Publishing Info: June 12, 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 18, 2013
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 and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love - just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
I’ve only read one other YA mermaid series despite the growing trend for mermaid novels so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by LIES BENEATH. I don’t know if I thought it was going to be cheesy or if mermaids just weren’t my cup of tea, but the story was actually really interesting. I really liked that it was based in myths and despite the fact that we’re reading about mermaids, none of the story really seemed that far-fetched.
One thing that I felt was actually kind of special about the book was that Anne Greenwood Brown chose to start off her series with a male voice. Our main character Calder brings us his story of his sisters’ quest for revenge and how that throws him in the path of Lily Hancock. I really loved that the series starts with the male voice when most YA series start with the female MC or choose to alternate between the male & female characters. Calder’s voice throughout the book was humorous, sarcastic, and yet subtly sweet. He surely has his own demons and secrets which bring on the darker tone of the book (this is surely no Little Mermaid — although Ursula WAS pretty scary) but he also started to develop some genuine feelings for Lily and watching their relationship grow was really sweet.
One thing I did notice (and I want to say I’m complaning but I’m totally not) is that it felt really “Twilight-y” on quite a few occasions. Normally, I think I’d feel bothered by that but somehow the Twilight feel in this book actually made it better for me. I think it added that tiny layer of nostalgia, if that makes sense. It was just little things though — no major plot points ripped from the books — like how Calder is a “monster” and should be wanting to attack Lily, not be attracted to her. Things like that reminded me of the Twilight series, but I’m not gonna lie. I did like it.
The plot was rather enjoyable as a whole as were the characters. It was a little weird seeing Lily through a male POV but interesting all at the same time. I liked that we were in the guy’s head for once. I think I was more okay with Lily because we WEREN’T in her head. I think watching her get to know Calder from her POV may have ruined it a little for me.
I really enjoyed that there were TWISTS. I was not expecting that! Thank goodness for extra layers! I just wasn’t expecting the book to be that deep (no pun intended) but it definitely had a lot more going for it than I originally gave it credit for!
While LIES BENEATH wasn’t quite earth-shattering, I really enjoyed it quite a bit. Personally, I would recommend it if you’re looking for a mermaid story, particularly one that has a darker twist. If you’re looking for something different, it has the male POV going for it which I found really enjoyable!
Calder: Calder was a really fun character for me to read/listen to. I loved his tone and although he’s pretty sarcastic, he’s got that “bad boy” swagger that totally makes you like (love) him anyway. Things definitely get interesting when he starts getting to know Lily and we see a little bit of a softer side to him. I just really liked his character and I think the fact that I was surprised by it really helped too!
Lily: Lily was actually just okay for me. I think I felt weird seeing her through Calder’s POV because there was so much beneath the surface (GOSH what is with these puns? I’m not trying, I swear) and we didn’t get to see a lot of that. Then again, the book would have been totally different from her POV and I almost think I may not have liked it as much reading from Lily’s perspective.
This book was really, really good. I’m really glad that I enjoyed it so much — plus it helped that I loved the audiobook narrator! I’m not normally one for mermaid novels but this book was very well put together and just a lot of fun to read.
13 thoughts on “Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) – Anne Greenwood Brown”
I read this! It was nice to have a story being told from an evil mermaids POV. You know? I had a one issue with the lead males voice and how it sounded older then what it was supposed too.
I’m wary of mermaid books, if only because I’ve never really encountered one that I LOVED (except Fathomless, which was pretty good). HOWEVER if you say that this one is worth a try, then I’ll have to check it out! I do like that it’s from a male POV, instead of the female one you’d probably expect from a mermaid book.
I had a mermaid book obsession last summer, that is starting to boil up again now that I’m craving warm weather and still getting blizzarded. I really liked Lies Beneath, and have an ARC of the next book. I should read that soon! Great review! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
Your comments about being in Lily’s head possibly ruining the book for you are the EXACT reasons I had issues with Deep Betrayal, Lies Beneaths’ sequel. I missed Calder’s PoV, since it was so refreshing! But like you, I loved that these mermaids aren’t your Little Mermaid mermaids, and that there were plot twists that I didn’t always see coming!
I haven’t read many mermaid books yet, but I have read this one and I really enjoyed it as well! I’m glad it was from Calder’s PoV. I think it was definitely better that way than if it had of been in Lily’s. And yes, the little twists were great! I haven’t read the second book yet, but I’d like to! Great review!
I am a big fan of mermaids, and this is the first review for a mermaid book tat has made me want to read it! That’s right, I have yet to delve into any of the mermaid YA books because none of them seemed that great. But you’ve convinced me that I want to read Lies Beneath! Great review. 🙂
Also, I find it interesting that you feel you wouldn’t have liked it as much if it had been told from Lily’s point of view. I wonder if she is just somewhat unlikeable, or if perhaps the male POV (or possibly the mermaid POV?) is just better for this sort of book.
Ohhh I didn’t even think of that!! That’s a very good point — I think it was because it was from the mermaid POV and not the girl falling in love with the mermaid. Now that you mention it, it seems like a lot of books have a girl discovering a guy who’s a supernatural being. It was good to read it from the guy’s POV BECAUSE he was the supernatural.
Yeah, I guess it’s not often that we get to read the book from the supernatural person’s point of view. Unless that person is just now discovering that they *are* supernatural, so it’s all new to them AND us. With this book, it seems different because the supernatural aspect isn’t new to the narrator, which I think is pretty cool.
Oooo, this one actually sounds good! I haven’t really read many mermaid books either, but I’ve been noticing the trend as well! Glad you enjoyed this one!
I would recommend it!! This one and Of Poseidon were both very different from each other, but I enjoyed both of them a lot 🙂
Yes! I really liked this one and thought it was a great intro to the series … I wasn’t as keen on the second book, but I still think of Calder as a narrator in this one. He was perfectly boyish. 🙂
I really tried to get into this book, but couldn’t. I read quite a bit of it, and then DNFed it. It just wasn’t for me, I guess. I couldn’t quite figure out how I felt about Calder. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
I’ve only read a couple of mermaid books and have been pretty iffy about them. I think maybe they’re not really my cup of tea, but I do appreciate that they’re darker than The Little Mermaid – I personally think mermaids are darker in general!