Mercy - Guest Review


Mercy by Rebecca Lim 
Publication date: 17 May, 2011 from Disney-Hyperion 
ISBN 10/13: 1423145178 / 9781423145172

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover 
Keywords: Contemporary, fantasy, adventure, angels 

Guest Post authored by fishgirl182


Find the synopsis at

How I found out about this book: I picked up the ARC from the publishers at ALA Midwinter 2011. My pal and YA fan fishgirl182 agreed to do a guest post since I'm occupied with school and other things right now. Thanks! 

Guest review: 

This book had an interesting premise but, unfortunately it falls short of its potential. The first 50 pages or so of the book was slow and I was afraid I was never going to get into it. Luckily that wasn't the case and the book gained momentum. 

Mercy, who we discover is a fallen angel, has been doomed to wander earth flitting in and out of different bodies for short periods of time. Like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap, Mercy has no say in when she comes into or leaves a body. The problem is that she has no real recollection of who she is or what she is meant, if anything, to accomplish while she is in these women's bodies. 

She remembers bits of her previous hosts but her only real connection to her true self is Luc, who appears to her in her dreams. There is a mystery element to the book as Mercy and her new host Carmen end up in the home of a family whose young daughter, Lauren, was kidnapped two years earlier. Thanks to her unique gift of being able to probe people's minds with a touch, Mercy is able to see the visions that Ryan, Lauren's twin brother, has of Lauren and she believes him when he tells her that Lauren is still alive. I quite like the dynamic that Ryan and Mercy have: their dialogue is the sort of bantering antagonism that I so enjoy. 

I think the main problem with the book is Mercy herself. She's just not very likeable. Without any context to her circumstance, the little we know about her comes from her own memories and feelings. Since she doesn't know much about her past, she and the reader have very little to go on. We do get the idea that she may not have been the nicest person in her real form and that she doesn't care what other people think about her (this latter repeated several times throughout the book). Though she seems callous at times, we can see that Mercy is trying to do good (i.e. helping Ryan, standing up for Carmen) but, even then, her motives are unclear. 

Part of the problem may also be that, as this is the first book of a series, the author is holding back key pieces of information for the sequels. I think if she had just given us a little bit more it would have made this book much better. Perhaps her intention was to draw the reader into reading the second novel. If so, it worked. I just wish it hadn't been to the detriment of this novel. 

Comments? What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)

ARC acquired from publisher at ALA Midwinter 2011.