Title: Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
From Goodreads: "The lore of mermaids and mermen is real! As Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess, says, "Riveting! A cold-blooded tale of secrets, revenge, and forbidden love that will leave you terrified to go in the water."
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."
My Opinion: Awesome! That's really all I can say about this book - Awesome! Unfortunately, that's not really enough words to write a review so I'll try to expand on that a little bit. First off, I LOVE stories about mermaids! Most of them are about nice, friendly, beautiful mermaids who go out of their way to help humans, but this one sets itself apart from the others from the get go. As Calder (the male narrator, which I also loved) explains it, "She seriously did not get this at all. She obviously had some Disney version of mermaids in her head. I wondered how she'd respond when I told her the truth. That we were murderers, monsters, fiends. That I'd lured her out here to kill her. That I was doing everything within my power to fight against nature."
Merpeople can't produce their own emotions apparently, so to prevent them from going into a deep depression, they "steal" the good emotions from humans, killing them in the process so they can "wring out" every last drop of happiness! I really love that the author took a much darker look at merpeople and made them predators. It really worked for this story and I was hooked almost from the beginning.
I have to admit that Calder and his three sisters, Maris, Pavati and Tallulah, weren't really likable at the start of the book, but that made Calder's transformation and growth stand out even more. There was definite character development there! I also thought the pacing was great, and there were just the right number of action scenes vs. emotional ones.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book and find it very hard to believe that this is a debut novel, but it is! I will definitely be reading more from Anne Greenwood Brown in the future, and can't wait to read Lies Beneath #2 to find out what happens with Lily and Calder :)