For two weeks, come celebrate mermaids, whether it’s winter or summer where you live. Splash into Summer runs from June 28th to July 12th. There will be author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and more! Now is the time to celebrate mermaids, especially with so many new novels about them coming out.
Sarah Porter was nice enough to do an interview with me in April for Fairy Tale Fortnight. If you missed it the first time around, check it out here. And stop back next Tuesday, July 5th. To celebrate LOST VOICES’ birthday, Sarah will return to A Backwards Story with a very special guest post and I’ll have other fun goodies to share with you!
Everyone who knows me knows that I love a good mermaid story. There’s something about the mystical beings that just fascinates me. Then again, maybe it’s just that I watched Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID movie and animated TV series and SABAN’S ADVENTURES OF THE LITTLE MERMAID series too many times as a kid. Or maybe I was a mermaid in a previous life. Who knows?
I’ve been looking forward to reading Sarah Porter’s debut novel, LOST VOICES, since I first heard about it. When an opportunity to read an early copy came my way, I didn’t hesitate. Sometimes, hype only leaves you disappointed. Not this time. Porter’s underwater world was so real, I couldn’t help but be drawn into it. Additionally, she creates her own universe and folklore. This story isn’t the sweet and happy world of mermaids you might be used to. The novel is heavy and gritty. Ariel would never survive among such mermaids. She’s too carefree. In Porter’s world, Ariel would never be a mermaid to begin with. Mermaids are girls who were once human, but died young with nothing in life to lose—girls who were beaten, raped, abandoned, etc. Luce, the novel’s main character, lost both her parents at an early age and must live with her uncle, a heavy drinker who does abysmal things while under the influence. After one such incident, Luce tries to escape his abuse, falls over a cliff, and the next thing she knows, she’s a mermaid.
In Porter’s world, however, being a mermaid isn’t all fun and games. These mermaids are females with chips on their shoulders and harbor no love for humankind. They have siren-like tendencies with beautiful, enthralling voices that lead sailors to their doom. They delight in shipwrecks, in bringing down one more man in the world who would harm an innocent girl. These are mermaids that travel in packs like wolves, their queen whoever has the most persuasive voice of all.
Luce finds herself in a world of mermaids smiling to her face, but talking about her behind her back, a situation reminiscent of school cliques everyone can identify with. She’s taken under Queen Catarina’s wing due to her extraordinarily beautiful voice, but even this liaison proves to be dangerous. Luce, still in touch with her humanity, hates bringing down ships and killing sailors. She believes humans aren’t all inherently evil, but is alone in her beliefs. Even as a mermaid, she finds herself alone on the outskirts, with no place she truly belongs.
I love how different Porter’s mermaid lore was, the way she merged old mythology with new. LOST VOICES is the type of book where I found myself re-reading various parts again and again. I can’t wait to re-read the book now that it’s been officially published and finalized. Even more, I’m eager to read the next part of Porter’s trilogy and see what obstacles and wonders she’ll introduce to us next. The summary for Book Two, WAKING STORMS, is already online and sounds even better than LOST VOICES. And, as you can see, LOST VOICES is pretty darn good, one of my favorite books of 2011. The final book in the series, THE TWICE LOST, is being written now. I want it already!
The cover is what first drew me to the book back in 2010. If there’s a mermaid on the cover, you know I’ll be right there snapping up the book. Last week, I finally had the opportunity to see the cover in person and it’s more gorgeous than I thought possible. The mermaid is overlaid with a silver sheen, so as you turn the book, it looks like the flash of silver on water when you’re out on the lake watching the fish go by. It’s the perfect touch. I made the mistake of pre-ordering my copy online, so it won’t ship out until the book actually releases despite being in stores early and I forgot to take pictures/video of the cover to post for you guys, so I’ll do that at a later time. But mark my words: This is one snazzy cover!
[This entry is part of The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge of 2011. See how I've done so far here.]