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Lost Voices (The Lost Voices Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 305 pages
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Editorial Reviews Review

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?

The first book in a trilogy, 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.

Sarah Porter on Lost Voices

Dear Amazon Readers,

The mermaids of legend sink ships and drown sailors, but no one ever seems to ask why. Is their behavior really nothing more than mindless cruelty? Or do the mermaids suffer from a deeper compulsion? If so, what provokes their dark desires?

Would it even be possible for a mermaid to make a different choice and change her destiny?

Lost Voices is a search for the secret hearts of mermaids. The mermaids of the Lost Voices trilogy are the girls who have lost their humanity through suffering--but whose humanity keeps coming back to haunt them? They can enchant seafarers and drown them, yet they can’t drown their own feelings of loss and rejection. But if revenge can’t heal their heartache, what can?

Many of us struggle to understand who we are and what our own humanity means. Once you learn all the bad things people are capable of, then how can you accept that you’re one of them? Especially when we’re young, I think a lot of us experience something similar to what the mermaids feel: we have a sense of being like everyone else but also fundamentally "other," part of the everyday world but also outside it. Sometimes we don’t know if we want to fit in, or if we’d rather just be as different as possible.

These mermaids think they’re superior to humankind. They want to believe they’ve escaped from both the vulnerability and the brutality that are part of the human condition. But some of them gradually come to understand that there are aspects of their humanity that are worth fighting to preserve--no matter what the price.



''A beautifully written and heartbreaking story about a lost soul struggling to forgive the people she loved who wronged her and ultimately to forgive herself.'' --Jennifer Echols, author of Going Too Far

''In this haunting debut, Porter reworks mermaid mythology to tell a story of abuse, revenge, and forgiveness.'' --Booklist

''Porter's narrative style suits her oceanic theme; the vivid colors and particularities of life are smoothed away to plain clarity.'' --Publishers Weekly

''The plot is fast-paced but perfectly developed . . . As you read, you can't help but notice the struggles of humanity that are felt in some of the modern classics of our times.'' --YA Books Central

Product Details

More About the Author

I'm a writer, artist, and freelance teacher. I teach creative writing workshops in the New York public schools via Teachers and Writers Collaborative; I've worked with kids in grades K-10, but I've focused on junior high and high school for the last several years. I don't think I would have written a YA novel if it weren't for that experience! Reading my students' intense, passionate poetry and stories recalled my own emotions at that age. Lost Voices was my attempt to write the book I most needed as a twelve-year-old struggling with what it means to be human: a book I never really found.

As for why I became a writer, well, I grew up moving around a lot. I was shy and didn't have a lot of friends, and I read all the time. Books sustained me and gave me a sense of belonging when I was young. All the voices of all the writers I've loved throughout my life seemed to flow together into something like a speaking whirlwind. Literature for me has always been a force greater than the individuals who create it. And because that force meant (and means) so much to me, I wanted to be a part of it, to give it what I could and contribute to its power.

I live in Brooklyn with my wonderful husband Todd, an artist and fabricator of electronic art, and our cats Jub Jub and Delphine. I have an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from City College.

My website is It includes my drawings of Luce and Nausicaa (who features largely in the upcoming books in the trilogy) as well as a summary of the trilogy's second volume, WAKING STORMS. There's also a selection of reviews and interviews, and occasional updates.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Flashlight Reader on July 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lost Voices is the first novel in a new series that is hauntingly reminiscent of Lord of the Flies and The Chocolate War. In this book, young girls find themselves transforming into mermaids during the most devastating and desolate times of their young lives. When overwhelmed with the horrors of humanity, these young girls from every walk of life release themselves to the power of the sea. Guided by the timahk--laws that govern mermaids--every mermaid joins a tribe and finds the love and family that they might have missed during their human days.

For Luce, one of the newest members of Catarina's tribe, joining the mermaids was the greatest thing that had happened to her in a long time. Luce was thrilled with her new life and the feelings of acceptance that she found in the other girls. But then Luce learns what it means to really be a mermaid. Sure, her voice is worthy of an angelic choir and her beauty surpasses anything on earth, but are these things really worth living with the guilt associated with being a siren? Luce is haunted by her eagerness to help the other mermaids sink ships and drown innocent humans. Then, Luce discovers a new power in her voice. She quickly learns that she can control the magic in her song, and change her death song into something more positive. Luce is overjoyed by her new knowledge, and wants to share her discovery with the other mermaids. This seems like a great idea, until Anais joins the tribe.

Anais is pure evil in the form of the most radiant mermaid Luce has ever seen. The other mermaids are quickly drawn to her and desire to please her malevolent whims. Despite her power over the other mermaids, Anais doesn't fool Luce. Luce can see the wickedness at the heart of the captivating mermaid and she wants to stop it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what it is about summer time reading that makes want to read a mermaid book, but it does. When I was offered the chance to read and review Lost Voices I was really looking forward to it, but it was not at all what I was excepting. Lost Voices is a very dark, raw, and at times an emotionally gripping read with a unique paranormal twist. Sarah Porter takes some very sensitive topics and gives her broken, abused, unloved, unwanted female characters an out from their emotionally, painful lives by turning them into mermaids.

I don't know if I was more shocked at some of the horrible things some the girls in endured while they were human, or how malicious many of them became as mermaids. In some cases I could sympathize with that, but I was hoping that by escaping the human life it would have made many of them change. The story itself is heartbreaking, especially for the story's main character Luce who's had to grow up in a broken family and on the run. Her mother died when she was born, and her father was constantly taking her on the run with him until his brother convinces him to settle down in their home town, a fishing village in Alaska. Everything changes when she father doesn't return from a fishing trip and she's forced to stay with an uncle who despises her and ultimately does something that sends Luce into the sea, searching for away to escape what she's just dwelt with.

One of the things I liked about what Sarah does with her story is how she incorporates music with the mermaids, and the way it helped Luce find her voice, and in a way helps her heal. Luce is a character who annoyed me at times, and other times I felt bad for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By StarReviewer VINE VOICE on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For the first chapter or two, I couldn't get into `Lost Voices'. I prefer YA aimed at older teens (and therefore, usually adults as well) and was disappointed to see that the heroine was only fourteen. But soon I was sucked into an engrossing story, both painful and beautiful, that will appeal to people of all ages. The book is about girls and young women who were hurt in some horrible way (raped, almost murdered, abandoned, etc.) who turn into mermaids. After the transformation, the feel an irresistible urge to sing deadly songs that lure all who hear them to their deaths. Though all of the mermaids were victimized in some way, this is not an `issue' book. It's more of a serious, thoughtful fantasy. This isn't a romance, which is unusual for a YA, and in my opinion a nice change. The story's about friendship and how far people will go to preserve it; it's about respect for life; it's about the human cruelties and kindnesses; and it's about a young woman torn between loyalty to her friends and what she knows is right. This isn't a story about forgiving bad people; it's about the difference between a victim becoming a survivor, or a victimizer. It's a beautiful, sad story about human relationships, with a strong touch of fantasy via the mermaids and their amazing songs. The writing itself is gorgeous, the dialog is excellent, and the description of the mermaids, their magical singing, and the setting of Alaska are great. I'd have liked to read more about Alaska, but that's literally my only complaint. I can't wait for the sequel!
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