Friday, August 3, 2012

Lies Beneath

by Anne Greenwood Brown
Read: July 16-July 18, 2012
Source: Library Book
Category: YA

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.

A lot of this book follows the conventional paranormal romance plotline. A new girl moves to town were she meets a mysterious guy. She realizes that there’s something Different about said guy. The girl figures out that the guy is Not Human. While this is going on, falling in love happens between them. It’s fairly insta. Then there’s some danger and action near the end.

What is different about this story is that it is told from the guy’s perspective. We know right away that Calder is a merman, and what his (initial) purpose is in getting to know Lily. We get to watch her work out what he is – I thought she was a little to insightful in figuring out that he is connected to past events that happened to her family. But it does take her some time to figure out What he is.

It’s also interesting to be in Calder’s head, because we get to know and LIKE him, while learning all about how he is a serial killer. Yes. These are not your typical mermaids. They are much more like the mythical sirens, leading people to their deaths in the water. Calder also has several sisters, who are quite ruthless, delighting in luring their victims with their beauty. Calder’s relationship with his vicious sisters added another layer of complexity to the book that I really enjoyed.

Lily is our heroine. She wants to be a poet and tries to dress the part with a Victorian inspired flair. She and her family have just moved to a small town on Lake Superior, because her mom is unwell. I liked Lily, especially that she is her own person and though mature in ways, also comes off as being a teen. Calder is supposed to get close to Lily so that he and his sisters can kill her father to avenge his mother’s death. OF COURSE things don’t work out exactly as planned because Calder starts to fall for Lily, and his sisters don't understand or like this at all.

I enjoyed this story, and as I mentioned, there are several things that make it different from the typical Paranormal Romance. But there isn’t anything that made me LOVE the book. I thought that the author tended to over explain some things, and then there were times that I had trouble reading Calder (what he was telling the audience wasn’t exactly what he was really thinking – I get that it was intentional, but I felt some disconnect between the over explaining and then purposeful confusion). I also figured out some of the secrets before the characters did, which wore on me a bit.

However, I am looking forward to the next book, which is from Lily’s perspective. I like when authors use the companion novel approach to second stories, because it makes them feel fresher. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Love Triangle Factor: None!


  1. This sounds interesting. I've read mixed reviews on it a while back but lately I've seen it start to resurface a little bit and the most recent reviews have been much better. I wonder if people were getting burned out on mermaid books a while back??

    Also, I just read Wake by Amanda Hocking, which was about sirens. I really liked it.

    I just saw on twitter this week that this just turned into a trilogy. Did you see that? So maybe there will be a third companion book?

    1. Oh I just got Wake from the library from your suggestion. I hope I can get to it before it has to go back! These characters are sort of siren-y (I know that's not a word!), because their luring of people to their death in the water).

      I think people are getting burt out about mermaids and ALSO the typical PNR plot-line. (I remember when I saw a news story about how mermaids were the new vampires and I was like WHATT??? And now they're old news already. But I've loved mermaids since my obsession with The Little Mermaid). Anyway, I give this author props for doing something different with the typical storyline. And overall this was a GOOD read (Wendy D even liked it and she's a hard sell!) I will definitely read the rest of the books in the series. I did NOT know it was a trilogy. YAY for that.

  2. I read and reviewed this book recently, and I enjoyed it being from the male perspective as well. And hey, there really wasn't a love triangle. Jack was an non-interest for Lily. :)


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