Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date – June 12, 2012
Publisher Website – Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 303 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**provided from Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 has one of the best first chapters I can remember reading in a long time. Seriously. Chapter one Calder is telling us exactly what he does to humans and it chilled me like the cold waters of Lake Superior. It set up a darker, more sinister mere lore than I was expecting. I was quite excited after that chapter, but sadly the novel overall didn’t wow me.
There are a lot of really great aspects to the novel. The mythology being the biggest. I loved the sinister and malicious intent these mermaids had. The darker theme was perfect for these creatures. Drowning is a real fear of mine and having these seductive mere folk absorb your energy while having you at the bottom of the ocean is scary. Calder’s sisters were especially vicious and cold. They looked at humans as things to play with and discard.
The writing itself flows very well and is immensely readable. The pacing was great. You’ll finish the novel rather quickly and it is rather short. This may actually be a negative though. I didn’t feel the mythology was developed as much as it could be. The book could have been a little longer if only to gain more insight into the underwater workings.
The vengeance part of the story was well flushed out. Calder’s inner struggle with doing what he has longed to do to avenge his mother, and doing what now feels right to him is not only well expressed, but relatable. We all rebel against our families at some point or another.
I was not a huge fan of Lily, or the instant love between her and Calder. It was not a gradual thing, and for Calder to turn his back on what has been a driving force for him for a long time didn’t feel true to me. I wish it had been more gradual. I didn’t really feel we got to know any of the characters except for Calder. Lily, Calder’s sisters all remained very surface characters for me. A hightlight for Lily’s character though was her reaction when finding out what Calder was. It was a reaction that you would expect.
Overall I did enjoy Lies Beneath and appreciated the darker tone of the novel. I debated giving this one a 3.5 or a 4 star rating. There are things I loved, and things I wished would have worked a little different.