy. It is scheduled to be released in July 2011.