Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

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.

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With all the mermaid books popping up this summer, Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown is the third one I’ve managed to read … and so far, I still haven’t been captivated by any of them. While the writing of Lies Beneath wasn’t bad, I did think it took far too long for the action to pick up. I also found it hard to care about the characters or the romance.

First off, I thought I’d be reading a story about some murderous mermaids. However, Calder seems to have tremendous control over his urge to kill, and his sisters each only kill one person – strangers, at that – the entire summer. Sadly, they just didn't seem all that terrifying. More deaths – especially of some important characters – would have made me a much happier person!

Besides the lack of grisly deaths, Calder (and the rest of the characters) felt very flat to me. Calder’s sole focus on using Lily to get revenge and gain freedom from his sisters also made it hard for me to believe that he had actually fallen for Lily. Brown does try (unsuccessfully) to make the romance appear as if it’s not instant love by having Calder and Lily interact with each other on a regular basis, but it seemed more creepy than romantic because it was through a lot of spying and stalking on Calder’s part. 

Lies Beneath was released on June 12, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Comments About the Cover: The main character, Calder, is a merman. So, I’m not sure why there’s a mermaid on the cover. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Random House) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Haha this is so funny that you posted this now because I actually just picked up a copy of this book today! x) I know that mermaid books in general aren't people pleasers and this one especially, but I can't help but be intrigued. The idea of mermaids being murderous is just too cool! It's too bad that this doesn't captivate you though; I'm glad it isn't super terrible, but lack of connection and a slow start can be really big anchors for books with cool ideas!

    Thanks so much for the honest and helpful review, Z! I'll be sure to keep your points in mind when I start :) <3

  2. Mermaid books tend to be pretty hit and miss for me too. I can't think of many that have blown me away. At best, they are just 'okay'. It's a shame you didn't enjoy this more. :( Lovely honest review!

  3. Aww, I just got this one in the mail today and I was excited for it! I thoroughly enjoyed OF POSEIDON, so I might still read it, but I'll definitely lower my expectations for it.

  4. I can't say I am a big fan of mermaid books either. Most havenot impressed me. I have had this book for far too long. I just wish I could get excited about reading it, but it has been plastered over everyone's blogs. I will get around to it, I am not expecting anything spectacular. I will let you know!

  5. When did stalking and spying become romantic? *scratches head* I really don't get it. I was planning on reading this one, but I think I'll wait for it and definitely lower my expectations for it.

  6. "However, Calder seems to have tremendous control over his urge to kill, and his sisters each only kill one person – strangers, at that – the entire summer."

    YES!!! This was the exact same problem I had Zahida! I was expecting Calder to be all tortured and really agonize over whether or not to lure Lily to her death, but he seemed to resist killing quite easily which sucked almost all the tension out of the story for me. I loved the concept and there were some strong moments I thought, but I found the characters to be a bit lacking too.

  7. I have yet to read any mermaid books for the exact reason that you said - none of them have appealed to me from reviews that I have read. Though I'm thinking Monstrous Beauty might be a different matter because the early buzz for that one seems very positive. And yeah, it's a strange thing to want more deaths in a story, but I'm with you, they don't seem very scary. Here's hoping we'll both find a mermaid book to love one day, Zahida!

  8. Spying and stalking is never good and will never get me to like him. I don't read a lot of mermaid books but I keep seeing so-so reviews which doesn't exactly make me want to go out and pick up any.

  9. More deaths would have made you more happy?! LMAO! Oh, Z! I can always count on you to make me giggle. But yeah, I have to agree with you that those killer mermaids don't sound very terrifying.

  10. Ugh, he doesn't kill enough? So lame!! haha. I was expecting a dark death filled book too >.< I actually passed on this one when the reviews started coming out and really none of them convinced me I would like it. I'm ot a fan of mermaid books to begin with so I doubt this will be "the one". Thanks for taking one for the team! ;)


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