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Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Received for review from HarperCollins UK
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: 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.