Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: Lies Beneath, by Anne Greenwood Brown @AnneGBrown

Lies Beneath is a mermaid adventure story that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Calder White loves the tropical waters, but is called back to Lake Superior every summer to be with his three sisters. They are merpeople, and not necessarily the gentle, nice creatures we might think of. These mermaids must kill humans to survive. They kill humans who are happy to steal their emotions, otherwise they are destined to be unhappy and depressed.

Calder is summoned north by his older sister, because they have found Jason Hancock, a man they have been after for years because his father made a deal with Calder's mother that he would give her his son, Jason. So, now they intend to kill Jason, since their mother died because the elder Hancock didn't keep his promise.

The plan is for Calder to get close to one of Hancock's daughters, which will allow him to lure Jason onto the water where the mermaids can collect their debt. Things get complicated when Calder becomes attached to the daughter, Lily.

These are not your Disney mermaids. They are mean, and conniving, and unforgiving. Calder is a bit more redeeming since he hasn't killed a human for a long time. He really wants to escape from his sisters' influence, but the only way he can do that is if the oldest sister frees him. She will free him if he helps them kill Hancock. Calder's relationship with Lily developed at a nice pace, and was believable. I liked how Lily was skeptical -- she didn't instantly fall for Calder, like he was used to.

The pacing of Lies Beneath is very quick and almost frantic at the end. The situation seems to be insurmountable--there's no way for a "happily ever after" for all of these characters. That's where my problem with Lies Beneath begins. In order for things to work out in the end, there are just too many convenient plot devices. Something happens so fast, that once character "doesn't notice." Another thing happens, and the mermaids don't know it because they couldn't hear it. The mermaids could always read each other's thoughts when they are in the water, until it isn't conducive to the plot.

Throughout Lies Beneath, Calder and his sisters use their ability to make people forget things when it's advantageous. This is a great "power" to have, but I don't see what it has to do with being a mermaid -- just made things to easy for them at times.

I still enjoyed Lies Beneath very much. I could related to the characters, and I felt the danger they were in. The Lake Superior setting was interesting --"the Lake never gives up her dead." Remember the song? It kept going through my head as they were discussing the lake and it's lore.

Those who enjoy mermaid fiction should not hesitate to pick up Lies Beneath. I'm sure there will be lots of interest in my library.

Published by Delacorte, June 12, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
320 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I have been curious about this one for awhile. I like that there is a strong sense of place around the lake and that the mermaids are not pleasant ones. I'll have to be sure to bump this one up on my reading list.

  2. This is the second book I've heard about/read that has mean mermaids. I guess I just always assumed that mermaids were nice and gentle creatures. I was kind of shocked when I discovered this new take on mermaids.

  3. I've read a lot of mermaid fiction lately - but none where the mermaids arent friendly. Sounds interesting - I may just have to check this out :) Great review!


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