Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publication: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 12, 2012)
Description: 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, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
My Thoughts: This story is far different than the mermaid stories I have been reading lately. There is nothing light and fluffy about this one. Merpeople are not humans with gills and tails here. These mermaids are killers. Their pattern is to lure happy humans onto the water and then drown them to steal their positive emotions. Merpeople see auras and can tell who will make the best meal.
Calder White is the only male in the family. He has three sisters - Maris, Pavati, and Tallulah. Besides being male, Calder is different than his sisters because he was made into a merman by his "mother." He fell off a sailboat when he was three, drowned and was reinvigorated by his mother who forged a psychic link with him that bound him to his family.
Each spring the family is drawn back to Lake Superior and drawn to the shore near Bayfield. They are waiting to get revenge on Tom Hancock who betrayed their mother and caused her death. She saved him from drowning and in exchange he promised her his year old son but fled taking his family with him. Now, many years later that son and his family have come back to Bayfield.
Lily Hancock is the granddaughter of Tom. She is a quirky dresser and a poet who is entranced with the Victorian poets. It is Calder's job to get close to her and lure her father onto the water so that revenge can be accomplished. He didn't plan to fall in love with her. He didn't even know he could. Now he has to decide who to betray - the family that raised him or the girl he loves. Lily isn't afraid of him and sees the good in him no matter how hard he tries to convince her that he is a monster.
This story had a wonderfully tortured hero. Calder was different from his sisters. He doesn't change from human to merman as quickly, has a conscience about killing, and wants to lose the psychic bond that forces him to return to Lake Superior each summer to be with his sisters. Maris offers him a deal - lure Jason Hamilton to the water and she will cut the link between them.
Fans of darker but still romantic mermaid stories will really enjoy this one. I liked the twist to the mermaid myths. I grew up by Lake Superior and I know that I will never look at it the same way again.
The ancient legends had it all backward about merpeople. We didn't lure humans' ships onto the rocks. Human beings were the happy, shiny lures that caught our attention. The had what we craved: Optimism. Excitement. Joy. Any positive emotion could whip us into a frenzy, compel us to charge, to grab, to absorb the joy from their hearts into our own. Even an ounce of good feeling could provide, at least, a brief reprieve from the natural beealness of our minds.I received this eARC from Delacorte via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.