By: Anne Greenwood Brown
Review by: Anna Rose Johnson
If you think mermaids are synonymous with sparkles, seashell bras and Broadway-worthy music, think again. Calder White and his sisters are merfolk you don’t want to mess with. These mermaids (and mermen) would rather suck the energy out of you and leave you for dead at the bottom of the ocean than sing anything. Oh, and these mermaids know how to hold a grudge.
Calder and his sisters believe Jason Hancock’s father killed their mother 30 years ago. Rumors surface that Hancock and his family have returned to the shores of Lake Superior and the murderous mermaids immediately plot their revenge. They’re out for blood and vengeance for their mother’s death is about to be collected. Hancock fears the water so it’s Calder’s job to befriend and seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily, in order to lure her father to the water where his sisters will be waiting. Can’t be too hard, right? Too bad Calder falls for Lily. Things start rolling from there.
Written from Calder’s point of view, Lies Beneath was a fascinating spin on YA mermaid lit. Calder is a merman who is fighting against his very nature – to stay alive by sucking the energy out of humans. I really liked Calder. He was so…charming…in a totally teenage-angst sort of way. Because you’re looking and thinking through him, you feel his internal struggle, too. I rooted for him and wanted him to get the girl.
Strong female characters were very prevalent with Lily, the love interest, and Calder's three sisters. Lily wasn't the type to let an attractive boy easily tempt her and she smartly pieces events together and discovers what Calder has to hide. Calder’s sister's strength derived from their intense need for revenge and the unconstrained emotion causes big trouble for Calder and Lily.
I don’t know how much more I can say without giving anything away, but the characters and storyline not only intrigued me, they sucked me in. I finished Lies Beneath quickly and wanted more.
The best parts of the book for me, not going to lie, were the references to Lord Tennyson’s poem, Lady of Shalott – my absolute favorite. If you haven’t read this poem, you must. And then read Lies Beneath.