Lost Voices by Sarah Porter– I am glad I read it but I thought it would have turned out much different. I was left feeling… empty, as if part of the plot was missing. I actually had to reread multiple sections to see if I missed something. First off, I was not happy to see military (Coasty) ships attacked, being a mil spouse, but they can’t all be cruise liners.
The general idea is that girls, and only girls, who are abused, in number of various ways and degrees, turn into liquid in order to reach the sea ultimately turning into mermaids. These mermaids are sirens luring ships to destruction effectively killing the evil adults who if they had not, would perpetrate horrors the girls lived through. There was a good twist with snobbish, fashion-needy girls changing the culture of the otherwise primitive, easy going group.
On a much deeper level, the angst between the “queen” and our heroine was excellently built: the truth hidden, needing to be exposed, to suffer due to survivor’s guilt from doing “the right thing” which ultimately turned out horrible, and therefore be liberated from the guilt when fully usurped. Ultimately, it is the story of humanity, holding on to it despite continual, sometimes horrible odds and how each girl interprets the opportunities and peer pressure. So, perhaps, being an adult, the peer pressure and need to strike out on one’s own, by her own rules, went right over my head. What I did not miss was how the girls who survived the human monsters and abuse had become so embittered that they became monsters themselves, murdering similarly innocent people but they made sure there was no salvation, no second chance for sailors in order to keep the mermaids existence hidden.
Except for one, a boy. I did catch all the questions, the undercurrents of why boys, even abused, could not become mermaids. I however missed the explanation. Perhaps it is pre-pubescence innocence. Much easier to study humanity when it is not mucked up by relationships. I would have liked to have this during those awkward, questioning years to help debate which peer groups I should stay with, which path I should take, and that it is ok to go off on my own, all alone.