Mercy mixes an intriguing romance with a suspenseful mystery in which Mercy, our heroine, attempts to not only discover the fate of The Quickie Review
Mercy mixes an intriguing romance with a suspenseful mystery in which Mercy, our heroine, attempts to not only discover the fate of a missing girl but also more about herself, specifically who she is exactly and why she’s been exiled from heaven and forced to return repeatedly to Earth. With utterly beautiful descriptive prose and a unique take on the angel genre, Mercy by Rebecca Lim definitely stands out from the pack of other angel themed books that are currently available.
The Full Blown Review
Mercy has no memory of why she’s forced to return repeatedly to Earth inhabiting a human females’ body for a period of time which differs for each individual. Mercy has no idea how long she will stay ‘borrowing’ a body and when she will leave that body, which isn’t by choice, it just suddenly happens and Mercy wakes up in another’s body with a vague recollection of who she inhabited previously but no information on whose body she is ‘borrowing’ now. Whist she may not understand what’s going on her dreams always come back to the illusive and intriguing Luc, an angel who tells Mercy she must not give up and continue to search for him all the while she must also look out for his eight brothers who will destroy Mercy if they find her. Now Mercy has woken up in another’s body once again, Carmen a teenager with an exceptional singing ability, and it is in this newest body she has borrowed that Mercy may just get some answers to the questions she so desperately wants to know. In the process of getting closer to answering her questions Mercy also may help a family grieving the disappearance of their daughter by attempting to solve the mystery of her disappearance, however as Mercy gets closer to the truth her life just may be in jeopardy, someone sinister is lurking around the town of Paradise and she’ll have to watch her back.
What is it about angel books at the moment, is it me or there seems to be so many coming out at the moment? I have read so many in the previous couple of months that I find I am now quite picky with which angel themed books I like and what I don’t like. That said however I am happy to alleviate all your fears and tell you all that Mercy is one angel novel I definitely enjoyed (I just finished another I did not).
I found the concept of Mercy to be both intriguing and also quite novel. I particularly liked the idea of suddenly waking up in another individual’s body with no idea whose body you are inhabiting and having to quickly adapt to your new situation. Lim managed conveyed Mercy’s adaption to her new ‘borrowed’ human life in Carmen’s body beautifully. Mercy has to act as a detective trying to piece together Carmen’s life, for instance, who are her friends and why is she in Paradise at all, whilst also trying not to alert ‘her’ friends and teachers that there’s something wrong. What struck me while reading Mercy was that as a reader I never thought of Carmen and Mercy as the same person even though they inhabit the same body as Mercy’s voice was so detached from Carmen’s body and life, they were always separate entities, never joined.
The first couple of chapters of the book definitely drew me in, however I found that towards the middle there was a lull in proceedings but things happily did pick up towards the climatic and suspenseful ending. I especially loved the first chapter which introduces the reader to Lim’s beautifully written prose, there is just something about that first chapter that I love, it draws me in every time I read it.
“There’s something very wrong with me. I can’t remember who I am or how old I am, or even how I got here. All I know is that when I wake up, I could be any age and anyone, all over again. It is always this way. If I get comfortable, I will wake one morning and everything around me will have shifted overnight. All I knew? I know no longer. And all I had? Vanished in an instant. There’s nothing I can keep with me that will stay.” - page 1
Mercy was an interesting protagonist principally due to the fact that her voice was written with such clarity and her thoughts were conveyed in such a way that I really felt for her situation and wanted to know why this had happened to her. Her voice also conveyed the fact that she was much older than her ‘borrowed’ teenage body. I found Mercy to be a confident character, who knew how to stand up for herself and Carmen, who wasn’t very good at standing up for herself. Throughout the book we have Luc telling Mercy (through her dreams) not to trust his ‘brothers’ which I went along with up until we meet one of these ‘brothers’, Uri, who in once encounter made me question my assumptions I had made about Luc, can Mercy really trust him or is Uri spinning a lie to her?
“Luc wants you for his own. He cannot be trusted. Do not allow past feeling to interfere with your judgment. Do not fall to him or all will be lost. You may not know it, will not necessarily thank us, but it has always been for you, always” - page 193
This encounter with Uri has me thinking that there will definitely be more interesting revelations to be revealed not only about Mercy but Luc and his ‘brothers’ in the next installment of the series.
Whilst Mercy is trying to come to terms with her existence she is also attempting to help Ryan find his sister Lauren who disappeared and is believed by most (except for Ryan) to be dead. Ryan is haunted by his sister’s disappearance, dropping out of school to continually follow up leads, his whole life is about finding his sister there is nothing else. He’s convinced she’s still alive as he can still ‘feel’ her presence, Lim’s reasoning for this is that both Ryan and Lauren have this kind of twin telepathy going on. Totally random thought but I just have to say I’m a twin (I have a brother) and unfortunately I have no pseudo telepathy going on, dang I’m upset I want me some telepathy! But I digress, back to the review, at first Ryan was quite hostile to Carmen/Mercy though Mercy can definitely hold her own and soon they both develop a kind of trust in each other. Their relationship however was really just limited to investigating his sister’s disappearance together, but they do bond together over it. I felt that there was no real romance between the two of them at all until towards the very end when it’s evident that they both care for each other very much. In fact there’s not much romance in the book, I do have the feeling that Mercy is in love with Luc but they only have very fleeting encounters with each other. So if you’re a real romance lover and pick Mercy up solely for the romance aspect you may be disappointed.
