Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Genre: Fantasy, Mermaids, Fantasy
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 irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting 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.
*Galley provided by publisher for an honest review*
As mermaid books go, this dark tale in the eyes of Calder, the teenage merman, and the tale of revenge in this urban fantasy romance happens to be a new favorite among the mermaid trend. The fact that it's in a male perspective and it has dark overtones with the mermaid myth, it was a glorious and attention grabbing read. For anyone trying to get out of the Disney-Hans Christian Anderson tales of mermaids, Lies Beneath is a refreshing and mystifying tale that takes unique to a whole new level.
The thing that I enjoyed the most, besides Calder's POV, was the whole aspect of the mermaids as a whole. The electricity that courses through their veins and allow them to reinvigorate--to revive--humans and transform them into mermaids or mermen. Just the concept of electricity coursing through the veins of beings that use the water to survive, it was an fantastic rendition to the mermaid fable, and Anne Greenwood Brown does a wonderful job making it a universal aspect and going deeper into the idea.
Relationship wise, I enjoyed Calder and Lily. They were cute together. He wasn't
completely rude, incessant, or a complete duchebag like most YA characters out there. Calder became highly complex the farther the book came. The constant fight with himself from the very start of the book, were we find him prolonging killing and changing, it basks upon his willpower, unlike his sisters who succumb to powerful urges. As a character, Calder is wonderfully sweet and though he had an attitude time and again when speaking to Lily, we all have those moments where sentences come out much worse and meaner than we intended them to be. He possessed high quantities of emotion and, though he didn't think so, happiness when Lily came to mind or her very presence. Lily was a doll. Her love of poetry and her persistent attitude for the truth made her character come a long way. I was overjoyed when we didn't get a lovelorn fool when the handsome Calder came along. She pulled herself away for the longest time until finally realizing the feelings she had for him. Their story was a breath of fresh air and extremely tantalizing as the nitty-gritty started to pan out towards the end.
The writing was executed wonderfully. The underwater escapades, the darkness of being dragged down towards death, the auras that detailed human emotions--everything wove together delicately and disastrously. I am definitely up future novels that Anne Greenwood Brown writes. She has me sold.
Final Summation: For those looking to swing out of the cliched mermaid tales, Lies Beneath gives both a unique twist to the lore of mermaids and provides dark characters and heinous actions that make this take of love and revenge so much more enjoyable. A definite read and one you should pick up when copies hit shelves.
First Line: I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I feel pretty good about that.