Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Calder White was perfectly happy in a nice warm climate when his sisters called him back to the icy waters of Lake Superior. Being a merman, ignoring this call is impossible. He is bound to his sisters and reluctantly returns to them as slow as possible. When he gets there, he is offered the opportunity to be released from his bond if he helps them murder the son of the man responsible for their mother's death named Jason Hancock. Calder agrees and plans to use his good looks and hypnotic merman suggestion power to manipulate one of his daughter, but things don't go as planned. He didn't think he would fall in love. Torn between being free from his family and wanting to be with his new human love, Calder doesn't know what to do.
I had high hopes for Lies Beneath even though I wasn't crazy about the cover. Mermaids are one of my favorite mythical creatures, but these aren't really mermaids. They are basically aquatic vampires, which takes away everything that makes these creatures interesting. Vampires have overflooded the YA book market and I was looking for something different. These mermaids prey on people and feed on their positive energy and emotion because they can't produce them themselves. They can also communicate with each other telepathically, manipulate humans with their beauty and hypnotic powers, and produce electricity similar to eels. This would have been interesting if it didn't make the relationship between Calder and Lily into a carbon copy of Twilight. He wants to eat her but he's in love with her and it's going against his nature...blah blah blah. I have seen this so many times before that it's ridiculous. Plus his stalker status rivals Edward's in Twilight and he kills people regularly to survive. It got really creepy. The murder aspect seemed to be justified by the fact the he doesn't kill anyone during the course of the book, but that doesn't make his past murders disappear. The romance did not wow me because it was the typical instalove with no development at all.
The characters are fairly flat and uninteresting. Lily is a rebellious girl who wears weird clothes and doesn't mind that her boyfriend has killed people in the past. His sisters are the most interesting characters in the novel, but we don't get to see much of them. All the characters could have done with richer backgrounds and dimensions. The two things that did work for me are the writing and the poetry in the novel. Despite not being very invested in the characters or the plot, I kept reading because the writing really moved and kept me interested. I am a huge sucker for classic literature cited in books. I get to discover new things I didn't know about or nerd out over things I like. I had no idea about some of these poems and it was nice to discover them.
Lies Beneath is a mediocre teen novel that had a lot of promise with the dark mermaids, but it turned into a Twilight rip off. The ending is definitely open for a sequel and I'm frankly not interested in reading it. Hopefully some of the other mermaid books will be less disappointing.
My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins