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Die Auslese - Nur die Besten überleben
Joelle Charbonneau
Lies Beneath - Anne Greenwood Brown “I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.” Some first sentences have a magic about them that just draws you in immediately.

The Cover was what lured me in first to read this book, I think it is really beautiful and catches a certain underwater-serenity that always appealed to me. After reading the book however I think it should have been a male person/ mermaid.

The story is set at the Lake Superior, and both worlds, the one above water and the one under water are described beautifully and vividly. Especially enchanting was the way the author described the atmosphere under water with its views, feelings and sounds.

Calder White is a male mermaid, a merman, going through painful changes when transforming from his human self to his fishy self and back. His sisters take it way easier, they also have far less resentments to killing, soaking up the delicious golden essence of people drowning. At the beginning of the novel, Calder has been abstinent from killing for some months.
He and his sisters are up to revenge, killing the son of the man betrayed their mother and was responsible for her death. Calder is the one who gets chosen to get to the man, by befriending one of his daughters and luring him out onto the lake, where he is supposed to drown.

The characters are described beautifully, especially the protagonist, from whose perspective the story is told, and who went through quite a character development throughout the novel was laid out well. I enjoyed the way he started out, flawed and dark, but with good intentions, a really interesting character. Lily, his love interest is an interesting personality, although I think, if the story would have been told from her perspective, some decisions of her would have been different. I enjoyed the dark twist of killing the author added to the tales of mermaids.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the male protagonist, which is a welcome change to the mass of fantasy stories written for an adolescent audience in which the girl meets the mysterious guy who isn’t “quite human”. I also like the dark motifs of him and his sisters. His narrative voice is interesting as he is torn between taking revenge and the growing fondness towards the family whose father they are set out to kill. There is an ironic edge to his view of things that I really enjoyed.

I would have liked to get a little bit more insight into Lily’s thoughts, as at some turning points her inner world must have been fascinating. However I think, the decision to choose the male protagonist to be the sole person telling the story was a good one.

The novel will be published on June, 12th 2012 at Random House Children’s Books.

I obtained the digital copy of this book via NetGalley.