Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies BeneathLies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers on June 12, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Mermaids, Romance
Pages: 303
Source: Won
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★

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.

This book is what you get when you mix mermaids with vampires. The idea of deadly, killer mermaids is awesome! It’s a cool twist that I enjoyed. But I wish the author went further into the mermaid lore. Where do they come from? How do they live? What about the other families of mermaids? I think the little details like that could have been better developed.

The plot also felt a little slow at times. On more than one occasion I felt my mind wandering and I got a little impatient that the story was taking a while to develop. It wasn’t always slow, but it had its moments.

Calder was a tough main character for me; I wasn’t really a fan of him, and I just never fell for him. He always sounded so apathetic and indifferent. I suppose that’s because the mermaids have no happy emotions until they feed off the positive energy of humans, and Calder was on like a 6 month spree of abstinence. Maybe that’s why he was always so grumpy. But it also made him kind of a boring and depressing main character/love interest.

Lily was a little more interesting, but I was still never sold on her. I think I just didn’t click with her. I wasn’t sold on her addiction to poetry (just because I’m not a huge fan of it myself), and I thought it was a little unrealistic how she was immediately so suspicious of Calder. I mean, if I met a guy I wouldn’t immediately think, “You’re following me and you’re a mermaid!” That’s a little bit of an exaggeration of Lily’s feelings, but whatever. 😛 And she seemed to take everything so well.. There weren’t many high emotions; she constantly just had a calm acceptance.

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown - Spoken like a true serial killer

I wasn’t sold on the romance. I mean, Calder stalked Lily. Literally. He did kind of have a reason: because he had to subtly get intel from her and get close to her so he could use her to kill her dad—whatever. But it was still creepy. He hid in bushes listening to her conversations, he slept outside her house, he got a job at her workplace, he bought books she read so he could memorize poetry and quote it back to her so he could pretend like he already knew it, etc.

And when the romance part did kick in and overtake the stalking-for-the-sake-of-a-mission, it was insta-love. One minute Lily is telling Calder that he’s weird and makes her nervous, and the next she’s in love with him. And same for Calder. There was very little buildup. Calder spent so much time stalking Lily and very little time actually talking to her. I felt like they maybe knew each other for two weeks, rather than the months that is required for real love.

The big reveal to Lily was anti-climactic. Calder basically swam up one day and she was like, “So you’re a mermaid? That’s cool. I’ll share my happiness with you.” This brings me back to my point about Lily taking everything so well. There was a bit more intensity at the very, very end, but by that point, I just couldn’t get excited.

This is one of those books that I don’t think is bad, it just doesn’t click with me. The writing was pretty good, and the plot was about what I expected, I just missed that connection to the story and the characters. I never really got invested and never forged relationships with anyone in the story. If you love mermaids and are looking for an interesting new spin on them, I would encourage you to give Lies Beneath a try, but it just wasn’t for me.

That being said, the second book—Deep Betrayal—does sound kind of interesting..

The Verdict


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  1. I haven’t read any mermaid fiction yet but I don’t think I’ll make this the first one. I’m sorry you didn’t connect with the characters; I think that’s the most brutal reason for not liking one but it’s completely unavoidable.

    I’m so exhausted with the “stalking followed by insta-love” plot line that I avoid those books like the plague. Too frustrating for that to be so prolific these days.

    Jessie Marie recently posted: Review | Shadowlands by Kate Brian (ARC)
    1. At least there is a reason for the stalking in this book, but it still wasn’t natural enough for me to look past it!

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