Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publishing Information: March 12th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Fairytale
Series information: Book 2 in the Lies Beneath series
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Recommended For: Fans looking for a romantic and mysterious tale about mermaids and the importance of family relationships.
Deep Betrayal begins where Lies Beneath left off, with Lily counting the days (and hours, and minutes) since Calder has been gone. She is doing her best to move on without him but can’t completely shake his memory. As time passes, Calder returns to her and together they confront Lily’s father with his family secret. Jason freaks out a bit (within reason) and Calder does his best to teach him the ropes, so to speak. The conflict here is that “Lily and Calder time” is now being lessened due to his spending time with her father and there are bodies piling up all over the place. Obviously Calder and Lily believe that his sisters are to blame but they deny their involvement and things continue to become even stranger. On top of family, relationship, and community crises, Lily starts to discover that she has her own changes taking place, changes that may alter her life completely.
I really loved the mermaid lore in this one, most mermaid novels are focusing on Poseidon or Triton – and I’m not complaining because that is something I also love, but Deep Betrayal went a different way. Anne Greenwood Brown goes a different route in that she uses the lore of Maighdean Mara as the all mighty of mermaids, and Calder and Lily must uncover secrets about this thought to be fabled being in order to find out who is behind the murders throughout their community. I am a lover of lore of all kinds so I did my best to research a bit about Maighdean Mara and I was really unable to find any information with the exception of one source that states one mermaid tale that tells of a woman named Li Ban who survived the drowning of her entire family. In doing so she demanded (not sure who she demanded this of) that she be turned into a salmon and her dog be turned into an otter so that they could live together in the sea. Other sources are literally translating Mhaighdean Mhara to “The Sea Maiden” or simply, “mermaid,” and telling the tale of a selkie whose skin was stolen so that she was forced to stay on land and marry a mortal, this is a common Celtic story that I have heard variations of many times. I honestly may be looking too far into this but I was thrilled to find a bit of folklore in this novel and it was fun doing some additional research!
I did enjoy Lies Beneath, but I found Deep Betrayal to be significantly more entertaining and mysterious. I loved that the point of view was from Lily’s perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed her relationship with Calder. It was quite a bit more smoldery than book one which I of course loved (Calder has green eyes and broods on a daily basis), and on top of those yummy moments the reader gained a bit more of an understanding of their relationship and why they work as individuals without being confused over the merman/human dynamic. I was able to appreciate their relationship throughout the novel, from the petty fights and quick makeups to their irrevocable mindset that they needed one another beyond all else. I especially loved how Lily didn’t pine a la Bella Swan, she missed Calder but she didn’t let it take over her life. I also adored, I’ll say it again, adored the ending to this novel. I did see parts of it coming but things happened in just the way I wanted them to and I am undeniably pleased at how things turned out. That being said, I do wish that we heard more from Calder’s sisters but I am hoping that they all come together in book three.
Deep Betrayal was a beautiful novel, it complimented the first book in the series while also standing strongly on its own. The characters were mysterious, heartfelt and expressive and I can’t wait to see where they go in the final installment.