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Review: Lies Beneath (Anne Greenwood Brown)

Product Details
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 303
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 12, 2012)
ISBN: 9780385742016
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Read it in 1.5 days


Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)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 irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting 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.

Mermaid books! Love.

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 about mermaids used throughout the story are only the beginning!


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Comments

  1. I loved this one too. I'm definitely going to have to buy a physical copy to pass around to my friends because I want someone to discuss its awesomeness with. :]

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOoh. I like stories that twist around familiar myths and legends. We are all familiar with little mermaid type menfolk; great to see someone going back to the original dark mythos.

    This also shows what people who scoff at YA books don't get: there is real depth to them. Inborn vs taught evil etc.

    I'm definitely interested in this book now that I've read your thoughts. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been kind of iffy about the mermaid trend so far but I really like the sound of killer mermaids. That sounds more like something I would enjoy.

    ReplyDelete

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