The final installment of the Lost Voices trilogy continues to drown readers with sluggish details.
Porter juggles several storylines that ultimately converge in a conclusion that may dissatisfy many romantics. Luce, on her own now, discovers off San Francisco other outcast mermaids who also broke the mermaid code of honor. Abandoned by both humans from their former lives and their mermaid tribes, these renegade mermaids consider themselves “twice lost” and form the Twice Lost Army with Luce as their general. As they gain strength in numbers, the mermaids wage war against the United States. In the process, they realize that humans are worth saving and begin to hope to bring peace between humans and themselves. Other storylines involve the return of Luce’s father after being lost at sea for two years and Dorian’s change of heart about finding Luce, helping her cause and, he hopes, rekindling their love. The author attempts to set up suspense through U.S. Secretary of Defense Moreland and his diabolical plan to destroy the country by manipulating Luce’s erstwhile mermaid rival, Anais. The impetus for this stereotyped villain’s motive is unclear, and the results become increasingly predictable.
In the end, it’s really about teen girls just trying to get along and face growing up in a sometimes-hostile world but with the extra burden of being mermaids—making it altogether too similar to so much that’s already on the market. (Fantasy. 12 & up)