Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ARC Review: Lies Beneath

Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 12th

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. --See it at Goodreads

Lies Beneath was my first foray into the oncoming mermaid phenomenon. As more and more of these types of books are starting to become quite the popular pick, I can’t help but be curious. I’ve always been a fan of these unique creatures, so I’m fascinated with the legends and what the authors are doing with them to build a tale full of suspense, romance, and mystery. I admit that I was wary for some time before I decided to give it a chance. Haha.

I took the plunge (so-to-speak) with Lies Beneath as my first attempt at a mermaid character based story to see what the hype was about. My expectations were very high before I started the first page…and perhaps they shouldn’t have been. I ended it disappointed unfortunately, and now a little leery of reading into any other mermaid stories--though I’ve had others highly recommended.

It wasn’t terrible, it just didn’t completely wow me. What I did like most particularly were the characters, especially Lily’s attitude. Calder was such a stalker at times--and while some authors do tend to have female characters “swoon” over this type of behavior, Lily wasn’t having it for one second. I absolutely loved that. I also liked that the story was told in the POV of a male character, which is not a common occurrence in this genre. The plot itself was unique and engaging enough to keep me turning the pages.

At times, I felt the action moved too swiftly, with not enough detail, and would have liked to see more of that. Though the imagery and description allowed enough vivid detail during other moments that I did enjoy--the changing process was most particularly striking and I liked how Brown described this sequence.

I did not like Calder’s sisters. I didn’t have time to get to know them well enough really, so I was really detached from them in general honestly. In the end, they were vicious and a bit predictable, but I still couldn’t bring myself to engage with their plans. Sometimes I felt a little confused. Everything happened a bit fast.
I was pleasantly surprised by the nice shocking twist at the very end involving the family though. It tied in nicely with the rest of the story and answered some past questions that kept coming to mind during reading. I probably would have liked a little more backstory though on the parents still only to tie up some loose ends, but that’s just me--and maybe Brown is saving that for the rest of the series anyway.

Overall, while it disappointed me in some ways, I still enjoyed reading Lies Beneath.

I dove right in and it surprised me more than I expected it to. It’s going to make a splash this summer, I’m sure. (seriously, I could go on and on with the puns.) ;)

3.5 stars!



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