*This title will be released on June 12, 2012*
by Anne Greenwood Brown
Genre: Paranormal YA | Excerpt: Yes
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Netgalley
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
Kissing, references to sex.
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.
My feelings for this book are a surprise and a delight. Despite a male protagonist, despite his murderous family and ill-intent, LIES BENEATH won me over as deeply and as surely as Calder seduced his way into Lily Hancock’s life. Brown’s world building is utterly magical, I never expected that she could intertwine mermaids with the modern world. She does just that, without sacrificing one iota of their cold, inhuman mythology.
To remain true to that pedigree, however, Brown had to add something new to the mix. Though Calder and his sisters start out bent on revenge, but book’s end many assumptions have been turned on their head. Some of these last minute twists were a bit bumpy (the absolute truth behind Jason Hancock’s sin being one of them), but these momentary hitches didn’t derail the evocative image of Calder and his sister, slick and disingenuous, preying upon the vacationers of the coast. From sand under the seats of a stolen car to their disdain for clothes, this school of teenage mermaids was sick and fascinating. This air of danger made Calder’s allure all the more seductive, and I was on the edge of my seat as Lily alternately distrusted and fell for him.
In the end, Brown brought love to the murderous mermaids… or as much as she could without betraying the nature of her characters. Calder is a beautifully seductive anti-hero, and as much as I fell for him I don’t know that he was redeemed so much as forgiven. The image of him pouring his heart out to a shipwreck frozen in time will haunt me, as well as the painful truth of his ever after. Calder’s origins added a unique twist to his character but I am eager to see if any of his bloodthirsty sisters have similar growth potential inside.