Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
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.
Lies Beneath is the first book about mermaids that I can remember reading. I was happy to discover that these weren’t “Ariel and the Little Mermaid” type mermaids but murdurous, vengeful ones.
I found myself liking Lily right away. She’s a non-conformist who loves poetry and goes out of her way to be different from other people. She is also sarcastic and not easily put off, with a pretty good head on her shoulders.
I was intrigued with Calder from the start as well. He’s got his three mermaid sisters but you can tell he’s not like them – and shows his rebelliousness towards them in various ways. At first it’s not apparent why he’d feel anything but love towards them and then we begin to learn about the particular characteristics these mermaid have. They can see human auras and know our emotions. Not only can they see them they crave our good emotions like happiness or excitement. The horrible part is the mermaids kill people in order to feed off these emotions, it’s the only way they know how to feel themselves. If they “fast” – as Calder attempts – they are plunged into a horrible depression and feel empty inside.
I liked the romance aspect of Lies Beneath – I’m sort of shocked to be able to say that! I usually get annoyed with many relationships in YA fiction. This relationship had a nice building process and was far from the insta-love so many of us loathe. I found it completely believable and was rooting for them.
Lies Beneath is not just a simple mermaid romance tale. It’s got depth and heart. I like books that make me ponder and this was definitely one of them. Calder’s sisters are creepy to the core and the surprise twist at the end was worth waiting for. This is a great book – take it to the beach…or maybe not.
*Review Copy provided free of charge by the publisher in exchange for a fair review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.