My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Initial reaction: Ooh, this was actually better than Lies Beneath in my opinion, but I’ll admit that there were points where I hit a bit of a bump in the story progression. I think Lily’s voice was much easier to warm up to than Calder’s from the last book, and I actually liked Calder’s character more in this one.
If there’s something to be said about the second book in the Lies Beneath series, this had much in the way of improvement from the first, and I’m quite happy I gave Anne Greenwood Brown’s book a go despite my conflicted sentiments for the first. “Deep Betrayal” picks up where the previous book left off, but in the perspective of Lily, the girl that merman Calder White left behind. Lily is a feisty, smart young lady, maybe a little on the side of pining more for Calder in this book than the former, but at the very least this book does a better job with the narrative flow on an overarching note than the first. Calder returns to Lily in the mix of several events occurring: conflicts with her respective family (particularly her father discovering a dark secret), a host of new mysterious abilities that Lily picks up, as well as a series of murders that no one can figure out. At first it’s blamed on Calder’s vengeful sisters, but such an attribution is not easily given, and Lily and Calder have to work together to get to the bottom of it all.
Despite a few qualms with the romance here, Calder and Lily’s chemistry is a bit improved from the first, and I actually liked Calder’s character more in this novel than the former. He’s still a rather dark presence, and his humor’s still sharp, but he wasn’t as much of a center point as Lily in this novel. As well, I think some might be slightly disappointed to not see as much evil mermaid action as the former novel, but there’s enough here to whet the appetite and enough in the mystery of events to keep the story ball rolling. It held my attention and kept me guessing up to the very end. I’ll say that there were some issues with pacing that remained, but this was – overall – a much better read for me. Considering the ending of this, I have no qualms about continuing this series to see where it goes, especially with Lily’s subsequent development in the conclusion of this story.
Overall score: 3/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Random House BFYR.