Can I start off by saying that it's annoying that this has a girl on the cover while the novel is narrated by a guy? I know this has nothing to do with the story itself, but it bugged me.
Anyway, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me focus on the novel itself.
I've been reading a couple of mermaid YA books in the past couple of weeks and everytime I do, I feel like a little girl, being fascinated by the underwater world and just people with FINS! And mostly the merpeople have been like any population and sort of like what I've always imagined them being since I first saw The Little Mermaid and wanted to be Ariel.
Lies Beneath explores the dark side of merpeople and guess what? I LIKE IT!
I love how they're dangerous and beautiful and luring people and are basically killing machines! And the explanation behind the killing of humans was SO good! Like Calder explains it at some point: they can't regulate their own happiness and need to steal it from humans to not fall into a depression. SO GOOD! It's definitely a change from the having a grudge against them or eating them or something like that. The mermaid lore was really good and much darker than most I've come across.
Also, it's not often a YA novel is narrated by a guy and I love that this one was! It made this whole novel so much more interesting than it would have been if it had been narrated by Lily instead!! I loved Calder's voice and loved seeing him struggle between the bond with his sisters and his growing connection to Lily. Calder and Lily had pretty great chemistry and I loved Lily's courage and her poetic tendencies!
I am sad to say that I didn't fully connect to Calder and for me this always detracts a bit from my enjoyment of the book. I really liked immersing myself in the world Anne Greenwood Brown has created, but I didn't frantically keep reading on to find out what would happen next. However, I didn't see the plot twist coming and it's really good! So props to the author for that! Also, I liked that it made sense. Sometimes you have these big revelations and you're going WTF? But this one made perfect sense looking back on everything that had happened.
In my humble opinion, Lies Beneath is a pretty strong debut for Anne Greenwood Brown, one showing the darker side of mermaids and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next for Calder and Lily in Deep Betrayal, the second book in the series!
My rating: 4 stars