Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
ARC received by Delacorte Books for Young Readers via Netgalley
Release Date: 6-12-12
Reviewed by: Jennifer McCoy
The Sisters Say: Seductive, Sinister, and Spine-tingling
Where you ever afraid to go into the water when you were young? I know I was terrified—even of the deep end of the swimming pool where you could see all the way to the bottom. Was this just an irrational fear? Forget all your Ariel notions of mermaids and dive straight into your childhood phobia! After reading Anne Greenwood Brown’s Lies Beneath, you will never look at mermaids the same again.
I’ve seen quite a few mixed reviews about this book, comparing the plotline to Twilight but just with mermaids. I absolutely disagree! There was nothing in this book that screamed Edward to me. From Chapter 1, I was mesmerized by the idea of these monstrous mermaids. It was like stepping through the looking glass hoping to find a beautiful wonderland, but instead falling into a dark, ominous fantasy full of deadly creatures. I really enjoyed Brown’s macabre underwater world, in fact, I was in the middle of reading this when a tornado outbreak was starting to occur (I live in Tornado Alley), and instead of hiding in a safe room below the stairs, I stayed on the couch and read, determined to fight down any tornadoes that might impede my finishing the book! (I’m not crazy, promise.)
I really enjoyed the character development—even the evil characters. Calder White and his sisters are out for revenge on Jack Hancock, and even though Calder is one of the bad guys (or just in a Catch-22 situation), I felt myself rooting for him. He’s gorgeous, mysterious, arrogant, and dark—a wonderful combination in a young adult guy. And I love him even more as he starts to fall for Lily and we begin to see a different side of the monster.
Calder’s three sisters are perhaps my favorite characters. While you would think that mermaids would be similar (at least in some regards) to humans, but these three are truly inhuman, capable of the most treacherous evil. However, there is something about them that I found intriguing, and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next installment.
And then there’s the damsel in distress, Lily, who proves to be anything but “in distress.” She’s calculating and doesn’t fall for the gorgeous guy right away. It isn’t some “love at first sight” type of thing, which is a nice change of pace. We get to see Lily’s strengths and flaws, which makes her a great heroine.
With the enormous amounts of paranormal romance novels out there, it is nice to see something fresh and different. Brown takes the perfect fantasy world, the one where we all pretended we were Ariel on the side of the pool and would shoot up out of the water singing, “Part of Your World,” and she completely turns it upside down, adding hatred, revenge, murder, and deceit.
Very original and fun, I enjoyed every minute of it
Seeing as how this was my first “mermaid” book, I’d have to say I’m impressed and definitely want to read more books like this. I loved that it was told from a “merman’s” perspective, you know how I love those male POVs, and the fact that they’re portrayed as villains who kill humans makes it even better! I think Anne put in a good mix of mermaid stuff and human interactions so the reader won’t feel like it’s one-sided either way. I loved his interactions with his sisters – Pavati being my favorite because she plays seductive mermaid oh so well. It’s also very cute the way Calder tries to grab Lily’s attention and ultimately, how they fall for each other is very sweet and gradual.
I love Anne’s take on mermaids, it’s not at all how you think it is, especially the change from human to mermaid form; and I like that she took a different approach to it. Calder’s story is particularly special, as you’ll see, and he makes for a great and sexy male lead. Mystery, allure, action, and love – all the ingredients to a perfect story, that’s what you’ll find in Lies Beneath. Loved it and can’t wait for the next one!