Author: Rebecca Lim
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Publication Date: 28 Oct 2010
Mercy doesn’t realise it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial host exiled with fallen angel, Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis and keep the unwary from getting caught up in the games that angels play. Ultimately she must choose between her immortal companion, Lucifer, and a human boy who risks everything for her love.
OK I will admit to being totally seduced by the cover on this one, I didn’t even read the synopsis before I started reading it, which might explain my confusion at the beginning of the book.
Written in first person narrative from Mercy’s perspective occasionally addressing the reader directly as a form of making the reader part of the story. The story opens with the impression of Mercy having lost all her memories, of inhabiting different host bodies. I wondered if Mercy was a spirit or maybe had been reincarnated on numerous occasions. The action occurs in the present with no backstory to begin with. Parts of which I did find confusing, probably due to the fact that I did not read the synopsis. I did not fully understand how Mercy could know what she looks like if she shares other peoples bodies and has no memories of her own life.
The narrative combines two mysteries simultaneously – Who is Mercy? and Where is Lauren? A Gothic convention of nesting reinforced by some Gothic imagery and the repeated phrase of a ‘familiar gnawing flesh’ written in italic to draw the eye. I was wondering why this phrase was so important and if it was a pivotal part of the plot. The basic storyline was very captivating if a little hard to follow at times. It all really started to click together for me about a quarter of the way through the book.
The addition of Ryan added an extra effect on the plot and Mercy’s characterisation, making her more real/rounded if you will. Ryan is an interesting character, his past character portrayed at odds with this present demeanour. The twin bond is touched upon within the narrative. The main impression I had of Ryan was that although he appeared tough on the outside, he was soft on the inside. Making me want to crack that hard external shell.
Lots of red herrings and misdirections are placed throughout. The allusion to the adage ‘never judge a book by its cover’ is powerfully intertwined within the plot. Beautiful things/people may hide an ugly/nasty/evil core. I have to say that I did guess the true ‘villain’ of this scenario.
The biblical references were interesting with a new slant on the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Great Battle, adding richness to the narrative. The whole idea of Mercy being an Avenging Angel provided clarity to the plot. The parallels of having to do penance for past actions was combined with Mercy being moved from body to body. Only moving forward after she has rectified certain situations; saving that soul if you like. It reminded me of the TV show Quantum Leap (yes I know I am showing my age).
Overall I did enjoy the story when all the pieces finally fell into place. I am left with the impression that there is so much more to be revealed. Another addictive series in the making.