Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Review: Mercy by Rebecca LimMercy by Rebecca Lim
Series: Mercy #1
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 288
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Exile

Mercy ‘wakes’ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business… or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new ‘persona’ each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings. The first of a brilliant new series sees Mercy meeting Ryan, an eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also kidnapped, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.

Thoughts: Mercy was rather stunning.  Honestly, it took me quite a while to get past the first 50 pages. I just really wasn’t in love with the main character, as she seemed rather – well – evil. Not outright, “I kill puppies” sort of evil, but certainly not nice.  But I kept going, and I am so very glad I did!

There was a point, about 100 pages through the novel, when I knew I was going to love this book: it’s when Mercy – as Carmen – sings her heart out. It was a show stopper, and it practically stopped mine.  It was just glorious- I could almost hear the music through the pages – and rather indicative of the ethereal quality of the entire novel. If I had known Mercy had this musical element, I would have made my way through those first 50 pages a lot sooner!

Although Mercy begins as a rather apathetic character, as she becomes more involved in her human’s life, I really started to like her.  She is really difficult to describe… partly because I don’t think she used to be a good “person”. She’s a self-aware adult in one way, but her lack of memory has given her room to change for the better. As she grows into her new body – Carmen – she really starts to develop into someone new.

In fact, even though this book has about 5 mysteries going on at once and a few romances that leave you begging for more action, Mercy is really all about Mercy. The singing, the murder, the hot-human!boy, and the bizarre supernatural powers are all just tangential to Mercy’s development.

I’ve read Fallen and Hush, Hush (oh, if only I were ethically capable of burning a book). Although both were Angel YA, they both lacked that otherworldly quality of angels – staring random “insert paranormal creature here” heros. I don’t mean a religious quality – I am the biggest atheist in town – but that feeling of something powerful that you can’t begin to imagine.  Mercy had that quality in spades – there was no doubt in my mind that she’s an angel. Powerful and inhuman and, often, cruel.

So, I really can’t wait for the rest of the books in this series – the nature of Mercy’s condition will make the next book very interesting.

Bottom line?  I really enjoyed Mercy for it’s tough amnesiac of a main character, it’s show-stopping choir performances, and it’s rather subtle-yet-star-crossed romance.  I’d recommend this book to fans of the Wicked Lovely series, as they both have that somewhat ethereal quality about them.

Review: Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

Review: Time Riders by Alex ScarrowTime Riders by Alex Scarrow
Series: Time Riders #1
Published by Puffin
Pages: 432
Genres: Science Fiction YA
Source: Received for review from publishers
Add to Goodreads
Rating:

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, 'Take my hand ...'

But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren't rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose - to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That's why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

Thoughts: This book has two things that usually make me stop reading: short chapters and Nazis. They are serious pet peeves of mine because a) I am capable of an attention span greater than 5 minutes, thank you very much, and b) haven’t you heard the war is friggin’ over???

And yet… TimeRiders was awesome. Awesome in that kind of action-packed, bad-ass, yes-we-may-kill-off-your-favourite-character sort of way. This book felt like a blockbuster movie – but with a superior script. Alex Scarrow writes action scenes with handful of main characters and ten dozen extras zooming across the page without breaking a sweat – a talent I seriously admire.

Scarrow also created some fantastic villains. I read an interview of his where he described his desire to make 3D characters who – one could argue – were merely misguided. He lived up to his claim in TimeRiders, writing a villain with pure intentions that became twisted by circumstance and insanity. A villain who is trying to save the world, just in a somewhat psychopathic way.  It is a welcome relief from the typical twirling-moustache villain!

However, I found the main characters a bit flat. Although perfectly enjoyable, they were rather secondary to the plot. So much crap happened to them, but there is very little emotional payoff. I also found a couple of the time-travel sequences rather… convenient. The sequences that took place over two times – but appeared in the book simultaneously – felt somewhat contrived. Just one of the many dangers of time-travel, I guess!

Bottom line?  TimeRiders is a fun, action-packed, addictive book.  Will likely appeal to teenage boys as well as girls – just don’t expect too much emotional depth.  I think Scarrow is saving it all for the sequel.

Page 9 of 9« First...56789