Tag Archives: body snatcher

Book Reviews
January 2, 2011 posted by Christina

Mercy – Rebecca Lim (Mercy, Book 1)

“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 …”

In amongst the growing number of young adult novels based around angels – particularly the exiled kind, comes Mercy by Rebecca Lim. When there are quite a few books based on a similar topic, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd, or in this case, the bookshelf.

Mercy combines the concept of exiled angels with a forbidden and intriguing romance and adds a twist – a mysterious kidnapping.

When Mercy (in the form of an angelic soul) wakes up on a school bus, now bound in a body belonging to a girl named Carmen, she must immediately adjust and carry on as Carmen would’ve, while also trying to figure out why this time she has been placed in this particular body.

This is one of many times this has happened, since her exile (for a crime she’s unable to remember) she has been moved from body to body, life to life, many times, only remembering a few details from the previous host and doomed to do so indefinitely.

This punishment not only keeps her away from her true form but also from her love, Luc, whom she only sees very briefly in her dreams, only long enough to give her cryptic advice. If all this wasn’t enough she’s also being hunted by an angelic band of eight brothers, who only have one intent: to kill.

When she arrives in the town of Paradise, as part of the school’s choir as their star soprano, she discovers the family she’s boarding with is still harboring the pain of their shattered past when their teenage daughter, Lauren, was abducted from her bedroom two years ago. All believe her to be dead, except her twin brother Ryan. Together, Mercy and Ryan conduct their own search and rescue, determined to get Lauren back.

The story is artfully written and the plotline in Mercy is amazingly layered. Not only are we learning about the events unfolding for Mercy/Carmen in the human world, but we also get glimpses into her past as an angel and her relationship with Luc. Though the main focus is on the human life, it only makes our curiosity about her angelic one grow.

The combination of murder mystery with the paranormal was great and made the story feel very original. I was glad the identity of the kidnapper wasn’t apparent till the very end, allowing the feeling of suspense to carry through the whole book.

As the first in a trilogy (each book has an AMAZINGLY beautiful cover) Mercy is a fantastic start. The story will captivate you and definitely makes us curious enough to put Exile (book two) high on our list of books we’re looking forward to for 2011.

Pages: 280
Publication Date: November 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
Challenge: n/a
Rating: : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “If I get too 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.
I must always re-establish ties.
I must tread carefulle or give myself away.
I must survive.
I must keep moving, but I don’t know why.”

The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher – Doug MacLeod
Book Reviews
August 21, 2010 posted by Christina

The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher – Doug MacLeod

“Thomas Timewell is sixteen and a gentleman. When he meets a body-snatcher called Plentitude, his whole life changes. He is pursued by cutthroats, a tattooed gypsy with a meat cleaver, and even the Grim Reaper. More disturbing still, Thomas has to spend an evening with the worst novelist in the world.”

The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher is a black comedy set in England in 1828 and is the 12th book written by Doug MacLeod. We meet sixteen-year-old protagonist, Thomas Timewell, on the evening of his grandfather’s funeral. Thomas’ Grandfather’s dying wish was for his body to be donated to science to help in the advancement of the medical and scientific fields. Like in many cases, those wishes were ignored and he was buried anyway. So, as you do, Thomas takes matters into his own hands and digs up the grave to take the body where it rightfully belongs, as per his Grandfather’s wishes.

As he digs, we meet Plentitude – a body snatcher. An uneasy alliance is made between the two as Plentitude shows Thomas the tricks of the body snatching trade and delivers the body to the desired destination. From there Plentitude convinces Thomas to continue fulfilling the final wishes of the recently deceased.

Body snatching is not a simple game though – there’s competition. Disgruntled former partners of Plentitude’s want the bodies (and the payment that comes with their sale) for themselves. That, plus a gypsy with a taste for throwing meat cleavers, a teacher who ritually tortures his best friend and a mother in a constant opium daze, Thomas’s life gets really bizarre, really fast. Not to mention the lovely Victoria, who he can’t keep from offending every time their paths cross.

As some of you may know, I spend most of my day studying fashion and trends, but I’m picking up on a book trend here –  more stories being set during the Georgian and Victorian eras (18th and 19th century) – and I have to say I’m really liking it. Think Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Emily Bronte, but teen friendly. Now don’t get me wrong, these authors and many others of that period were very talented and have written some of the best loved classic literature of all time. I’ve read a fair few books from the period either for study or by choice but try as I might I just don’t know what they’re saying. Since times and social customs have changed you need to read between the lines, and understand the contextual history to know why it’s so scandalous for a girl to leave the house without a hat and gloves. This, plus the language itself means the message of those books are unfortunately lost on me, it just feels like a chore to read. I don’t doubt they’re still valuable and the themes and issues they express are important and still relevant today (and should still be read and studied)….but they’re just not fun for me.

What I’m trying to get at here, is that books such as The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher and others that are coming out recently, are quite faithful to the period and allow you to enjoy a story set in the age of gentlemen in top hats and ladies in corsets without getting lost in the writing of classic literature.

There was a great plot here, quite different to things I’ve read lately – very dark and gruesome at times but also with a sense of sarcasm and humor that kept it light. I loved the surprise ending, as well as the reference to Sweeney Todd, and to the issues of women who had to pose as males to be taken seriously as authors and the extend of opium use of the time.

The characters were a delight and I loved the witty interaction between them. Particularly between Thomas and his adopted younger brother John, who at fourteen has moved out into his deceased grandfather’s mansion and considers himself an important adult, high power business man. I also liked that body snatchers (or resurrectionists) never revealed their names; each one had a unique name chosen by them.

The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher is a great period novel that was witty and engaging, that gives a dark insight to an unusual occupation.

Pages:304
Publication Date: June 2010
Rating: : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: “You must think it strange that I’m digging up my grandfather.”
“Not at all. I’m sure many men dig up their grandfathers.”