Saturday 7 July 2012

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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

First line:
"I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that. Sure, I'd wanted to, but too many suspicious drownings got people talking."

This is a book with a boy narrator, a curse, evil murderous mermaids, and the creepy ethereal setting of Lake Superior. It's got betrayals, families, and a love story between characters that are odd but so likable.

I liked that it was told from Calder's point of view, as a male perspective made a nice change in the YA paranormal genre. Calder White is a merman who tries to live his life independently of his family, but is compelled back to his home- Lake Superior by a strong pull to be near the lake, and by family allegiances.

These mermaids are seriously creepy- they love to hunt and kill and feed off of people's emotions- off of their happiness and life energy. Calder has a litte more humanity than the others because he is a created merman, and not born to it like his adopted sisters, who take pleasure out of killing for fun. They are cruel and pretty brutal.

They are out to get Jason Hancock because of a broken promise from decades ago, and they are determined to collect their debt by killing him- or any members of his family. They come up with a long-term plot to get close to him through his daughters and lure him onto the lake so that they can finish him off and finally get their long-awaited revenge. Calder is tasked with getting the eldest daughter Lily to trust him and to get close to the family. But his job becomes more difficult as he actually grows to really like Lily.

I loved the setting of Lake Superior, as it's described as such a beautiful but deadly place, and there is a well-told saying "Lake Superior doesn't give up it's dead" which is said by different characters throughout the book, and which has particular significance to the mermaids who can get away with their crimes. It has a very unearthly vibe to it, and it was fascinating to see Calder explore all the old wrecks at the bottom of the lakes in places where divers couldn't reach.

This was an engaging and fun read, with a love story that developed and grew on me. I liked Lily's quirky, geeky personality, and Calder's mad evil sisters! The mythology was a very different and refreshing take on mermaid/ siren lore, and I liked the history of the Hancock curse as well. It wasn't as dark as I was expecting, and it is a tad predictable but I enjoyed it.

Thankyou to Random House and Netgalley for the review copy.

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