Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Plot Sketch: Calder is a merman.  Merpeople are born and made... sort of like vampires, mermaids (but only the females) can reinvigorate the dead.  And when Calder fell overboard as a child, that's exactly what his new mermother did.  She made him into a merperson.  And then she went and got herself killed and left her three daughters - Pavati, Talullah, and Maris - and Calder with a mission of revenge: Kill Jason Hancock.  See, merpeople don't just swim around frolicking with lobsters and eels all day... they kill people.   Killer Merpeople.  In the Caribbean, Lake Michigan, pretty much anywhere that has water deep enough to dive.  And here's the kicker:  when merpeople get out of the water?  They get legs and walk like humans.  So this is the story of Calder, his sisters, and a man so ingrained to be scared of the water because there might be monsters in it, and an epic tale of revenge.

Verdict:  This was a very well-written book.  The prose was beautiful and lyrical and when I went to read it, it engulfed me.  The problem for me came when I put it down.  It didn't call out to me to pick it back up.  Sirens these merpeople were not... to me.  It came during a very very busy time in I-Heart-Monster-land (wherein I was planning a wedding and playing wedding photographer and sister of the groom O_o) so I could be a little skewed on this topic as my pillow called to me first and foremost throughout most of this time.  I just wish there was a little bit more spark between me and this story.  The characters were interesting, developed-enough, and diverse.  I enjoyed that it was told from a male perspective instead of the predictable female one.  I thought the dialog was crisp and poignant.  I thought the structure was superb, leaving just enough mystery to keep me guessing at character motivations and guessing what would happen next, and giving me enough exposition to understand events as they happened.  The cover and title don't lend themselves to someone picking it up off of a shelf because its gorgeous and shiny (and shiny it actually is)... but the contents should.  I really do think my pillow created an interference shield between my brain and this tale.  So recommend?  Only if you don't go into it expecting Ariel and her sisters and King Triton with singing and dancing sea life, and only if you don't ever want to swim in any body of water again.  I mean, there could be killer merpeople lurking ready to suck the happy right out of you and feed on your energy.  It could happen. And with that remote possibility, I'll stay in the house, and keep to the mountains where I'll take my chances with land-based monsters like yetis, thankyouverymuch.