Voiceless

A Mermaid's Tale

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/23/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Anna Finch lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she works as a teacher of English and Humanities by day and as a writer by night. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies with a major in Literature and Law and a Master of Teaching secondary.

'Voiceless' is her Debut novel. After participating in NANOWRIMO, she discovered she could write a novel and decided to just go for it—she hasn’t looked back since. She hopes that her Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel will delight Coming of Age readers and adults alike. It is a subversion of the classic The Little Mermaid story. Prior to writing her novel, she had been a serial poet and short story writer.

She hopes to thrill, inspire, and reinforce a love of reading in all who pick up her work.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

“Mermaids were expected to be demure and to respect their betters which were always men.” And so goes the heart-breaking rule that is the premise of Anna Finch’s Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale. Although this coming of age story is inspired by The Little Mermaid, Moriah, the mermaid protagonist in this story, is no damsel in distress and is more than just a girl who falls in love with a human male. To illustrate that she is a grander character, she lives in a patriarchal underwater kingdom where the mermaids are subservient to the mermen. This societal structure is the result of their fall from grace after defying their goddess, Gaea. When she turns sixteen, Moriah undergoes a rite of passage of living among humans to better understand the nature of these two-legged creatures. Meeting a young man named Michael has opened her eyes to the naked reality that the value of freedom enjoyed by humans is a far cry from the despotic rule of her kingdom. Herein lies the thrill of this novel, as Moriah makes difficult moral choices that involve getting a pair of legs and freeing her kingdom from the shackles of oppression.

Voiceless, as the title suggests, is an allegory for women’s condition in a patriarchy that is broadly conceptualized in a fairy tale framework. Clearly, Ms. Finch wanted to create a mermaid with a strong, independent character, and this unique attribute is reflected in how Moriah interacts with Michael: She is a girl in love with a boy, yet at the same time, she knows what she wants and stands before Michael as his equal, if not better. It touches on contemporary social issues while giving much-deserved respect for the integrity of the original tale which inspired the novel. It has a cohesive plot that stands out as unique and a heroine that readers will care about. For anyone who is tired of watching beloved fairy tales that have fallen prey to Disneyfication, Voiceless is a bold and a much-welcome read.

K.C. Finn

Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and family drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Anna Finch. Recommended for mature teen audiences and up, the work does contain references to some abusive and controlling behaviors, as well as suicidal thoughts and dealing with mental illness. This engrossing drama follows Moriah, a mermaid princess caught in a cruel reign of terror beneath the sea. After a rite of passage sees her spend a day on shore, Moriah yearns for more of the people and places she went and resolves to risk everything to escape the tyranny of the waves for a better future.

Author Anna Finch takes the typically pleasant tropes of mermaid and seafaring fiction and turns them into a deeper, darker, and more meaningful work of drama with this excellent immersive novel. The strongest aspect for me was the presentation of characters, a powerful component of the YA genre, and Moriah is an empathetic and likable young woman from the off. Although it has romantic elements, the story really homes in on the coming of age of a young woman and her desire to break out of a world that seeks to control and push her down, which is deeply inspiring to read and live alongside the heroine as she puts up her fight. Overall, I would highly recommend Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale as an accomplished work of mature YA fiction, suitable for fans of realistic emotional drama set in gorgeously developed fantasy worlds.

Romuald Dzemo

Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale by Anna Finch is a beautiful story for fans of urban fantasy. Beneath the waves is a kingdom of mermaids and King Abaddon rules Zoara-Bela with a strong grip. This mermaid world has a rite of passage that allows a young mermaid to transform into a human and live in the human world just for a day. When she turns sixteen, mermaid Princess Moriah undergoes her rite of passage, and, while among humans, she encounters Michael, a handsome and kind man. She falls in love but must return to the kingdom of her grandfather. Now life is not as it used to be and she longs to see things change. The king is intolerant and crushes anyone who opposes him. But young Moriah is determined to set her people free and to find love. Does she have the courage to follow her heart?

This is a beautiful story and while it explores an unfamiliar world and the journey of a mermaid princess on the quest for inner freedom and love, it moved me in many ways and had me thinking about important questions about life, comfort zones, and discovery. There is a lot that I enjoyed in this story. First, the concept is original and the protagonist, a mermaid princess, is well-developed. She felt so natural that she instantly caught my sympathy. This can be read as a coming-of-age narrative and it follows how exposure to a different way of life becomes illumination for the protagonist. The writing is top-notch and the character development impeccable. There is also excellent plot handling and originality that set the story apart. Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale by Anna Finch is a beautiful story with lessons on love, freedom, and parenting.

Asher Syed

Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale by Anna Finch is a young adult coming of age fantasy that revolves around the crown princess Moriah. Moriah hails from the underwater kingdom of Zoara-Bela, a mere cog in a royal wheel designed to strengthen the power of a familial legacy built upon malice and deceit. Her sixteenth birthday is a time for the sacrament, a painful passage from sea to land in a rare but necessary ritual of a time before the curse. Michael Adams is a quick admirer of the temporarily human Moriah, who is equally intrigued by him. When her time on land is coming to an end she risks everything to protect him as he does something unthinkable according to where she is from: he intercedes on behalf of a stranger. Facing the wrath of King Abaddon, an arranged marriage, a world teetering on the brink of destruction, Moriah considers the possibility of the impossible: freedom.

Anna Finch delivers a lot of fresh twists to a collection of stories that have changed little over time with Voiceless. This is the first time I've read a mermaid tale where the world below the sea is so much worse than the land above it—or at least worse than the space Michael is fortunate enough to inhabit. Moriah represents progress and a will to learn, regardless of her grandfather's crushing dynastic grip. The risk goes further than herself and Michael, and those in the know understand that a diaspora of merfolk will never go unchallenged. I loved the social construct Finch has made with a classist civilization who abhor the prospect of losing their positions, and gentle nods to other mermaid stories that many readers will have read before Voiceless was even an option. I admit I chuckled with delight when a merchant-class convict is named, and as I write this I question the wisdom of such an admission when the same mermaid is facing the worst possible punishment. But there it is. Moriah's betrothed Zachariel is a ten out of ten on the villain scale, making Voiceless one of the most intriguing fantasy novels I've read all year. Very highly recommended.

Gobi Jane

Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale by Anna Finch is an entertaining urban fantasy that follows Moriah, a beautiful mermaid princess, as she comes of age. In the Zoara-Bela kingdom, at sixteen, a mermaid undergoes the rite of passage where the young mermaid transforms into a human and enters human society for one day. When she enters the human world, Moriah meets a young, attractive man, Michael, and quickly learns that the world of humans is far better than hers, where her grandfather rules like a tyrant and where mermaids are not free. When she returns to her world, she is determined to save her kind from tyranny. Her heart also longs for the human world. With her grandfather’s dictatorship and stringent laws, does she have any chance of carrying out her plan without being completely suppressed by the wicked king?

This is a wonderful story that stands out in its originality, a coming-of-age story that follows an unusual character. The writing is simply gorgeous and I enjoyed the descriptive prose and the way Anna Finch crafts the setting. The awakening of the mermaid princess is an experience that is symbolic and has lessons for humans as well. By going through the traditional rite of passage, her eyes open to new realities and she begins to see the plight of her people from a unique angle. Things can always be better. I wanted to see this character become a heroine for her people and I also wanted to see her as a human. The plot is well-written and the characters are real. Voiceless: A Mermaid's Tale is engaging, emotionally rich, and hugely entertaining.