Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Title: Mercy
Author: Rebecca Lim
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Hyperion
ARC,269 pages
Date Published: May 17, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.
Mercy begins with one of the best opening chapters I’ve read in a while. The main character has no clue who she is, where she is, or whose body she happens to be in, but aptly calls herself Mercy. Rebecca Lim begins her book with Mercy confused and out of sorts, instantly asking the reader to help the character find out who, or what this soul-jacker is. As the story progresses though, Mercy’s time in another’s body becomes a bit lackluster and even confusing.

Mercy ‘borrows’ the bodies of others without any control, living their lives, but not really knowing who they, or she, is. Interesting as this concept is, Mercy gets a little lost in doing so. She’s Carmen, but not really. So she has some of Carmen’s characteristics, but, again, not really. It’s difficult to connect with Mercy (as Carmen) and to get a feel for her voice, but as the story moves along, I was able to get used to it.

Once Mercy (Carmen) insinuates herself into her new life and gets a feel for who Carmen is and what her ‘purpose’ may be in the young girl’s body, her attitude and personality start to come out. The angel aspect barely comes into play, and I would have liked to see more of it, but Lim has built up a good mystery behind Mercy’s history. Entangling herself in Ryan’s search for his twin sister, Lauren, opens the character up and allows the reader to see her for who she is, inside and separate from Carmen. And that person is caring, though brash and more than a little prickly. Mercy is a good person, a good soul, despite the fact that she has little clue about her entire existence.

I have to point out that Mercy is a very strong female character who can care for herself, but the supporting characters, specifically the female characters, all come off as very weak and/or witchy. Ryan has personality to him, but few others do. Luc and the mysterious Eight make rare appearances that hold a great deal of promise, but the rest of the choir members lack in every aspect. Tiffany is annoying and a straight-up mean girl with no other characteristics and Brenda is one of the most wishy-washy, given how little page-time she gets.

Mercy can be described as a sort of paranormal mystery, with a slight romance and a lot of red herrings. The story gets a little slow in the middle, and Mercy’s voice takes a few chapters to get used to, but once you do, you’ll fly through it. Never too predictable or cliché, Mercy tackles the age-old angel story and turns it on its head, creating a worthy mystery, backed by a normally quiet girl who is soul-jacked by someone who cannot bear to see the meek suffer. Mercy is a strong opening in what is sure to be a unique take on angel-lore.

Opening line:  There’s something very wrong with me. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: I follow him numbly, just putting one foot in front of the other; every step I take upon the surface of the world imprinting itself upon my borrowed bones. ~ pg. 14
Love this one too:
It’s gradually dawning on me that high school is like swimming with sharks for people like Carmen and Spencer. People who are born without shells, without sufficient armour with which to face life. ~ pg. 152 
*This is an ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Buy it online:


katie said...

Great review! I have been meaning to check this one out but since your review isn't the best, I may wait a little while until I can get it from the library. Thanks for the honest review!

Ivy said...

Interesting review! I've been looking forward to this release. I actually bought my copy and can't wait to read it. Thanks. :)

I like that you also added the trailer. :)

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! I haven't heard much on this one. In fact this is the first review I've read on it. It definitely sounds interesting and I do love stories that deal with fallen angels and the such. I might check this one out. Thanks, Nikki! =)

Lily Child said...

Thanks for your honest review. I've had this one in my sights for a while.

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