Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just Finished Reading … Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

Deep Betrayal 
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….

23 comments:

  1. This is your favorite mermaid series? That's good to know. Still not sure if I ever plan to try one but at least I know where to start! :)

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    1. I liked the first book because it was just so different from all the mermaid stories I'd read. Calder's sisters are more Ursula than Ariel...

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  2. Mermaids aren't really my thing so I'm not sure about trying this-I just don't really do water stories. So I did read this review and feel very ew about that relationship and even more sure that this series probably isn't for me although maybe I'll try the first book.

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    1. I did a post last year on my general dislike for underwater stories, and was surprised that a lot of people feel that way. But I like to keep an open mind, too!

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  3. OMG!!! I had no idea the sequel for Lies Beneath was coming out so soon!! I really enjoyed the first book so I can't wait to get my hands on this book. This is the only mermaid book I've ever read and while it's not my favorite kind of paranormal creature I do think they're interesting. But I agree about how the plot for these kind of books seems to be the same: girl who never went into water, does and suddenly a mermaid lol.

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    1. Hope you love the book. It comes out this week!

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  4. I liked Lies Beneath, but am not really in a rush to read this one. I will eventually get to it. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Too bad it's not as good as the first, but at least it's not bad.

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    1. The cool set-up is still there, it just got less cool for me.

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  5. I haven't read Lies Beneath, probably for the same reason you mentioned: I'm just not that into mermaid books. But I did scan this review and it sounds like this series would be a good place to start since it deviates from the usual path. And I LOVE male pov's.

    And this made me laugh:

    "She is shown the (barnacled) ropes under the sea by someone (often some hot mer-dude) "

    The 'barnacled' ropes. Nice mermaid humor, Jen:)

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    1. Yes, my post is dripping with bad water puns :)

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  6. I really enjoyed Lies Beneath and I'm sad the POV changed! I liked Calder and was excited to read more about him. I guess I will probably wait a bit to read this since it sounds like it changed a lot from the first book. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. In dual POV I can't help but compare and usually prefer one POV to another.

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  7. I didn't love this one as much as the first one, either. Actually, I have very lukewarm feelings towards this one ... I think it's because I missed Calder so much as the narrator. I just couldn't warm up to Lily. Still, this is the first mermaid series I've read and I was definitely impressed!

    Great review, Jen!

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    1. I liked Lily better in book one, when she was sort of pushing Calder away. I mean, that's why in trilogies the couple is often separated -- to create more tension. I think a lot of the tension -- romantic and otherwise -- was lost in this book.

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  8. I am a lot like you when it comes to mermaid books. I haven't been greatly impressed with them in the past but I did really enjoy Lies Beneath. I've heard some not so good things about Deep Betrayal and from your review, I'm not sure I'll like this one. I didn't know it was from Lily's POV and I'm kind of disappointed by that. I think I'll give it a shot but my expectations aren't high. Great review!

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  9. Hmm. I didn't really care for the first book in this series, but this one just sounds like it was going downhill from the beginning. I've heard that Lily isn't a very good main character, and she sounds kind of annoying. I've discovered recently that I actually like mermaid books though, so maybe I'll give this a shot. Great review, Jen! (:

    Loves,
    Megan@The Book Babe

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    1. Ha -- you might actually like this one better then. Let me know!

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  10. I enjoyed book one, but am disheartened to hear book two took a turn, even though you enjoyed it, I just don't feel compelled to continue..I am going to be a coward and wait for your thoughts on book three. Awesome review and thank you.

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    1. I'm going to see where book three is headed first. To me, this was a story that should have been told in one book.

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  11. Bummer that this one isn't as good. Why didn't' they stick with Calder's voice. I liked book one, but not sure I'll read this one. Will there be a 3rd book? Maybe I'll wait on it. As lame as her pining away for Calder was...I totally did that too.

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  12. Sorry this one isn't as good as book one, but your review definitely has me curious to check it out. I am also sick of the mermaid formula, so it's good to hear that book breaks the mold somewhat. Great review, thanks for your honesty!

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  13. I haven't read this series yet even though I've read some other mermaid books. My favorite has been the Fins series by Tera Lynn Childs. Definitely more of a Disney take on mermaids. I'm planning on reading Lies Beneath at some point though.

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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