Review: The Twice Lost (Lost Voices, #3) by Sarah Porter

The Twice Lost (Lost Voices, #3) by Sarah Porter
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: July 2nd 2013
Format: Hardcover (480 pages)
Source: My local library
Mermaids have been sinking ships and drowning humans for centuries, and now the government is determined to put an end to the mermaid problem—by slaughtering all of them. Luce, a mermaid with exceptionally threatening abilities, becomes their number-one target, hunted as she flees down the coast toward San Francisco.

There she finds hundreds of mermaids living in exile under the docks of the bay. These are the Twice Lost: once-human girls lost first when a trauma turned them into mermaids, and lost a second time when they broke mermaid law and were rejected by their tribes. Luce is stunned when they elect her as their leader. But she won’t be their queen. She’ll be their general. And they will become the Twice Lost Army—because this is war.

The sequel to Waking Storms and the last book in the Lost Voices Trilogy, author Sarah Porter brings us a stunning conclusion to Luce's tale in The Twice Lost. It's a story of mermaids, humans and most of all, war.


I must say that The Twice Lost, and the Lost Voices trilogy for that matter, are nothing like any mermaid book I have ever read before. Porter has created a world that I have always fantasised about existing, of what would happen when the worlds of humans and mermaids both collide in this book. There's this sense of tranquility that wraps itself around you when you're finished with this amazing novel.

Porter's writing is one of the best I've ever read. She writes in third person so well that I as a reader don't mind the switching of third person POVs to other scenes/situations a single bit. It's so cinematic. Her smooth writing and her choice of words are so fitting for the watery saga she has created.

In the beginning of The Twice Lost, Luce is still no different as she was in Waking Storms, or perhaps even Lost Voices for that matter. It is in this final book that you get to see her blossom into a true warrior of her own worth. For those of you who've read Waking Storms, yes, Luce still doesn't want to be called queen. *chuckles*

Catarina makes her appearance once again and this time, we find out more about who she truly is. There's more to this redhead than we'll ever know - will she get a happy ending of her own?

Porter weaves the beauty and ugliness of human behaviour all into a single novel. Deep down, the mermaids are no different than the humans – they crave for a sense of belonging, for a true bond. What strikes me the most is how the mermaids are so genuine to each other, unlike in the first book, Lost Voices. The Twice Lost mermaids – notably Yuan, Cala, Jo and Imani – are as bonded and caring just as Samantha, Anais and the rest of Luce's old tribe are selfish and bitchy. The Twice Lost have arguably more humanity left in them than the usual mers; they've broken the timahk and are once again lost. I especially love the way Yuan and Luce interact with each other. Oh, and kudos to Porter for having included an Asian mermaid! Yuan is one of my most favourite supporting characters. She has so much personality.

Another small thing I love about this book is that it was set in San Francisco. I just have this spot in my heart for San Fran and I plan on visiting the place someday!

And the ending. Gosh, the ending. It was absolutely awesome. Characters, old and new, all have a place of their own in this book. I'm not going to spoil Luce and Dorian's relationship for you – just know that Dorian will try to prove his worth to Luce, Luce hasn't seen the last of her father, and I for one am REALLY happy with Luce's final choice. I just wish Luce and Dana could have reconciled in person.

The Twice Lost is like a never-ending movie filled with so much action, so many happenings that I can't possibly remember them all in chronological order now. I feel as if I lost myself in this book just as the mermaids had been lost. It's like I dove into the waters with Luce and the other mermaids, and when I finished this book, it's like I finally surfaced, gasping for air, because the mermaids' interactions with the humans are so real. The Lost Voices trilogy has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf as one of my most favourite trilogies of all time. Five stars.

Sarah  PorterI'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.

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. from City College.

Visit Sarah at her website!

Get your copy of The Twice Lost!
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble


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