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, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough - especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily - just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
Calder White has a score to settle. Though, his heart's not quite as into revenge as his marauding mermaid sisters' but a promise is a promise. And the only fair debt for a promise broken and the fate of their mother, is the death of Jason Hancock. If Calder plays his role right, a part he's confidently played many times before, he'll receive the freedom he desires. Unfortunately Lilly Hancock isn't like any prey he's lured before and Calder won't know what's got it's hooks in him until it's too late.
Lies beneath is not the typical mermaid fairytale. A lot of the choices Brown makes gives this book a refreshing facelift to the tried and used concepts surrounding the genre. My favorite part of Lies Beneath is the male perspective. I found Calder's voice interesting and different. It reminded me of a guy version of Cinderella with his evil stepsisters and good heart. Lilly was fun as well, not being the typical quirky artsy character, into fine arts or fiction but poetry. The only downside is the story line wasn't complex enough. You could very easily see where things were going. Yet the characters, romance, and Brown's unique take on the mythology keeps the reader's interest from focusing too much on any transparencies.
MacLeod Andrews has a great voice for YA, it's mature without being too old. I've gotten a few audiobooks featuring him and his reads are always a pleasure. Andrews voice is nice and deep, his acting is subtle with wonderful inflections that really guide a listener to a character's mood or intent. He also has a great range of voices. MacLeod Andrews is quickly becoming an impulse purchasing factor for me to buy now, find out what it's about later.
Anne Greenwood Brown's debut is a little something different with a lot of great things going for it. Lies Beneath is an entertaining read told by an unusual voice just in time for beach reading season.
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Would you consider the audio edition of Lies Beneath to be better than the print version?
Yes, because MacLeod Andrews is a terrific narrator and brings a wonderful dimension to the story that you don't get with print.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Hm... I liked Calder, the narrator. He was interesting, a murderous merman who started out as a human boy. He's got a lot of depth to him. He's a killer but for some reason trying to avoid killing lately. He's got this family of sisters and formerly a mother but has such a desperate desire for a father that he goes looking for one in strange places.
I also liked Jason, mainly because I wanted to see more of him and his perspective (although, being YA, sadly we never do see the story from his perspective, because of how adults are not worthy of their own POVs in YA fiction).
Have you listened to any of MacLeod Andrews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes, many. As far as his performance, this is pretty much on par, which is to say very good. I haven't heard him give a bad performance yet. (Well, there was one exception, the Iron Fey book, but in that case it was mostly because I'd already read the book and his version of two of the three main characters' voices were very different from what I'd imagined, so it sounded all wrong to me.)
Any additional comments?
The cover of this annoys me. It's classic "YA = pretty girl in a pretty dress" syndrome. The narrator/main character of this story is a young merman. Why is there a human girl on the cover? Very annoying.