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Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
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Lies Beneath

by Anne Greenwood Brown

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Mermaids with some interesting background, and a male character with more depth than I expected. Lies Beneath is great in that our main character, Calder, is also a villain – he’s a killer, sucking the happiness and emotion right out of people as he drowns them. Though admittedly he seems to be on a forced diet, just for experimentation’s sake. What a way to possibly die – dragged to the watery depths in the embrace of some fabulously hot merman. *dithers a little bit in la la land* I admit, I liked him more because he was a bad guy but not the “bad boy” that so many girls fall for.

What helped make this not just another fluff young adult romance was that it WASN’T just another, girl and boy falls immediately and helplessly in love sort of a tale. Lucky us, Calder has to work to win some trust and affection from Lily. I know I’m not the only one who hates it when “love” is so easily come by.

More importantly though, there is a good story behind how all of the characters come to interact. What drew all the players together? Death and Vengeance. The family unit portrayed for the mermaids is so drastically different than that of the human family they are plotting against. What helps really suck you in is the little details you get about mermaids and how they live.

There are some interesting twists and turns in this book that I really enjoyed. Overall it was a quick and very enjoyable read. A nice choice if you’re looking for a mermaid book this summer. ( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
Well crafted story. I'm not a YA fan, but can see how teens would enjoy this book. Sympathetic characters, good tension throughout, nice plot twist at the end that I didn't guess. Excellent pacing. ( )
  ChrisNorbury | Apr 17, 2014 |
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 |
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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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