“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 Mercy′s blood and they won′t rest until they find her and punish her — for a crime she doesn′t 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.
Publication Date: November 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
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.”