Mercy ‘wakes’ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business… or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new ‘persona’ each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings. The first of a brilliant new series sees Mercy meeting Ryan, an eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also kidnapped, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.
Why I read it: I picked Mercy and the sequel Exile up on a whim a couple of months ago. I'd not really heard much about it, but the pair were on a £7 for both deal, so I picked it up.
Review: Mercy is one of those books that could have been amazing, but was let down by a few simple mistakes. I was expecting another fallen angel book, which I think it is but there is such a mystery surrounding the background of the main character that even by the end of the book, we still don't know what Mercy actually is. This is both a great idea, because it adds a touch of originality to the book, but it's also a bad idea in that it means that there is so much thinking involved. It's one thing to have the mystery behind Mercy's background, but with the mystery behind the missing girl also in there it creates a bit too much thinking, for me that is.
The book basically revolves around the mystery of the missing girl, with the paranormal part as an afterthought, which I liked, as I was totally expecting a paranormal angsty Fallen Angel romance along the same lines as Fallen, Hush Hush, The Mortal Instruments. So this book was pretty original and I don't have much to say about the plot. I do have a bone to pick with the blurb however, which speaks of 'angels' and a 'cataclysmic rift', nowhere in the book is Mercy referred to as an angel, and there is nothing about a cataclysmic rift at all, so I'm guessing that is a spoiler for the sequel.
So yeah, I liked the premise of the book, I enjoyed the plot execution. So why is this book not getting a high rating?
Firstly, I never really felt attached to any of the characters. Mercy's mystery means that we can't really understand her, Ryan doesn't really have much character, he's just a bad boy driven to desperation in the search for his missing sister, which is interesting but in no way either relatable or swoon-worthy. The romance isn't really there throughout the book, while they are friends throughout the book the only signs of attraction are Mercy saying that he's hot, no actual chemistry or attraction at all. Then suddenly, at the end, Ryan kisses her and it seems very out of the blue.
I also feel that the narration was very offputting. Lim falls into the trap of over-describing, as well as this, the narration which is Mercy's seems very false. At first she seems older than a teenager, then at some points she seems very mature and then she suddenly develops an attitude and comes across as a normal teen, this inconsistency really put me off this book.
Overall, Mercy is a good book with a few issues that stop it from being amazing. The plot is fantastic and I really enjoyed and I would still recommend this to anyone, with advice to look past the issues.
Overall Rating: C+
Stand Alone/Series: First in a series
UK Release Date: October 28th 2010
UK Publisher: HarperCollins Children
Book bought by myself