Michelle's Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

book cover Hardcover: 303 pages 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
 Release Date: June 12, 2012
ISBN: 9780385742016
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Lies Beneath #1 

Synopsis (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 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.

Michelle's Review:
Mermaid books are a hit or miss for me. Lies Beneath falls on the "hits" side but I did have a few issues with it.

What I liked:
The premise of this novel: Calder White was saved by/adopted by a mermaid. Said mermaid dies and Calder and his three adopted sisters wanted to avenge her by going after Jason Hancock, the human who they blamed for her death. Calder sets out to seduce his daughter Lily (she's a budding poet who likes to wear Victorian-inspired clothing to go with her love for Victorian poets and poetry) but he ends up falling for her. I do enjoy a good revenge story.

The romance between Calder and Lily. Though it's a bit cliche, it was not insta-love and I appreciated that. There was mutual attraction especially on Lily's part (Calder was one hot merman!) in the beginning but she was also suspicious of him and didn't trust him. Then, as they got to know each other (and bonded over Victorian poetry), they became friends before it became something more. 

How the mermaids were portrayed in this novel. They were not Disney's The Little Mermaid type. Instead they were evil and murderous--they go after humans and feed on positive their emotions until they are nothing but empty husks (aka dead).

Issues I had with it:
Lies Beneath was told in Calder's perspective (it would've been nice if the cover reflected that but it wasn't a big deal to me) but I wished it was told in alternating POVs between Calder and Lily instead. There were scenes where I wanted to know what Lily was thinking and feeling or what her thoughts and feelings were behind her actions--I felt the story would've been more complete if we also get Lily's perspective along with Calder's.

The pacing was uneven. It started out well but the middle dragged with little action. Then, towards the end the action suddenly picked up and everything was happening all at once--the action was too concentrated in the last few chapters.

Calder's evil mermaid sisters were quite fascinating and I wished the author did more with them or explored their characters more. But since Lies Beneath is only book one in the series, I hope she'll explore them further in the future books.

Final thoughts:
Despite my issues, I found Lies Beneath a pretty engaging read overall. I was intrigued by the author's depiction of mermaids, the romance was well done and I just want to read more about Calder and Lily. They fascinate me and I am looking forward to reading more about them in Deep Betrayal (the next book in the series and told in Lily's perspective).


  1. Ahh I wasn't a big fan of this one. It's boring and dragging and if that ending didn't happen I would probably stop reading the rest of the series.

  2. i agree that the story dragged but i liked calder and lily. i want to read more about them. :)


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