Review: Lies Beneath

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Lies BeneathLies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Published by Delacorte BFYR on June 12, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 303
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Fans of Amanda Hocking's novel, Wake, will dive into this paranormal romance featuring mermaids--the killer kind--and won't come up for air!

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.

First Sentence: “I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.”

Mermaids and I have had a bit of a tortured history. I want to like mermaid books, I really do. However, my experiences with them have not been hugely positive. Lies Beneath is one that I would feel comfortable recommending to people, even though I was not in love myself. This book came so close to being a really good mermaid book for me, but just didn’t quite make it.

What I did like about Lies Beneath quite a bit was the writing. Anne Greenwood Brown definitely has talent. I like the way she puts her sentences together. She doesn’t write down to teens at all, which I’m always happy to see. I also really loved the usage of the poetry in the book.

Now, let’s talk about the romance. I’m really not entirely sure how I feel about it. On the surface (water pun!), Lily and Calder’s relationship falls into the typical YA paranormal relationship: dangerous paranormal boy and the girl who cannot resist him because he’s oh so pretty. Not to mention the fact that I was a little uncomfortable with how young Lily seemed, especially when paired with the fact that Calder is who knows how old and a killer merman.

However, there was another side to their romance that was a bit more unique that makes me somewhat okay with it. Lily, though she is attracted to Calder, does not immediately give into that. She hides it successfully for a while. It takes her some time to trust him. She confronts him openly and repeatedly about what his deal is and why he’s following her around. That, I liked. In the end, though, she still goes for him, and isn’t particularly angry to learn that he’s lied to her or tried to kill her dad. Considering that she loves her family, her reaction was completely unbelievable.

The real problem I had with Lies Beneath, though, was the world building. Basically, I cannot fathom (another water pun!) how mermaid respiration works. I can totally accept that they shift into their mermaid forms. When human, they breathe like people do; as mermaids, they can breath underwater. What I don’t get is why they can breathe underwater AND above the water in their mermaid forms.

Fish breathe via their gills. Do the mermaids have gills on their tails? That would explain why they can breathe with their heads out of the water, since the tail would still be submerged. Unfortunately, that does not explain how Calder was able to breathe oxygen into Lily’s mouth while they swam around. Even if he does breathe through his human mouth, he wouldn’t be exhaling oxygen. Humans don’t exhale oxygen and neither do fish. I guess he could be processing the water into oxygen and immediately passing it to her, but I just had trouble with the whole thing.

If you’re a reader that is frustrated by little details, like I am, you may want to try another book. However, if you’re note, Lies Beneath is a well-written paranormal romance novel.

Favorite Quote:

‘Forgiveness isn’t just for them, Calder. It’s for you. Forgiveness is freedom. It’s something you do for yourself—to keep who you are intact. Now that I think about it—in some ways, it’s kind of a selfish act.'”

11 responses to “Review: Lies Beneath”

  1. Bekka says:

    Hmm. Did he breathe like a dolphin would? Like take in a shit ton of oxygen and then go under for an amount of time? I feel like that is the only way that mermaid breathing would make sense to me.

  2. FABR Steph says:

    I think that we had similar reactions to this book. I did get hung up on some of the details and I was just not impressed. Great review.

  3. aLilLacey says:

    So I’ve never read a mermaid book and didn’t expect there to be one about mermaids that kill. Maybe i should give it a go and find out my own opinion on some mermaids and try to look past the technicalities of how a mermaid works? Thanks for the review!

  4. Very enlightening review. Thank you! I haven’t read any mermaid books yet, though I have been kinda interested in at least trying a few. See if I like them. This was one of the books that kinda caught my eye–made me consider getting it and trying a mermaid book. I think I’ll keep looking…what annoyed you would kinda annoy me too…but who knows, if my library gets it sometimes in the future, I’d probably give it a go.

    Anywho, thanks for the thorough review~

  5. Jaime Lester says:

    Another long lost twin, perhaps? (I don’t really have any that I know of? Hmmm?) I have tried so many times to fall in love with just one mermaid book. Only one, and I would be satisfied, but I have yet to find a single one that just enthralled me from beginning to end. Lies Beneath is the one that I actually liked for the most part, but it definitely wasn’t love. I just don’t know what it is about mermaids. I loved The Little Mermaid when I was a youngin. Maybe it was just so good way back then that nothing can touch it now? Who knows, but I have high hopes (semi-high hopes) that one day I will find myself a mer story that sticks!

    • Christina says:

      Yup, I’m still looking for that elusive mermaid book. The closest I’ve come is a book about a woman who researches mermaid myths, but there aren’t any mermaids in it, so it only counts peripherally. Siren by Tricia Rayburn was okay; I liked it just a bit more than this one.

  6. ohdamnbooks says:

    Lies Beneath has been on my to-read list for awhile and your review has me convinced that I might like it. Hopefully I’ll start reading it soon. Nice review! 😀

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