Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{June 11, 2012}   {ARC Review} Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown (Lies Beneath #1)

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 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.


I have found that, though I like the idea of mermaids, I haven’t read any books about mermaids that I really liked, until now.  And the reason for this?  While this book is about mermaids, the main character is a merman.  While it may seem like a trivial thing, a change in gender, no big deal, it actually is a big deal to me.  Here’s why: Calder isn’t a blood thirsty, evil, regnant merman.  Yet, nearly every book I’ve read about mermaids, the main female character, along with her friends, is indeed a selfish, murdering, blood thirsty, evil, regnant being.  I tend not to like characters like that—no connection.  And though the mermaids may change their tune and learn from their mistakes, I’ve already learned not to like them, hence not enjoying the books very much.  But Greenwood Brown changed all that.

Calder, though not a saint, hates to kill people, hates his sisters, and just wants to be free.  His sisters represent the token mermaid; they’re not nice at all.  But Calder is very different, and reading the story through his point of view was fascinating.  I was able to connect with him on a much higher level, and I was sympathetic to his plight, wishing him the best of luck in his relationships with Lily, while knowing a storm was brewing that could potentially rip them apart.

Greenwood Brown is very straightforward in her storytelling, though she leaves the reader guessing as well.  The novel flows very well, though it’s a tad slow in places, but the suspense comes in not knowing exactly what happened so many years ago to make Calder’s sisters so set on murdering Hancock.  Even the small revelations throughout the story end up being only half truths, and as the story reaches its climax, the suspense kept me captivated and furiously turning the pages.  I’m not a hundred percent sure what really went on with Hancock at the end of the novel, but as there is a sequel in the works, I’m sure more light will be shed on the subject in the next novel.  Overall, I liked this book a lot.  Four stars.

Random House Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this book, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow, June 12, 2012.


I’ve been intrigue since I first read the blurb.
I think I haven’t read any book about mermaids since I read Disney’s Little Mermaid LOL
And this book is about killer mermaid or should I say, merman who falls for a girl. Sounds interesting! :D

wni says:

I’ve never read any mermaid books so far. This sound good!

I seriously wanna read this book bad bad! You’re review is excellent and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

Vivien says:

I’ve been needing a mermaid novel to blow me away since I haven’t been yet. I’m hopeful for this one, but I don’t think it’ll blow me away. The lore sounds fascinating.

I haven’t read many mermaid novels, in fact i have only read one and it wasn’t that bad :) Siren by Tricia Rayburn :) hopefully this one will be better :) great review :)

I agree that most mermaid books seem to have a touch (or more than a touch) of misogyny. Sigh . . . now if only we could get a female-mermaid story with a “good” character–or at least a morally complex one!

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