Series: Lies Beneath, #1
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Pages: 303 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 12, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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
"I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.."
Great first line! I was immediately hooked by the premise of killer mermaids. They feed on human emotion, which was very interesting and felt truer to mermaid myth than the singing, dancing Disney interpretation (I do love Disney though!). They're able to detect what kind of emotions are present by looking at the person's aura. Mermaids don't feel their own positive emotions, so they must siphon it from their victims. Calder isn't like his sisters though. He doesn't always kill, even when he needs to. In fact, he wants to break away from the group and from the scrutiny of one of his sisters. However, he can't do that until they complete their revenge plot. Calder is a crucial piece to their plan, since he needs to get close to the daughter of their target.
There's no insta-love here! In fact, Lily tells Calder that he's a creep. He's always lingering and trying to get close even though they just met, so of course being creeped out is the proper response! Bella Swan, take notes! Stalking is not sexy, even if the stalker is! But they do develop a starcrossed romance eventually. I can't pinpoint when it happens though. One moment Lily says Calder makes her nervous, and the next she's going off alone with him. I must say I found their relationship boring. It wasn't sweet or steamy. It was just...there. I almost would have preferred that there was no romance at all, since it was barely developed.
While I wasn't overly impressed with Lies Beneath, I do think it may have redeemed the mermaid genre for me. The darkness of the mermaids definitely intrigued me, even though the story was predictable. The mystery plot wasn't very mysterious, since we basically get told everything we need to know right at the beginning. There were a couple of surprises I wasn't expecting though. I also enjoyed that we had a male narrator, and the writing was easy and flowed well. I do think this could have worked well as a standalone if the ending had been a little neater. I'm not sure if I'll read the following books or not. Mermaids may be in the same "take it or leave it" category as Angels for me.
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