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The Twice Lost
by Sarah Porter


Third book in the Lost Voices trilogy. Sequel to Lost Voices and Waking Storms.
Review may contain spoilers for previous volumes in series.


The government finally has proof that mermaids are real and out there, and it plans to protect the seas by exterminating them. School after school of mermaids is being wiped out in secret raids, because no one wants to alert the public to the existence of the fish-girls. Luce, an exiled mermaid with a powerful voice that can control the seas, is their primary target. As she flees south, down from Alaska along the Pacific coast, she is spotted by a human, and a video of her taken with a cell phone quickly goes viral online. When Luce arrives, exhausted, in San Francisco, she discovers two things: first, the video has alerted the world to the existence of mermaids, and second, a huge tribe of mermaids lives in San Francisco’s docks – and they are all exiles like herself. As the government campaign against mermaids ramps up, the exiles – called the Twice Lost – ask Luce to lead them against the humans. She agrees to become their general, and the Twice Lost Army begins a war of propaganda as they block the port of San Francisco, cutting off trade routes and inspiring other mermaids around the world to join them in similar protests.

I loved the finale to the Lost Voices trilogy. Luce has grown up so much over the course of the three books, and everything tied together very well as mermaids and humans finally clash in the San Francisco Bay. It felt very relevant and real - even though we're talking about *mermaids* for cryin' out loud - due to the pervasive nature of social media in charting the course of the novel and the fact that the author didn't shy away from death when it was needed to really drive home the drama.

It’s always tempting to end these fairy tale-like stories with a romantic “happily ever after”. During the course of the novel, a “cure” for mermaidism is developed, and the fish-girls are given the opportunity to return to their human lives. It creates quite a dilemma for Luce, who reconciles with Dorian, her love interest. More than anything, he wants her to become a human again, but Luce isn’t Disney’s Ariel, and she doesn’t necessarily want to leave the oceans and walk on land once more. Knowing that her father is alive and looking for her makes the transition back to human all the more tempting for Luce. I was really happy with her ultimate decision, because it showed Luce really embracing the person that she wants to be. Thanks to some of her friends, who make the choice that Luce does not, the reader also catches a glimpse of what might have been – and it really confirms that each young woman made the decision that was right for her.

This has been a wonderful trilogy. I know that there are a lot of new mermaid stories out right now in young adult, and now that I’ve finished Lost Voices I’m eager to start something new.

Any suggestions for what to read next?

4.5 out of 5 stars

To read more about The Twice Lost, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.



Peeking into the archives...today in:
2012: Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo
2011: Fashionista Piranha will be on hiatus for a while…
2010: Dolis by Maki Kusumoto
2009: Tattoo Machine by Jeff Johnson
2008: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

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