With a cover like this, who wouldn't have big expectations (I MEAN, LOOK AT IT!)? The cover for Lost Voices promises a sort of fairy tale, magic, and girlish innocent youth. It doesn't deliver. Lost Voices by Sarah Porter is the story of Luce, formerly a human who transforms into a mermaid with a beautiful, deadly singing voice. On the night of her transformation, she's found by the mermaid tribe Queen, Catarina, who brings her back to the other girls, where they teach her the whys and the ways of becoming a mermaid. Seemingly, most of the mermaids have lost their humanity - fitting since they are no longer human. The way to become a mermaid is rather simple: have something really awful done to you and accept that there is nothing left for you in your human world. Your body liquifies, and reforms as a mermaid. If you aren't near a coast, travel through sewage pipes and drain pipes until you reach a body of salt water. Because the way to become a mermaid is through negative experiences, the mermaids hate humans, regardless of having been human once themselves. They use their beautiful, deadly voices to lure and sink ships, for no other reason than entertainment and vengeance. The premise of Lost Voices is great. It is the stuff out of sadistic fairy tales. But the execution of Lost Voices fails miserably. The story meanders often, with no real thought to plot lines and story arcs, leaving the reader wondering exactly where it's going or when it will start getting interesting. None of the characters are all that vibrant - save the most hated character, Anais, who is so profoundly vapid and cruel, she becomes interesting by virtue of that alone. The story feels very two-dimensional and flat, exactly the opposite of the world it is trying to describe. And though Lost Voices is the first in a mermaid trilogy, the ending is both abrupt and trailing off, of a sort. It just...ends. When it ended, I found myself wondering where the author was trying to take me, and if she really wanted me to read the next book. I can confidently say I won't be.