Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath, book 1
Genre: YA Paranormal, Mermaids
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.”
Lies Beneath is the first installment in the Lies Beneath series by Anne Greenwood Brown.
The blurb is very explanatory, I won’t add more to it. Let’s just say that I have read very few tales about mermaids and of course have watched The Little Mermaid countless times. But forget the idea of Ariel, the merpeople in Lies Beneath are not the friendly kind, they are more like aquatic vampires without fangs that feed of your emotions and energy. Their behavior is more animalistic than humanlike and very instinct driven. They kill to survive and enjoy doing it; it’s their way of life and all they know.
Even though I like the take on the merpeople I had some problems connecting with the characters. The story is told by Calder’s point of view, getting a male perspective was refreshing but due to Calder’s personality we don’t get enough emotions, this made it harder to connect with him and other characters.
Calder is a conflicted character, he lives as a merman and kills to feed but that doesn’t mean he likes it, at least not all the time. He is not a born merman, his mermaid-mom rescued him when he was just a child after he fell from a boat and almost drowned and she “made” him a merman.
I think in part his conflicted personality was due to his human origin. It was almost as his two sides (human/merman) were in constant fight to do what was right according to his different natures.
One thing I really like about this book was the heroine, Lily was not swept by Calder’s good looks but found his behavior and antics disturbing and stalkerish. She knew there was something wrong with him and tried to keep her distance as much as she could. It took some work on Calder’s part to get close to her and I liked Lily more for it.
Calder and Lily’s romance felt a bit flat and I couldn’t feel a real connection between them. I’m blaming this to my inability to connect with them.
Calder’s sisters Maris, Pavati, and Tallulah were creepy as hell. Maris is the one that took care of her siblings when their mother passed away, for that reason she is the one that controls them. She is the most vicious and cruel of the family. Pavati is the one that likes to play with her prey, and Tallulah is the one that appears more normal, until you learn the truth behind her actions.
The plot is simple and a little bit predictable, it had some twist and turns that are not big surprises, at least not for me, I was suspecting them since the beginning so there was not much of “oh” moments. The secondary characters felt a bit two-dimensional; I’m also blaming this to Calder’s ineffectiveness to express emotion and my inability to connect with the characters.
The second book in the series, Deep Betrayal, will be told by Lily’s point of view. I may give it a try just to see if a different narrator will make a difference in the feeling of the story.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
Other books in the series
Deep Betrayal (March 12th, 2013)
Other reviews Goodreads