Review

Mercy

by Rebecca Lim

The fallen angel calls herself Mercy, and for all she knows, Mercy might actually be her name. She is tall with brown hair and brown eyes; with her perfect vision, she "can see for miles, through sunshine or moonlight, rain or fog." And she's searching for something or running from something --- but she's not sure what it is.

"Rebecca Lim has penned an intelligent, supernatural mystery with touches of romance and suspense."

She is continually reborn and never knows in whose human form she might awaken or where her new life might take her. When she inhabits a human, she takes on his or her appearance. The only constant in her life seems to be Luc, who "walks like a sun god." Luc appears in Mercy's dreams and warns her of the eight who seek to destroy her. When she wakes up, she is sitting in the back of a noisy bus full of gossiping girls wearing school uniforms. As Mercy struggles for control over the body she will inhabit, Carmen Zappacosta, her 16-year-old host, fades into the background.

As her body is being overtaken, Carmen is heading for a singing competition in the city of Paradise with other students from St. Joseph's Girls' School. Upon her arrival, Carmen is assigned to stay with the Daley family. As Mercy tries to fathom why Carmen has been chosen as her host and what her role in this city is, she becomes aware that all is not well in Paradise --- or in the Daley household.

Mr. and Mrs. Daley are consumed by grief as the two-year anniversary approaches of the night their daughter Lauren, another gifted soprano, disappeared from her bedroom. The only person who believes Lauren is still alive is her darkly handsome twin brother, Ryan, who refused to give up hope of finding his sister. Mercy's presence in Carmen brings to light Carmen's angelic voice and thrusts Carmen into a dangerous spotlight. Mercy joins Ryan in his belief that Lauren still lives and helps him in his quest to solve the mystery of her abduction.

After another gifted singer disappears, Mercy fears that Carmen might be next and begins to realize her purpose for being sent to Paradise. She must unleash her powers and discover the nature of her true self to save the gifted singers with the heavenly voices from a hellish life of terror.

In MERCY, Rebecca Lim has penned an intelligent, supernatural mystery with touches of romance and suspense. The characters are unique, fully formed and fascinating --- especially Mercy, the fallen angel on a journey of self-discovery and redemption. Lim's first-person, present-tense writing style created an aura of intimacy and breathlessness that kept me turning the pages. The only misstep in her gracefully written prose occurs during a brief tense shift in the middle of chapter six. Despite that minor stumble, MERCY is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's the beginning of a series that I predict teen and adult readers will embrace and find themselves wanting more.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on May 17, 2011

Mercy
by Rebecca Lim