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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Release Date: November 1, 2010 (Australia)/May 17, 2011 (US)
Publisher: Angus & Robertson [imprint of HarperCollins] (Australia)/Hyperion (US)
Genre: Angels
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 280
Challenge: N/A
Source: HarperCollins Australia

Blurb (from

Mercy wakes on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone elses business -- or thinks they do. But they will never guess the secret Mercy is hiding ....

As an angel exiled from heaven and doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, Mercy is never sure whose life and body she will share each time. And her mind is filled with the desperate pleas of her beloved, Luc, who can only approach her in her dreams.

In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is now presumed dead. When another girl disappears, Mercy and Ryan know they must act before time runs out. But a host of angels are out for Mercys blood and they wont rest until they find her and punish her -- for a crime she doesnt remember committing …

An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, Mercy is the first book in a major new series.

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.


4 out of 5

There’s Another Book?!?

Yes there are two more books in the series (that I know of there could be more planned) the first of which is titled Exile and will be released sometime in April 2011 for all you Australian readers, sorry internationals I’m not sure when it will be released overseas.

Here’s what Rebecca has to say about it ….

“Mercy’s memory begins to regenerate and so do her extraordinary powers. She learns who has been punishing her and how it is done. But most importantly, she finds out why …”

I love how Mercy’s going to start remembering more about her past life, this should make for some very interesting reading, also isn’t the cover just stunning, I love it!

The third book in the series is titled Muse but that’s all I know at this stage and once again another gorgeous cover.


* Mercy Trailer

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Romy @
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is Well is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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