Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: The Twice Lost, by Sarah Porter

I must admit that I was disappointed with The Twice Lost, but part of the problem is that I didn't read the first two books (Lost Voices, and Waking Storms) in the trilogy.

The United States government is trying to exterminate all of the mermaids. The general population doesn't know that mermaids exist, let alone that they are responsible for sinking ships and causing countless human deaths. Luce is trying to swim along the coast and warn all the tribes of mermaids that the humans are murdering them.

Eventually Luce becomes a leader and forms the Twice Lost Army to try to fight the government, but there is resistance from places that neither Luce nor the government are aware of.

I had difficulty caring about the characters, and this is probably because I don't know their back stories. Luce apparently once had a relationship with a human boy, but it took most of the book to put together the pieces of what happened, and I still don't have all the details. There's also a lot of back story about Luce -- how she became a mermaid, how she was supposed to be queen but refused, and a lot about her relationship with other mermaids, one of which she is looking for through much of the book -- but I didn't know why. I think this missing information is essential to connecting with The Twice Lost.

Certain humans who have had encounters with mermaids hear the mermaid songs in their head. Why? What happened to them -- they weren't killed but somehow they are permanently affected. Don't get it.

There were other problems I had with the book that were unrelated to the back story, though. It's very long, and the pacing to get to the "good part" was very slow. I would have appreciated another edit of the first 200 pages.

I found some logical problems and plot holes too. Mermaids have to sleep with their tail in the water, but they have to be able to breath air. How do they deal with the tide going in or out while they sleep? This is really a minor thing, but it bugged me!

Mermaids used to be humans. I know they led horrible lives and that's why they become mermaids (another thing I don't really understand, but...) Why do they hate humans so much that they want to kill ALL of them? I couldn't buy that.

All of a sudden, they talk about mermaid larvae. Where do those come from? Why are they important? What are they for?

This is just a small sample of the confusion I felt at times. The writing style is readable, and other than being long, I wanted to find out what happened. I didn't CARE what happened, but I still wanted to find out.

If you enjoyed the first two books in the series, I'm sure you will enjoy finding out what happens in The Twice Lost. If you enjoy mermaid stories, I would definitely start with the FIRST book, Lost Voices. Then you can decide if you want to continue with the trilogy.

Published by Harcourt, July 2, 2013
ARC obtained from Library Media Connection Magazine for review
471 pages

Rating: 2/5

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