29 August 2012

YA Book Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Release Date: 12 June 2012
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...

I'm going to have to say that this is the mermaid book that I totally did not know I wanted.  It takes our well-engrained Disney version of mermaids and turns it on its head.  Instead of singing, happy merpeople, these mermaids are decidedly evil.  Their sustain their emotions by essentially draining them from happy unsuspecting victims. I was intrigued within seconds of starting this book because it struck me as so very different from the other "mermaid books" that I've read.

Calder is a mermaid who likes to "experiment" with his merman nature, avoiding "feeding" on humans for extended periods and separating himself from his family. I liked Calder because he's independent.  He's loyal to his family to an extent, but he clearly thinks for himself too.  I thought he was a great male narrator, something I seem to be actively seeking out lately.  It's nice to read from a well-written male POV and Lies Beneath definitely brings that to the table. It's Calder's unique perspective as a merman caught between familial ties and a sense of independence that makes his relationship with Lily so interesting to follow.

Lies Beneath has fabulous characters and for me they were what sucked me into the story, but there were a lot of things that I wish I could have got more details about.  What was Calder's relationship with his mom? What's Lily REALLY like? What goes on in Calder's sisters' heads?  But really, despite those things, I did love the story.  The dark twist on mermaids and the distinctive setting of Lake Superior (instead of the expected ocean) more than made up for a few lacking developments for me. I was thoroughly engrossed and invested in this story.

This is truly a fantastic mermaid book.  It engages your imagination from the very beginning. From the characters to the tone and setting, Lies Beneath offers a unique contribution to the YA market and I'm excited to see where Ms. Brown goes with the sequel.

1 comment:

roro said...

gr8 review . i liked calder

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