Nyx Book Reviews

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Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Rating: 2/5 Stars

303 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ARC received through Netgalley

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Lies Beneath features an interesting concept: killer mermaids. I was rather excited of the prospect of Ariel gone on a rampage or something. In the end I was rather disappointed by how the killer mermaids were portrayed here.

Calder is a merman and so are his three sisters. Merpeople have to kill to not go crazy, and suck the positive emotions from their victims. Calder’s mother has been killed by a certain Hancock, and even though that Hancock has been dead for years, he and his sisters are out for revenge on the son, who seems to be completely oblivious to the danger he’s in.

For me the story was just plain weird. It didn’t make much sense the moment you started to think about it. Calder has to kill people in order not to get crazy, and yet when he doesn’t kill anyone he doesn’t give any signs of craziness. He’s not overly depressed, not suicidal or losing his mind. Why the hell is he complaining on how he has to kill people? He’s just frigging addicted to it, there’s absolutely no necessity.

And then there is of course the young-adult romance. Oh, this one is priceless. Calder is over fifty years old. Yes, this young-adult book is narrated by a middle aged man who has the body of a eighteen year old. And then he falls in love with a seventeen year old. Why am I the only one in the world who thinks this is absolutely disgusting? Talk about paedophilia…

The beginning of the romance is actually quite believable. There is a lot of banter and seduction going on, and even though the romance moves insanely fast it wasn’t as much of instalove as other YA books have. My main problem with the romance comes when they are in the “in love” phase, and Calder tells Lily (the love interest) that he has killed people. And Lily is like: “Oh, well. I don’t care!”. You don’t care?! That she accepts the fact that he’s a merman is fine with me, but how can you accept that someone has killed people? Not in self-defence or in a war, but cold-blooded “people are yummy!” murder? That’s so not okay on so many levels.

Lies Beneath is quite entertaining and the writing was fine, but I just really can’t get around the fact that this is the story about a fifty year old killer that seduces a seventeen year old girl.


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.

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