Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date: June 12, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 3.5 Stars
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.
Mermaids certainly have the potential to become the newest paranormal beings to fall in love with, but I'm still rather wary of jumping on board with them after a couple disappointments. However, if I had to pick my favourite book featuring mermaids right now, I would choose Anne Greenwood Brown's debut novel Lies Beneath! Forget everything you know about Disney's version of singing mermaids. Anne Greenwood Brown's mermaids are cruel, murderous creatures who'd love to drag you to the bottom of a lake, draining all your positive human energy as you drown.
Calder White and his three sisters have always called the shivering, cold waters of Lake Superior their home. They choose their victims at random and maintain a low profile by limiting the lives they take, but this summer, they're out for revenge. Jason Hancock has finally returned to his old family home and they're not going to let him get away again, not after his role in their mother's death years ago. For a long time now, Calder has been fighting his very nature, resisting the temptation of taking another human's life, even if it sinks him further into a state of depressed emotions; the only exception is for Jason Hancock. His plan of action to lead Hancock to the waters of Lake Superior involves getting closer to his daughter, Lily, but those plans go awry when he finds himself actually falling for her instead...
Usually, it's the romance that always adds an extra edge in making me fall in love with a book, but it wasn't exactly the case this time around. Calder is very manipulative in his attempts to get closer to the Hancock family, and while we see how his feelings for Lily grow stronger, I still wasn't completely convinced about how real their relationship was... and how Lily could lead him to stray so far from his initial plans. Don't get me wrong, Lily is a sweet teenage girl with a fun fashion style, and I liked how she was initially hesitant of Calder's intentions towards her, but a part of me was still looking for a stronger connection.
I'm sure my opinion about Lily will change when the sequel, Deep Betrayal, is released because it's going to be told from her point of view! While I wouldn't say the ending for Lies Beneath is a cliffhanger, it did seem to be more on the abrupt side, so I can't wait to see how Anne Greenwood Brown will continue the story! If you're looking for a dark take on mermaids, you won't be able to resist the allure of Lies Beneath!
Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy!