By: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 18, 2012
Readers will be thrilled with this new YA because the experience they ‘think’ they’ll receive is completely wrong. Most people think of mermaids as Disney animated characters that became popular ‘under the sea.’ But from the opening quote of this very cool novel, readers will be hooked and creeped out all at the same time.
This is the story of Calder White, a boy who can change into a merman when he enters the water. Calder didn’t start out life as a merman; he was changed when he was a baby and fell out of a boat on Lake Superior. Having three sisters who actually began their lives as mermaids is a little difficult for Calder who still has some of his morality intact, whereas his siblings are stone cold killers. Luring people to them with their looks and charm, they take their prey into the depths of the lake and ‘drain’ them of their emotions (i.e.: excitement, happiness, joy, etc.) Any positive emotion is absorbed into these creatures which gives them a brief moment of happiness that cancels out the painful emptiness in their minds.
Calder, who is spending time in the Caribbean, is called back home by his sisters. They believe that they’ve found the son of Jason Hancock, a man who they think killed their mother. The sisters make a diabolical plan; they want Calder to lure Hancock’s daughter, Lily, into their clutches so they can get to her father and extract their revenge.
Calder has never met a woman he couldn’t make fall in love with him at first sight, but he soon realizes that he’s met his match in Lily. She’s not a pushover and does not fall for his fatal charms, but she does notice that he and his family are more than a little strange. Lily begins to suspect that that there’s something dark going on in the neighborhood and begins an investigation that brings fear very, very close to home.
So well-written, the characters are beyond surprising and the author has a true gift of being able to lure readers in with her haunting scenes.
Quill Says: Chock full of subtle surprises, readers who live near large lakes may just move to the desert after they’ve devoured this one!