I found the ending to be extremely suspenseful even though I already had a pretty good idea about who the mystery abductor was (and my suspicions were proved correct). The final couple of pages were bitter sweet, I was sad for both Mercy and Ryan, all I can say is I hope we meet up with Ryan again, so bring on the sequel, I’ll definitely be reading it!
Thanks to Trish over at HarperCollins Australia for sending me Mercy. ...more
*Whilst Embrace is a well written debut novel (from Australian author Jessica Shirvington) which has all the elements that make up a story I should lo*Whilst Embrace is a well written debut novel (from Australian author Jessica Shirvington) which has all the elements that make up a story I should love - hot boys, a love triangle and a dash of fantasy – I found there was something lacking due to my inability to sympathize or connect with the two main male leads who were quite frankly pretty dodgy*
I’m doing a little bit of a change in my reviewing style for this review as surprisingly the blurb pretty much sums up most of the events in the book, I don’t want to give the rest away, so I’m going to skip the whole blurby goodness I usually do and go straight to my bookish thoughts.
Okay so first off I thoroughly enjoy a good love triangle and this book is basically Violet swinging between Lincoln and Phoenix, two hot males (so if you don’t love a good ol’ love triangle this book probably isn’t for you at all), however for the whole love triangle to work I have to actually like the characters and I didn’t really which was a shame because I really wanted to, I tried oh how I tried, but in the end both male leads were not very endearing, they both were shall I say douchey even their hotness could not make me like them very much. Take Lincoln he kept this huge life changing secret from Violet then when she found out this secret he wanted to give her ‘space’ to think about it even though he knew Phoenix, an exiled angel (which are apparently really bad as they want to kill Grigori), was itching to get him some Violet, I mean can you say weiner that boy really needed to grow some and protect his woman! Then we have Phoenix who was dark and broodingly handsome but just as bad as Lincoln because the nut was manipulating Violet’s feelings influencing how she felt towards himself and Lincoln which in my view was pretty bad, especially when he popped her cherry, in the bush no less! So basically as you can tell I didn’t really like both Lincoln or Phoenix that much but if I had to choose one it would probably be Phoenix as even though he didn’t handle the whole situation well he did kind of redeem himself in the end after what he did, I mean he should have done it anyway but he didn’t have to, plus he was so much hotter than Lincoln, in my opinion anyway.
Then we have Violet, ahh Violet, Violet, Violet, where to begin. Well her ridiculous stance towards Lincoln’s lying and then trusting Phoenix even though he lied to her too, it made no sense to me, can someone say double standards and believe me I cannot stand people who have double standards, it makes me so frustrated, arghh! I was also surprised she let Phoenix pop her cherry (don’t you love that expression? It’s my new favourite expression!) I mean the girl was pining over Lincoln for ages plus she also had some trouble with a male teacher when she was younger, so I still don’t know why she did it, it just didn’t make sense to me especially from what we knew of her character, perhaps it was because of Phoenix influencing her but still I don’t know.
Apart from Violet, Lincoln and Phoenix we were introduced to a few secondary characters however they weren’t involved too much in the story at all. We had Violet’s father who basically left Violet up to her own devices most of the time (bad parenting anyone? For once I would love a decent parent who actually cared about what their kids were doing), Violet’s boy crazy shhhh I’m real smart friend Steph who to tell you the truth I cant remember too much about apart from the fact that she found out about Violet being a Grigori in a busy shopping centre food court of all places and Griffin, who looks after and guides the Grigori under his care in the city. There was also some really bitchy Grigori, her name escapes me at this moment, who was a wee bit jealous of Violet as she wasn’t impressed with Lincoln’s lovey dovey feelings towards Violet even though it was painfully obvious Lincoln was like totally in love with Violet, he’s a one woman man alright!
Now you may be reading this and think ohhh you must not have enjoyed this book at all, well not true, I did, I really did, I mean the main characters were a bit dodgy but overall it wasn’t a bad read. The whole premise behind the Grigori and exiled angles was quite interesting, that said I did get a tad confused at times about the whole angel hierarchy so it was good a hierarchical map was included so whenever I needed an angel hierarchy refresher I simply turned to the hierarchical map and voila! There was also some interesting discussion as to the whole ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels we give people, we tend to lump things into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ however it’s usually not so clear cut, good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things. I also found the book to be well written especially considering this is Jessica Shirvington’s first novel, she can sure write some good ol’ romance scenes for sure!
So basically whilst Embrace is not a deep novel (but you already probably knew that, its fantasy which is meant to whisk you away and yes it did that for me) and I didn’t really connect with any of the main characters, it was well written and definitely shows some promise. I’ll probably read the next book in the series, what can I say I’m a glutton for these kind of books, I want to find out if Lincoln and Violet can ever actually be together!
3.5 out of 5
There’s Another Book?!?
Jessica has signed a three book deal with Hachette Australia so there are at least two more books in the series, however with that said in an interview with Tina over at Book Couture Jessica said there will be 4 books in the series so I’m not sure!
The second book in the series Enticed will be released in 2011, here’s a little bit on what we can expect -
Violet continues to discover and do battle with her angelic nature within – will this nature ensure that any choices she makes stay true to the path of her pre-determined destiny?...more