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Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
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Lies Beneath

by Anne Greenwood Brown

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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
NOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

I was very excited that I was given this book, and I'm really glad it didn't disappoint me. Granted, it wasn't anything superior, but it was a nice, light read, and I enjoyed it very much. I'm sure I could've finished it in one day, had I not been busy with a ton of other things.

Like I said, this was a very light read. Sure, there were monsters, several murders and such, but they weren't presented in a grotesque kind of way. We didn't get to see people's guts getting spilled out, or hear them scream in terror or agony or something. That was not disappointing at all.

What was slightly disappointing was that the concept didn't seem original to me. I mean, bad boy goes good, good girl goes bad, love spurts where it shouldn't. It's all sort of cliched.

Still though, I enjoyed the story, and had fun getting to know the characters.

*Calder was sweet, and those little urges he had from time to time didn't really mark him as a killer in my book. Honestly. Besides, he was trying to fight it, so that should count for something, right? What I couldn't accept though was how susceptible he was to his sisters and what they wanted of him. And the way he went on stalking Lily... it was creepy. Sort of.

*Lily wasn't the clueless girl who suddenly finds herself in the midst of trouble. She's quite aware actually, and she always seems to ask the right questions. I liked that about her. I also liked her love for poetry, and how she always found those verses that strung a chord in Calder's heart.

*Tallulah, one of Calder's sisters, was just so obvious. And that transformation she went thru... that was so... so... mermish I guess.

*Maris, the eldest sister, was the most ruthless one. I didn't like her, her coldness or her decision to pursue the unnecessary revenge.

*Pavati, the third sister wasn't impressive in any special way. I guess she was beautiful, but I didn't really feel it, nor did I care.

*Jack Pettit, the guy who had fallen in Pavati's nets... his appearances were just so random. I hope we find out more about him in the sequel.

All in all, I would recommend this book to readers who aren't afraid to let their imagination roam freely, and who want to read something light. ( )
  VanyaDrum | Jan 26, 2014 |
See my review of this book, and many more, at Tales from the Great East Road.

There have always been legends about monsters living in Lake Superior, but no-one really believes them. People still take boats out and swim in the water. For some that will be the last mistake they’ll ever make, for that is where Calder White and his sister live. Their beauty and charm will draw you close as they pull you under until the bubbles stop.

Calder has never fully felt a part of his mermaid family, but he cannot resist their mental connection. He struggles as the killing to survive and yearly migrations to Lake Superior take their toll. This year his sister, Maris, the head of the family, has offered him a deal he can’t refuse: seduce Lily Hancock, and use her to lure her father out into the lake where his sister can kill him. Calder agrees as his desire for revenge on the man responsible for his mother’s death has consumed him for years, but he didn’t expect to come to care for Lily so much. Now he must choose between love and revenge, and fast because his sisters refuse to wait forever.

The mermaids in Lies Beneath are easily the best part of this book: beautiful and chillingly lethal. The murder scenes are exciting and creepy, and the descriptions of their appearance and their journey through the lake is alluring. This was an area that should have been further explored, as the mythology was limited to Calder’s family and his own personal knowledge, and even he confesses that there is much he doesn’t know.

The romance, however, was fairly lacklustre. Before Calder reveals what he is, Lily seems a little too accepting of the very few answers she is given. This is a troupe that has been over-used in Young Adult novels: one character acts very strangely, but the other ignores it because it severs the plot to have them oblivious until the “big reveal” scene. Lily does ask a few questions, but acts in an unrealistically trusting way towards Calder. As characters, both Lily and Calder are non-offensive but slightly dull. Lily seems to be slightly quirky and weird to make her seem more interesting, but it doesn’t really work. There is an almost love-triangle that feels kind of pointless as it dies off fairly quickly.

The ending was a pleasant surprise: it was not the typical neat and happy ending that is often used in Young Adult books. It leaves the story open for further books, where hopefully the idea of the mermaids themselves will be explored in greater detail. Still, the book as a whole was pleasant but bland; it was interesting whilst being read but ultimately fairly forgettable.

3 stars. ( )
  Great_East_Road | Sep 25, 2013 |
Pretty solid 4 stars. Far better than some of the other mermaid books I read this summer. ( )
  Amoonsiong | Sep 24, 2013 |
Lies Beneath RATING: 2.5 stars.
 
WARNING: Contains Spoilers
So. Another mermaid book. I was pretty excited about this one since it has a male POV (which is refreshing although it can go very wrong) and seemed to portray mermaids as evil, "alien-like" creatures (the way I like them).
 
But... I didn't like this book very much. It wasn't terrible, but it just didn't live up to my expectations, I guess. The story was a bit darker than your average YA paranormal romance but not by much. In the end the girl and the guy still got together and all that.
 
Although I couldn't pinpoint the problems I had with the book while I was reading it, I kind of compiled a list after I finished it.
 
