by Anne Greenwood Brown
To be published by Delacorte BFYR
on March 12, 2013
Source: e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. Please see my full FTC disclosure to the right, on the sidebar.
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WARNING: spoilers for book one, Lies Beneath. Even the blurb below (not written by me) has massive spoilers. So I'm throwing in the towel on the whole spoiler thing with this review.
Summary (from Goodreads:) It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind. Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again.
My take: If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that I'm not overly fond of mermaid books. My problem with them is that they usually follow a very similar pattern: girl -- who has only one parent and is either a very good swimmer or has been kept out of the water by her family -- suddenly discovers that OMG! she is a mermaid. She is shown the (barnacled) ropes under the sea by someone (often some hot mer-dude) and she has to choose: life on land, or life under the sea. Often, there's a love triangle: land guy vs. sea guy. What should she do?
When I read Lies Underneath, the book that preceded Deep Betrayal, I really appreciated the ways that it took all the paranormal mermaid conventions and tossed them overboard. First, the POV character is a guy -- Calder. He's the hot mer-dude. He and his adoptive mer-sisters aren't cute, like Disney characters. They're carnivorous. Homicidal. They kill humans and feed off their joy. Calder's family has sworn revenge on Jason Hancock, the man they hold responsible for their mother's death. Jason has a daughter, Lily, and of course Calder falls for her and has to figure out what to do: can he ever really be with Lily? And, being that he's in love with Lily, can he kill Lily's father and avenge his mother?
I love revenge stories, and I love stories where it seems that two characters in love can never, ever be together, so I really enjoyed Lies Underneath. Yes, there was insta-love. Yes, Calder was a little stalkery -- but he's a predatory merman, and Lily did a pretty good job of keeping him in check.
Deep Betrayal abandoned most of the elements I liked in the first book. Lily is the POV character, and I found her harder to connect to. She's been separated from Calder and she's obsessive as only a teenage girl in love can be. I mean, as the blurb above shows, she's counting the minutes since she's seen him. I'm sure I never did anything that ridiculous when I was her age. (Yes, I'm totally lying.)
Calder's awesomely evil mer-sisters are in short supply in Deep Betrayal. There's a new villain, a character I'd previously liked a lot and had trouble seeing as bad. There's a necklace that I hoped would have amazing superpowers and a myth that I thought would be integral to the story, and that didn't turn out to be the case. Plus (spoiler alert for book one) through some stuff revealed at the end of Lies Underneath, it turns out that Lily is actually Calder's niece. (Okay, not by blood, but by adoption. Still, I had trouble getting past that.)
I did not enjoy Deep Betrayal as much as I enjoyed Lies Underneath. But this is still my favorite mer-series, and I'm still calling Lies Underneath my favorite mermaid book so far. Try it if you haven't!
Tell me: what's your take on the mermaid tale, and what's your favorite underwater story?
Whether or not mermaids are your thing, you can enter my Clockwork Princess Countdown Giveaway! Coming later this morning….