This book did not disappoint. I had such high hopes for Calder's story, and this book did not let me down. Loved. It.
First off, how can you not love a killer mermaid story told from a merman's point of view? C'mon! That is awesomeness in the making. Period. The mermaids in Lies Beneath are not your typical merfolk. There are no Disney mermaids here, folks. These are the cold-hearted killers of mythology. I thought it was brilliant that the author took one of the lesser-known mermaid tales and incorporated it into her story. The mermaids of Lake Superior do not lure boaters to their deaths like sirens. Instead, they are lonely, miserable creatures that feed off of human emotions. Positive emotions actually. There is a systematic targeting of happy people throughout the book, except for Calder. He's different.
Maybe it's the fact that he wasn't born into the life of a mermaid but was created instead? That could be one of the things that marks him as different. But I like to think of it in a deeper sense. Like other "monster" books, you have to ask yourself: Is evil a trait that you are born with, or is it something you learn? Ask yourself that as you read this book and let me know what you think.
I'm inserting my tangent here about innate vs created evil so you can follow my thought process with this book. The best literary example is that of Frankenstein's monster. When he was created, he was not evil. He was in fact a gentle creature desperate for his creator's attention. But as the story progresses, he experiences rejection, humiliation, and the lack of love. All of these negative experiences drive him to eventually commit the ultimate act of evil. Which (I think) proves that evil is created.
Calder's life seems to confirm my views on that topic, especially when you compare him to his sisters. Throughout the entire book, Calder struggles with finding his humanity. Although it's never mentioned in that sense, that's exactly what's he's doing... and I must admit the ending was very surprising!
I think as this series continues, it's going to be even more amazing. I cannot wait to see what Calder becomes. I have my thoughts as to how future characters will further develop (and complicate) this plot, but I am going to have to wait to see if I'm correct.
If you couldn't tell, I think this book is one of the summer's must reads. I loved it. If you're a mermaid fan then this is a no-brainer. You will be reading this book. This book would lead to so many great discussions. The mythology behind the mermaids , the struggle to retain/find one's humanity, and the Victorian poetry used throughout the story are only the beginning!