Publication Date: June 12th 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC, 303 pages
Calder White is a merman. He hasn't killed anyone all winter, but he's almost literally dying to. Real merpeople are nothing like the movies and books wanted us believe. They need to feed on human emotions, and in order to do that they drag humans to the bottom of the sea and suck them dry, absorbing their 'light' into themselves.
During winter Calder prefers warmer climates, like the Bahamian and Caribbean beaches... but as the snow starts to melt in the US, he feels the need to migrate and rejoin the sisters he's always trying to avoid. Even though it's still April, they start to nag him to come home already, because they finally found the target they've looking for for 30 years. Jason Hancock.
Thirty years ago Tom Hancok was attacked by Calder's mother, but he was able to escape her and resurfaced, begging her to spare him. Not used to her prey ever surviving an attack, she offered to turn him into a merman, but he said no. She then offered to let him go, if he promised to bring his son to her. He agreed, not knowing that by doing that, he was signing a mermaid contract, binding her to him and his promise. As soon as he set foot on earth again, he grabbed his family and ran away. Calder's mother followed his car all across the shore, desperate to make him fulfill his promise, until she lost sight of him and got caught into a fishing net and died.
Now Calder and his sisters have to settle her debt. They need to kill Tom Hancock's son, Jason. And the only way to get to Jason is to approach his daughters.
Calder gets closer to Lily, the older daughter who likes victorian poetry and weird clothes. And who doesn't seem to like him much, despite his natural predator beauty. She's not even affected by his hypnosis.
Lily thinks he's weird. And he kind of is... he makes her skin crawl with electricity when he touches her, he always talks too much, but never says anything about himsel, nobody seems to know much about him or his family... and he stalks her, to try and find out more about her family, their secrets and how to get closer to them and lure his father into the water to find his death. He stalks her a lot. He watches her from inside her wardrobe, from inside the lake outside her house, from the hammock outside her window... he has enhanced hearing and always eavesdrops on her conversations. He doesn't feel guilty for killing humans to survive, he talks to corpses and pretends they talk back... he is very weird, indeed, for a human. And that's probably why many readers didn't like him. But that's the thing. He's not human. He's a supernatural being, and to him, his behavior is completely normal. And as I kept reading, I started to understand him better. Or at least try to.
I liked that, unlike most YA heroines, it took Lily quite a while to warm up to Calder, what with him appearing out of nowhere and wanting to get closer to her so quickly, wanting to know everything about her and her family and never telling her much about himself. She got defensive and suspicious, like a normal girl would. She made him work hard for it, and while doing that, she started to fall for him. And him, for her. When he finally realized it, he had fallen in love with the daughter of the man he wanted to kill.
And Lily, the poor thing. She not found herself in love with a mythical creature, she also discovers that his sisters would kill her in the blink of an eye, and that the only reason he got closer to her in the first place was so he could get to her father and kill him.
You see, I didn't love the book, but I did like it a lot, and I will search for the sequel when it comes out. It was a very creative, fresh read. Something different from the rest of the paranormal books. I especially liked the male POV.
If you like unusual YA books, with a strong male as the main character and a very reluctant heroine, budding romance and lots of action scenes under water, that's your book.
*I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
First line: I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.
Last line: The memory of her kisss was still fresh on my lips and I knew, with Lily, I was both free and imprisoned for all eternity.
As the story approaches its climax, Calder finds out that not everything involving his mother's death was as it seemed... that maybe the reason his mother wanted Tom Hancock's son wasn't to feed on him. And that same reason might explain why Lily appears to be so special herself.