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Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Friday, June 15, 2012
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)
by Anne Greenwood Brown

Publication: June 12, 2012
Pages: 303
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

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 irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting 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.

I picked up this book because of the unique twist on merpeople. Dark, murderous merpeople who use their charms to take lives and who are out for revenge? I was intrigued. Rather than the happy mermaids of recent legend, such as the Little Mermaid, the merpeople are miserable creatures who feed on the happiness of humans. It would appear that each race is jealous of the other, and one for incorrect myths.

Lies Beneath was too focused on the revenge angle for my liking. It was a nice touch and a catalyst for all the events that happen in the novel. However, I left the book not having gotten to know any of the characters except for Calder and the barest of his thoughts about the other characters. Calder spends most of his time spying on the Hancock family and away from his sisters, plotting how to lure Jason Hancock onto the water so that his sisters can have their revenge and he can win his independence from his family. Calder is an interesting character. I respect his self-restraint when it comes to killing people, though his motives for doing so remain unclear, and he respects life. Although Maris is the head of their family, Calder doesn't blindly follow orders.

The other character motives are even harder to discern. At first, I thought that Lily was rebellious because of her tattoo; now, I don't know what kind of person she is except that she's observant and that she likes Victorian poetry. The rest of her family seem to be mere pawns in the game of revenge. They seems like nice people, but I didn't get to know them at all. The same happens with Jake. He plays a pivotal part in the book, but his actions contradict each other and I don't know what's his game. He warns people about the creatures in the lake, yet he has a special interest in them.

Overall, this didn't turn out to be the read for me, and I won't be reading book two.


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
14 comments on "Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown"
  1. I'm sorry you didn't like this book very much. It sounds like a great book because I love when authors put twists on common myths or supernatural beings. Revenge is a great motive for a character, but when the entire book's about it, it gets old fast.

    I'm also sort of amused and angry. I wrote a mermaid story a year or two ago and my guy character was named Calder. XD Don't you hate when that happens?

    Great review, Kris. :)

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    1. Same here. The whole twist on mermaids was why I picked up this book, but yeah. Revenge gets old really fast. There was not enough plot substance or character depth for the book to hold my interest.

      When I was in elementary school, I wrote a story about a super dog because I loved animals and thought that Super Dog was a cooler idea than Super Man. Guess what came out the next year? A Super Dog cartoon. I was so angry!

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  2. Sorry you didn't like it. I have definitely seen some mixed reviews for it. I haven't read a mermaid book yet, so I'm choosing between Of Poseidon and Lies Beneath to start. Hmm...I may go with Of Poseidon on this one :)

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    1. I've seen reviews where people are in love with this book and other where people couldn't stay interested in this book. I'm actually not too fond of Of Poseidon, but it has humor and some interesting characters--plus a plot twist that's predictable yet guaranteed to have me reading book two next year. If it's between the two books, that's the one I'm recommending (Of Poseidon)!

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  3. Great review! I've seen very mixed opinions on this one. But honestly, if you don't get a good feel for the characters, and you can't connect with them, it's difficult to really love a story.

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    1. I agree. Characters are the most important for my enjoyment of a book. A close second is plot. Great characters need a good plot to keep them going!

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  4. same here
    it became a bore quickly for me
    sad it was one of my highly anticipated books
    gr8 review

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    1. Yeah, I was really looking forward to this one. All I can say is that Calder's a cool guy.

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  5. I keep seeing both negative and positive reviews of this one. I think I liked it more because I had no idea what the book was about (other than mermaids) when I went into it. Having the merman be the main character was new for me - and the fact that they were bad guys, not the common good ones in stories lately - was also something I enjoyed. Calder is definitely a cool guy to me, but wasn't swoon worthy.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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    1. It was a unique mermaid read, and that was what I enjoyed the most. What most kept me from really getting into the book was that I didn't really get a feel for the characters and their motives. Calder's a cool guy that I'd want to be friend with, but though I know why he does what he does, I didn't feel as though it was probably explored throughout the novel as a whole. The same goes with the other characters.

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  6. Mmm...I haven't read it yet, so I can't agree or disagree with you, but I'm still going to give the book a read, just because I'm really interested in the idea of "merpeople."

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

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  7. Sorry it wasn't a great read for you, I love how the book sounded and was really intrigued with the storyline. I will still give this a try and see what my opinion is. Thanks for the review

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  8. I have a signed copy of this on my bookshelf; I was able to meet Anne Greenwood Brown earlier this month. Sucks you didn't like the book as much as you had hoped. I still haven't gotten to it yet. We'll see...

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