Review: Lies Beneath

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date ~ June 12, 2012
Delacorte Books for Young Readers ~ Random House
ISBN13: 9780385742016
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley

Goodreads Synopsis:
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death. It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves. One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.

I've been a fan of mermaids for years, but my favourites have typically been of the red-headed, overly curious, rebellious type. So when I picked up Lies Beneath only to encounter a cold-blooded killer merman, I started off a little bit hesitant about the book.

I wasn't expecting Anne to entrance me with this touching story, and to weave an intricate tale with some ugly truth bared for the whole world to see - and yet still find a way to identify with a character I never thought I'd relate to. That's so rare in fiction, and even rarer in real life,  that it was a real treat to read about in Lies Beneath.

  1. These aren't the mermaids most of us are familiar with...:

    (Somewhat unfortunately) Ariel doesn't make an appearance. (Props to Anne for mentioning her though!) The merpeople in Lies Beneath are vicious killers. At first, I thought I wouldn't be able to identify with them because of this and was afraid I wouldn't feel a connection with the book as a result. But instead I found it fascinating to see that they had their limits - there were times when they drew the line and stood their ground and fought against what we assumed to be their nature. This was easily the mos tinteresting aspect of the book, because we get to see such a huge change and we're led to ask a lot of questions regarding nature vs nurture.
  2. A feisty, strong love interest:

    I really didn't think I'd like Lily at first, but she grew on me SO quickly. I loved that she could dish it all back at Calder, and wasn't weak or whiny or oblivious. She totally keeps Calder on his toes all the time, refuses to back down, and makes some EXTREMELY selfless decisions.
  3. Unpredictable twists & surprises:

    There was plenty of mysterious mythology and legends to hint at what was going on, but just enough to keep me guessing. And there were some truly unexpected turn of events, which were cleverly hidden from the reader (and for good reason).
My only real complaint was that I did feel like a few too many of the issues were fairly neatly wrapped up; and while that's mostly a good thing, I still like a little bit of realism in my books. It isn't that everything turned out perfectly, but it was a little too convenient for my taste.

And it admittedly did take me a little while to get used to reading from the perspective of a sea "monster" so used to killing. That can be a little bit hard to swallow at certain times.

But this was one beautifully written and thought out story that I easily devoured. Exaclty the kind of merpeople book I like to read (and I'm picky about them, too).

Purchase Links
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roro said...

gr8 review . i gave it 3,5 /5 . looking 4ward to book2

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Lily grew on me too! Although I still felt a certain distant between me and all the characters, I quite liked this book. I love how different these mermaids are. Lovely review.

Ash said...

I loved Lily because she didn't immediately give in to Calder, she definitely put up a fight and proved herself to be a feisty heroine. I'm really looking forward to the sequel, from her point of view, for that very reason. Great review! :]

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Rainy Day Reads

ChristasBooks said...

It seems like every mermaid book so far has been promising that "these aren't the mermaids you remember" and yet they have all seemed strikingly familiar. Lies Beneath actually sounds much darker and much more unique and because of that I'm really excited to check it out

Mandy said...

I love mermaid books. I haven't had the chance to read this one yet, but I hear it's a fantastic debut! :) Can't wait to get my hands on it.

I'm glad you liked it. Great review!

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I liked some things about this book, but there were other things I didn't like as well. I think for me the ending was really out there for me. It just seemed over the top.

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