Unwanted, uncared for, unloved: that’s how 14 year old Luce feels when she finds herself tumbling from the clifftops after fighting off the advances of her drunk uncle. Instead of death, though, she changes form during the fall, landing in the Alaskan sea as a mermaid. Suddenly, for the first time in her life, she finds love and friendship amongst the tribe of fellow merfolk who rescue her from the depths. Her new life as a mermaid would be a dream come true, if not for the terrible fact that Luce now has a near-uncontrollable urge to sink ships.
Like Luce, the other mermaids were created in order to escape horrific circumstances, and their main mission in life is to lure human beings to their watery graves with the magic of their siren songs. Horrified by her new impulses, Luce tries to control her powerful new voice and use it for better purposes than death and destruction. Complications lurk just beneath the surface: jealous Queen Catarina is suspicious of her secret singing practices, the mermaid tribes become more and more reckless with their songs and shipwrecks, and a dangerous new mermaid is stirring up an ocean of trouble for them all. Against all odds, Luce must remain strong and learn to reconcile the human she was with her dangerous new form.
Porter’s debut novel, the first of a series about the mermaid tribe, is a welcome addition to the young adult genre. Readers will enjoy the mer-mythology and the complicated relationships between Luce and her new friends. 304 pages. Ages 14 and up
Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian.