The book tells the story of Mercy — an exile from heaven, who is fated to awake repeatedly in the bodies of strangers. Each time, she never knows anything about them and must struggle to plod along in their lives before she eventually drifts away into someone else’s life. During her nights, she dreams of the mysterious Luc; she doesn’t remember how she knows him, but she longs to be with him.
Then she awakes in the body of a girl name Carmen, and meets the charming and haunted Ryan. He’s spent the last two years searching for his missing twin sister — and until Carmen comes along, he’s the only one who believes she’s still alive. So now Carmen faces a dilemma … help Ryan find his sister, and risk becoming attached to someone she’ll soon forget? Or continue searching her dreams for the mysterious Luc?
There are a lot of elements going on in Mercy, and at times, they can be hard to follow. It’s pretty critical you read the “back of the book” synopsis before cracking open the first pages — because the text itself is not altogether clear. Told from Mercy/Carmen’s perspective, the reader is sucked into her confusion and is left to muddle along with her, as she tries to piece together her foggy memories of her past. Mercy never really understands who or what she is, or how she became such — so it’s up to that synopsis to explain it to the reader.
The best parts of Mercy are the moments outside of this muddling confusion; rather, the human moments when she is living Carmen’s life. Lim’s writing really shines during the scenes in which she describes Carmen’s singing voice and the music her fellow choir members create. The way Lim writes these passages, you can almost hear the music playing in your head. These were my favorite parts of the book to read.
Layered in with Carmen’s own life, and the mystery of Mercy’s history, is the dilemma of Ryan’s missing sister. It’s this mystery — more so than Mercy’s personal quandaries — that keeps the action moving forward. A classic case of “whodonit” is at the heart, as Ryan and Mercy try to figure out what really happened to his sister and who might have taken her.
The book concludes with a shocking climax, setting up for future books in the series. It’s unclear what direction this series will take; with almost too many loose threads left hanging, there are lots of options left open for what will happen to Mercy.
Mercy is in stores now. And just for fun, here’s a look at 3 different covers for Mercy. From left to right, covers from the U.S., Australia & U.K.:
For the comments: Which version of the cover is your favorite?