One of the things that bothered me was that the story seemed... incomplete somehow. As if the characters didn't do all they had to do in order to advance the plot, but it still reached its conclusion. So basically the story needed better development. Plus there was some parts that were just too unrealistic for me to buy (like the fact that Jason Hancock didn't know that huge secret about himself. Just didn't seem possible.)
 
Another aspect that needed development: the characters. I simply couldn't connect to Lily or Calder, our protagonists. They lacked emotion and through all the dialogues they just seemed to go through the motions when they expressed feelings. Of course the whole romance between the two main characters seemed forced and unrealistic. Oh Lily was feisty a few times, called Calder "creepy" and "stalker" but she still seemed charmed by him. So she was all bark and no bite.
 
Lily and Calder are basically the only characters in the book. The rest of the cast barely characterizes as characters since they appear randomly only to further the plot. I know most other characters had a name, but I just can't remember them because they simply weren't important except as sources of information.
Calder's sisters are sort of the exception, since they appear a bit more. Still they were very cardboard villains, and could use a lot more characterization.
 
The word building had a few problems as well. The mermaids were supposedly strange and inhuman, lived in a cave and ate fish, but then they also went to the movies and liked to shop. I just think the author can't have it both ways. Either they are humanized merpeople that are very in tune with human culture or they are completely unaware of how humans behave. Calder used incorrect methods to seduce Lily because he didn't know what human girls liked, but then they go to the cinema and are into fashion? Hmm...
 
Overall I was not impressed with this book. The author had a good idea and the fact that merpeople lived in the Lake and were predators was really good. But then they also changed into humans and did all the things humans do. I just didn't think it was consistent. I also thought the story and the characters could use a bit more development. The ending didn't convince me at all... after reading the entire book I couldn't figure out how Calder was "redeemed". I don't think Lily taught him much. I think this stems from the writing style; it was emotionless and not very appellative. Another one of those "great idea, not very good execution" kind of books. ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
Calder is a merman, a predator who drags humans to their deaths so he can feed off their positive emotions to fill the voice inside every merperson. But this time he and his sisters are not targeting a random human – they have set their sights on John Hancock, a man promised to them by his father and a debt that has long been owed

Of course, even though he’s not finally within their reach, getting him to the water is a different matter entirely, especially since he has listened to his family history and is wary of the lake. It falls on Calder to try and find a way to the man, through his daughter Lily if necessary.

But getting into Lily’s affections isn’t easy, especially as she comes to suspect something is different about Calder and stories of lake monsters abound. And then there’s the trap of his own emotions, caring for his prey even though killing John Hancock would not only be revenge, but his chance at freedom from his sisters.

This novel is primarily about a romance and, I have to say, it didn’t appeal to me at all because it had several tropes I strongly dislike. But I will start with on element that was almost done right. Calder starts by being stalkery in the extreme. He follows Lily around, he tries to charm her, he appears at her house at truly bewildering hours - before anyone is awake (except Lily because that girl never sleeps) and generally is a creepy creepy stalker guy. And Lily is put off because of that – for a while anyway. She doesn’t even let his rescuing her convince her that she must instantly open her heart to the stalker. Yet… she does end up with him so the stalking does pay off, and for the level of stalking her reaction is still a little low. Someone’s hanging around your garden around dawn and regularly camping in your hammock? A little creeped out is a pretty minor response.

Firstly, it rushed in too quick and too soon. It seems that Calder arrives in town, sees Lily and is pretty soon smitten. It’s not love at first sight, but it’s close. And when you think Lily is the daughter of his big bad enemy John Hancock and a tool to getting at him, I don’t really see him being all open and looking for love. Yes, I know it’s a trope in romance and YA, but it still loses me to see people declaring eternal-love-I’ll-totally-betray-my-family-for-you after a brief acquaintance.

But secondly, and mostly, it’s how Lily reacts to him. Not just the reluctance-turns-to-love trope, but how, when she discovers he’s a merman and he finally admits it they have conversations that go a little like this:

Calder: I’m a merman, a dangerous predator
Lily: yay, merman! Let me quote pretentious poetry!
Calder: Actually, we kill people, I’m a murderer.
Lily: But you don’t mean it and we can be happy together. Let me make you happy.
Calder: We. Are. Predators. WE KILL PEOPLE! They are DEAD
Lily: Under the sea, under the sea, darling it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me!

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385742010, Hardcover)

The lore of mermaids and mermen is real! As Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess, says, "Riveting! A cold-blooded tale of secrets, revenge, and forbidden love that will leave you terrified to go in the water."


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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

As the only brother in a family of mermaids living in Lake Superior, Calder White is expected to seduce Lily, the daughter of the man believed to have killed the mermaids' mother, but he begins to fall in love with her just as Lily starts to suspect the legends about the lake are true.… (more)

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