Book Review: Lies Beneath
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Published by Delacorte Books on June 12th 2012
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.
Another mermaid type read that I wanted to read solely based on the premise. Unlike most mermaid books on the shelves today, Lies Beneath promised that our mermaids here would not be the good guys. Instead, these creatures need to kill in order to maintain their own lives. A life for a life so to speak. When our characters discover that a person from their past has resurfaced, they find that they cannot resist the lure. But when one of the family falls in love with the target's daughter, the plan gets complicated… quickly.
Lies Beneath was a successful read in that it goes against the grain of the stereotypical mermaid that is often found in YA books. This are not a creature that you would want to seek the company of. With their sharp teeth and desire to drown you rather than swim along side you, Lies Beneath creates a creature that is as fascinating as it is scary.
But Lies Beneath never fully reached that point with me that I was dying to know more. Anne Greenwood Brown does fairly well with her mythos and world building. But the true issue of Lies Beneath lies somewhere in the pacing of the book. Our characters, Calder and Lily, meet. Girl shows no interest in cocky, handsome male. Guy gets flustered due to Girl not immediately falling at his feet. Guy goes out his way to impress Girl, and falls in love in the process.
Sure, we have all seen that plot device used before, and it can work well in a book sometimes. Lies Beneath did fairly well with it. But the lead up to the conflict and the romance getting under way takes readers up to a bit beyond the half way point of Lies Beneath with not much else going on. Not to say, there needs to be. But sadly, the chemistry of Calder and Lily does not make up for the lack of other plot threads or action.
I want to say that I adored Lies Beneath. I want to say how amazing this book was. How much I loved this or that. I think you get the point. I wish I could… but, I can't. Not really. There were definitely some positives to this read. But the lack of overall action and the poor pacing, sadly, dragged the book down a lot more than was needed.