Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)

  Title: Lies Beneath
  Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
  Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  Publication Date: June 12th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 3.5 stars
  Reviewed by: Rachel

I was pleasantly surprised by this story because I'm not usually attracted to tales involving mermaids. Yet, I was drawn in and mesmerized by this dark and sinister world.  

Calder White and his sisters are merpeople, creatures of the sea. These are not the harmless fantastical creatures we see in a Disney cartoon, and they are far from reproach.  You begin this story knowing that they are all killers. They pull unsuspecting humans down to the bottom of the ocean while they feed off their emotions. Calder has been trying to practice self-control by staying away from his sisters and not taking any lives.  He's been told that eventually he'll go crazy being starved emotionally. Yet, Calder still refrains.  However, the winter has ended and the call to return is not something he can resist. He must migrate back to his sisters. There is a new reason to return though, revenge for his mother's death. They've found Jason Hancock, the man who needs to pay for their mother's death. 

Little do the Hancock's know, by moving back to the old family home they've put themselves in great danger. Long ago, Calder's mother spared the life of Tom Hancock because he promised to give her his infant son's life instead. Instead of fulfilling that promise, he packed his family up and left the area. Now that Jason, Tom's son, has returned, the Whites are fully prepared to collect the debt and have no qualms using his family to get to him.  This is where Tom's daughters, Lily and Sophie come in. They plan on using them to lure Jason so they can kill him. They want to take their time and make him suffer, just as they've had to suffer from their mother's absence all these years. Just one problem though, Calder ends up growing a conscience and developing feelings for Lily. When he can't immediately win Lily over with his supernatural charms, he's forced to get to know her, and then can't help his growing attraction. In addition, seeing the Hancock family happy and very dependent on each other, makes Calder re-think their plans.

Like I said in the outset, we are told straight from the beginning that Calder and his sisters are murderers. I was, to say the least, a little apprehensive about this story knowing that the main character was a murderer. I didn't know how I would end up liking him, much less rooting for him. I was very surprised that I did, even though I fought it all the way. I think this is because Calder tries to fight his cravings, even though he was raised thinking this was just how it had to be. He never thought it was possible to survive without killing. This story was told from Calder's POV which was a treat because I love it when we get a male POV. However, I felt a little distant from Lily because we don't know what's going on in her head. Her character did grow on me though. I liked that she didn't immediately fall at Calder's feet. You can tell something makes Lily very cautious of Calder but he starts to wear her down.  It's a slow and believable build in attraction. I can't talk about this story without mentioning how creepy the sisters were, although Maris was by far the worst. They have no conscience and are as evil as they come. Their relationship with Calder is disturbing but I won't elaborate on that. 

This story wraps up nicely but leaves room for the sequel coming next year. I definitely will be picking it up. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read this.


  1. Gorgeous review, Rachel! I wasn't a huge fan of this one but I agree with a lot of your points. I really LOVED that Lily was cautious at first! It was definitely believable because he WAS being creepy at first! :)

  2. I've only read one mermaid book and that's Of Poseidon and I ended up disliking it. I,too,tend to stay away from books involving mermaids since there's a lot of negativity surrounding them.
    I think I'm going to check this one out when it releases because I honestly like the idea that the merpeople are actually evil and are killers.
    Calder's sisters seem very creepy and I can't wait to find out more about them.
    It's also a great thing that Lily didn't fall to Calder's feet. I hate when female characters do that.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Rachel. You've convinced me to go get a copy for myself when the book comes out. :)

  3. I had pretty much the same reactions to this book as you did. I seen a guest post today and the second book in the series is written from Lily's POV so we'll get to be inside her head then :)

  4. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this Rachel even though you aren't usually drawn to mermaids. Mermaids tend not to sit to well with me either, but I'm looking forward to starting this book after all the great reviews. Like I mentioned on GR, Calder sounds like a great character. I'm eager to meet him soon. :) Great review!

  5. I think we share the same sentiments regarding the story..the way Tallulah is with Calder seemed weird at start but then things start to unravel and you kinda understand why, the relationship with Calder & Lily was too slow and her character wasn't well developed...Anne explained it a bit in the interview i did with her..check it out:

    1. Shane, I went and checked out your interview and I loved it!! It makes me so excited for the second book. I love that we're getting Lily's POV next so we get to know her a little better. :)

  6. I haven't read so many reviews about this one, because I have a copy on NG and I don't want to spoil the fun. I just couldn't resist to read your review, especially when I saw that you normally don't like books about mermaids. I love them :p

    I'm so glad that you end up liking this book! It sounds very good and I like the idea of killer mermaids. Thanks for sharing ^^

  7. Lovely review Rachel!
    I was very surprise when I found out that Calder trying to not kill at the beginning of novel, i alway thought that that change should happen throughout the novel.
    I'm glad to hear that the romance is a slow one!
    I really love how you summarized the book!

  8. I admit to skimming through your review as I'm in the middle of reading Lies Beneath myself and you know :] I love it so far because it defies the Disneyised mermaid version as well and I LOVE the way the romance develops. It's realistic and Lily reacts appropriately and does not condone his tendency to be creepy at times. And his sisters- so SCARY. Looking forward to reading more and finding out how it's all wrapped up. Glad you felt the same way about so many things, Rachel xD

  9. I absolutely ADORE your review for this book, Rachel! I'm always looking for a cool mermaid book since there aren't very many out there, and even though this isn't the perfect book, it sounds like a definitely worthy read! The whole murderer-protagonist-fighting-his-nature thing should be a type of character -- I would love to get more of it because it sounds so intriguing!

    Wonderful review, Rachel! Yay for awesome male protagonists! ;) <3

  10. Oh my gosh, another amazing review from you, Rachel! I'm absolutely ecstatic to read this book now! It sounds like such WOW material! <3 The pretty cover helps a lot to convince me to read it too! I don't usually read mermaid lore, so I'm very curious to read this book! :)

  11. ooh sounds pretty intriguing. I like the idea of meremaids being evil, and I've never actually read a book dealing with mermaids in general, so this one sounds like a fun place to start. I'm very curious about these disurbing sisters of his! LOL


  12. This book is everywhere! I have it in my review stack and will be reading it soon. I like the idea of a male perspective especially a mermaid. The wicked sisters sound creepy but I want to meet them. I have heard so many things about Calder I think it is time I met him. Lovely review Rachel :)


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