Mercy Review

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Title: Mercy
Author: Rebecca Lim
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: May 17, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher

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.
Mercy's new body is as unfamiliar as the world around her, but it's the same as it's always been for her. She doesn't quite remember her lives before, but in short instants, she'll have flashes of memories of a past she can't recall. Her new body is a teenage girl with a voice so gorgeous it could make grown men cry, but she's your average, awkward teenager, attempting to meddle through this thing called life while on a music exchange program. The family hosting her is struggling with their own loss - their daughter, and Ryan's sister, disappeared almost two years ago. Ryan is the only one still holding out hope that she's alive, and Mercy can sense he's right. To help him though, she must face the unknown and the dangers with it. Can they find Lauren in time, or will Mercy lose herself in the process?

I'm just going to throw this out there...I'm pretty sure there's something in the water in Australia that makes these authors such geniuses (and I'd like some of it, please). Author Rebecca Lim has created a breathtaking start to a new saga series with Mercy that is brimming with tangible characters, sweet romance and a teasing mystery that sends the reader in circles of self-discovery. Blending a powerful theme of free will and the nature of humanity, the author has seamlessly woven an intricate story that transcends the YA genre and provides both a meaning and purpose for the reader.

Mercy was a very multi-faceted character. There were so many layers to her that I felt the entire book was a maze of revelations. She began as a bit of a shadow. You saw her talent and her current "host," but you didn't really get to see who she was as a person. Part of the beauty of Mercy was that the exploration of Mercy's character was hidden in layers throughout the plot points, the mystery and the romance. Ryan was the perfect complement to her character. Too often I see whiny female protags. To see a male character with true vulnerability and purpose finding comfort and hope in a strong female protag was utterly refreshing. Another highlight of Mercy for me was the story of music that was enmeshed in the overall plot. Partially metaphorical and wholeheartedly beautiful, the music added an element of pure, unadulterated beauty to Mercy. The only issue (though not really an issue) I had with Mercy was that the romance was hinted at but never really fulfilled. In the same breath though, one might make a case for that being great for the next book.

Overall, Mercy was an outstanding paranormal read with a great new take on a pretty popular concept now. I give it a very strong 4.5 out of 5, and I'd highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal stories involving angels. It's also great for those who enjoy a sweet romance and a mystery.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Wow! I wasn't too sure about this one from the summary alone, but now I'm definitely going to check this book out :)

    Fantastic review, Melissa!


  2. I'm pretty sure there's something in the water in Australia that makes these authors such geniuses.

    I have to agree with you! Why are every one of them awesome?! And it's not just YA authors, but the Aussie literary fiction authors as well.

    I am glad to hear that Mercy is a very well-developed character. I often find that missing in many YA PNR novels.

  3. Great review, it seems a very nice beginning of a series!

  4. Great review Melissa. I have had this in my reading stack for a while now. I really need to read it since I love a good mysterious paranormal read with a nice touch of romance.

  5. I just got this last week, and now I'm really excited to dive into it!

  6. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to get my hands on book two. Aussie writing scene is more than a little blessed with more than its share of brilliant writers, and if it is not the water than it has to the air.

  7. OOOh want! Want! Mercy sound so good! I'm just going to hop over to Goodreads and make sure it's on my wishlist. Great review. Definitely something in the aussie water lol.

  8. This sounds like a great paranormal mystery. In some ways, it sounds over the top, but I was drawn to the synopsis. It's interesting that Mercy was slowly revealed. I like boys with a bit of vulnerability, so Ryan sounds great.

  9. Nice review! I love that this book the plot is unique. I really got into fast.

  10. I'll admit it -- I haven't read this book because the cover didn't call to me. But after reading your review, I think I'm going to have to check it out. Call me a sucker for an interesting paranormal! Thanks for the awesome review!
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  11. I do have this one in my netgalley que. I loved the premise because its something different from a lot of the YA fiction that's been coming out as of late. I am a big fan of music and literature so the fact that Lim has both going on in here is really exciting!

    Awesome review! It made me really excited to start reading Mercy. Thanks for sharing with us!

    My Latest Review: Dead Rules by Randy Russell

  12. Oh, wow! I've heard mixed things about Mercy, but I'm so glad you liked it! I've been wanting to read Mercy--it has such an interesting concept. I'm glad the characters really stand out, too!

    And yes, I'd like some of that magic Australian writing water, please. With ice.

  13. I agree Australian writers seem to have some good stories. I didn't like the book as much as you but did think that Mercy was a layered character.

  14. wow, that's a hefty rating! i have this one for review and i think i may need to bump it up!

  15. Whoa, that's a very high rating which means it's now a MUST READ:) I'm really curious about the musical element of this one too, that seems like a really unique aspect and makes me want to read it to see what that's all about. Your review is made of awesome.

  16. Great review! There is something about this book that really makes me want to read it. I am very curious

  17. I really don't know which way to go. Your review makes it sound awesome, but I've been avoiding Angel books like the plague because most all I've read have totally sucked. Is this truly Angel or is it more like Angelfire? I really enjoyed Angelfire even though it had something to do with Angels, it was not the same old story. I do tend to have the same feeling about books as you do, so I'm sure it's good. I guess I'll try it anyway, sans the Angels. :D Thanks Melissa!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  18. I wasn't so sure of this one before, but man, your review has me wanting to rush out and buy it NOW! Awesome review, it certainly sold me!

  19. This sounds great!! I'm happy to read a good review. I have it on NetGalley. I'm kinda burnt out on angel books at the moment but I'm willing to give this one a shot.

  20. Yay! I'm glad you liked it and recommend it to fans of this genre. I'm so happy I could do a happy dance. Going to get a copy of this one very soon.

  21. This is surely a cut above the usual paranormal fare -- a fully developed strong female main character, and a mix of plot themes including musicality and the duality of free will vs. destiny.

  22. I hadn’t really paid much attention to this one, but after reading your review I think I might need to. Sounds awesome!

  23. Wow! This sounds really neat. And I have to agree with the Australian author talent - it also goes to the New Zealand author talent! :)

  24. I wasnt sure about this one, but I´ve read great things about it, so Im giving it a try... soon.
    Thanks for the review

    -Mariana S


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