The slow ebb and flow of Luce’s mermaid world in Lost Voices (2011) resumes in this equally sluggish sequel.
Although his entire family was murdered by a savage mermaid shipwreck, Dorian becomes obsessed with finding Luce, the lone mermaid who rescued him. No longer believing in the mermaid honor code, which doesn’t permit contact with humans, Luce enters a forbidden romance with Dorian, the only human who can resist a mermaid’s deadly song. When not trying to find a way to be with possessive and controlling Dorian, Luce continues to battle cruel mermaid Anais and her followers in this plot-driven novel. Dorian’s not the only one compelled to locate Luce. An X-Files–like FBI agent believes that a sudden spike in shipwrecks in the surrounding calm Alaskan waters can be attributed to mermaids and sets out to prove their existence. The introduction of Nausicaa, a wise and ancient mermaid who, according to the book if not to Homer, tried to lure Odysseus with her song, raises some narrative interest with her explanation of the creation of mermaids. Her observations of the deteriorating Earth make Luce (and readers) aware of environmental concerns and cause Luce to wonder if mermaids and humans can work together to save the oceans.
These efforts are foiled by a surreal island encounter with unexplained, strange voices and a rushed ending that sets up another conflict—and another sequel. (Fantasy. 12 & up)