MERCY by Rebecca Lim


Age Range: 13 - 16
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From Australia, a series opener in the relatively new fallen-angel subgenre of paranormal romance. Mercy is a disembodied soul in limbo between Heaven and Earth, except when she awakens in a human body—in essence, “soul-jacking” them. Here, Mercy inhabits Carmen, who, Mercy slowly pieces together, is a shy, awkward teen with a show-stopping soprano on her way to a regional high-school concert. She's about to meet the family that will host her during her stay. From the moment Mercy meets the Daleys, her supernatural senses signal something is wrong, and she quickly learns that their teenage daughter, Lauren, also a soprano, was abducted several years before. Soon Mercy finds herself torn between helping Carmen find her voice and solving Lauren’s mystery with the missing girl's twin brother, Ryan. Interwoven throughout are visits to Mercy from otherworldly spirits, who warn her of danger in her dreams. This component feels hokey and distracts from the otherwise satisfyingly frenetic pace of the main mystery. Mercy's present-tense narration bounces back and forth between colloquial ("I chugalugged eight bourbon-spiked colas in one sitting") and overwrought ("sweat breaks out upon [Carmen's] skin, drenching the pristine white sheets on which we lie"). This thriller has a creepiness that keeps the pages turning, but it also manages to avoid graphic details, leaving much to readers' imaginations. In the end, it doesn't really elevate itself from the pack. (Paranormal thriller. 13-16)
Pub Date: May 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4231-4517-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011


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