Anne Greenwood Brown
303 pages (Hardcover)
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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 and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
I'd like to start off my saying that I've never really been that into mermaids. They were just never my thing. I did, of course, watch the obligatory Little Mermaid movies when I was younger, but they never really grew to be my favorite mythical creatures. This book kind of changes things. In this story, mermaids are not nice. Don't think Ariel. Think horrible creatures of the deep and monsters that stalk you in the night.
The beginning of the book was kind of startling to me because, as stated above, these are not nice mermaids. Readers are thrust into a world where mermaids kill to survive and that was a new idea to me. But I ended up really liking the idea. Also throughout the beginning of the book, I was kind of confused as to why Calder and his sisters were hunting Jason Hancock. I understood that they blamed him for their mother's death, but what had he done? It wasn't explained until much later what exactly had happened to their mother. Once I figured it out, I was able to enjoy the book more than I had immediately.
Despite the minor issue with how long that took I liked the characters. The whole first book is told through the guy's point of view, which you don't see a lot. I met Anne at a book festival that was held in my hometown and she explained to me that she'd never been able to convert the voice in her head to a female's, so Calder was born. I really liked Calder. He was almost always honest with himself, even if he wasn't honest with those around him. He also really pulled through towards the end of the story, although that had some awful consequences. I also liked Lily. She was one of the more realistic heroines I've read about. She was nervous with Calder right away, and didn't blindly accept the fact that he was always near her. She was in love with Victorian poetry and didn't really care what most people thought about her.
Overall, I'd say the hangover level for this one was a fair 3.5 out of 5.