Paradoxical's Reviews > Mercy

Mercy by Rebecca Lim
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reading-list, books-otherwise
Read in April, 2012

Pretty interesting all around and engaging once you get past the first few pages, Mercy is a decent book. Granted, you would probably be confused as to what's going on, why Mercy is placed into Carmen's body, and who are the strange supernatural beings that float around here and there if you hadn't read the synopsis.

Angel books make me leery, though mostly because of the religious connotations attached to the sheer fact that they're, well, angels. But this one isn't too heavy in that regard, and most of the book is caught up in Mercy trying to help Ryan, the son of her host family, try to find his sister who has been missing for two years. Ryan is convinced that his sister is still alive, while the rest of the town, including his parents, believe that she is dead. Mercy, or rather Carmen (the one whose body she's currently hijacking), is part of a choir of girls that are visiting Paradise, the setting of this book, in order to sing. You get bitter rivalries (that are really one sided) and attractive guys (of course), as well as a sprinkling of mystery, and that basically sums up this book. Well, that and singing. A lot of singing.

Mercy's a decent protagonist. She's definitely a different type of protagonist, in that she's a bit above all the silly, petty rivalries and focuses less on herself, and more on what's going on around her. She tries to help Carmen, definitely does not let anyone push her around, and she's actually really competent in what she does. It's a good change of pace. Ryan, the male lead, on the other hand is just sort of there. You can sense how desperate he is about trying to find his sister, and he's likeable enough, but there wasn't all that much that makes him stand out. I don't dislike him, so I suppose that's good enough.

On the other hand, the other characters weren't so great, especially the females. You get really bitter, petty girls that try to one up each other every chance they get, and that always gets old. The other girls are also pretty shallow, and one of Carmen's teachers actively dislikes the girl for no real reason at all. The only good female presences are unfortunately brief. Or they're the victims. Um.

The plot proceeds at a nice clip. It did capture my attention and I did enjoy reading it, even if I knew who had done it very early on--more from the antagonist's personality than anything else. There are clues though, sprinkled here and there, that make it fairly easy to guess who the villain was. If there was another thing about the book that was a disappointment, it would have to do with the conclusion of it. Everything just seems to happen and it was rather weak.

Overall, not a bad book. I had several large issues with it, and the conclusion wasn't nearly as good as I think it should have been, but Mercy was a fun character to read. Not much was really done with the give-Mercy-answers-to-the-large-picture, but the main plot of the book was wrapped up adequately. 3 stars.

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