Monday, June 4, 2012

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
ARC received by Delacorte Books for Young Readers via Netgalley
Release Date:  6-12-12
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Seductive, Sinister, and Spine-tingling

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.

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.  I know there's plenty in store for Calder in the future, and I can't wait to see more of his chillingly sultry personality!

Calder’s three sisters are perhaps my favorite characters.  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.  I (along with my sisters) have always been fans of the villain--I mean, who doesn't wish for all-consuming power every now and again.  Am I alone here??  There is something about the sisters 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. 

Dive into her world, and you won’t regret it!