Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Author: Danielle Vega
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 336
Format: E-book
Published: August, 2014
Price: $9.99 -> Rp135.045 (Amazon)
Rating: 3½ / 5 stars

Date started: August 4, 2015 - Date finished: August 9, 2015

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
Sofia Flores is the new girl in town, she never really had that many friends in her past school. At the first day in her new school she had met Brooklyn, a feisty short-haired girl and sort of developed a crush on Charlie. But in this new school she had attracted the popular clique's attention—Riley, Alexis, and Grace. Sofia quickly became friends with Riley, Alexis, and Grace when they invited her into the fold.

Riley and Brooklyn are frenemies, one day Riley asked Sofia to spy on Brooklyn at party. In that party she saw that Brooklyn was hooking up with Riley's ex-boyfriend—Josh. After seeing that, Sofia immediately told Riley but she never would've predicted what Riley did next. She tied Brooklyn up in a basement of a house in a housing complex that Riley's parent owns. Riley plans to perform an exorcist because she's determined that there's evil inside Brooklyn.

Sofia was forced to be a part of this exorcism, at first she thought this was just a harmless thing but it quickly became violent. The exorcism turned bloody, scary, and bad things starts to happen. She felt sorry for Brooklyn and she endlessly tries to find a way out quietly but will it be a successful attempt or will it be Sofia's blood that got spilled next.
"We exorcise you, impure one, you satanic power." Her clear voice fills the cold corners of the basement.
I think it's clear that horror movies will always be scarier than horror books, at least for me anyway. But this book is kind of scary for me as in I felt chills in like the end of this book. You could never tell from the color of the cover that this book is a horror/thriller book, but when you see the ritualistic pentagram (it is pentagram right? or am I wrong?) you know that there's something supernatural going on with this book.

The book is told from Sofia's perspective and throughout reading this book I do feel a resemblance on Mean Girls in the characters. Riley, Alexis, and Grace are the plastics meanwhile Sofia is Lindsay Lohan—the new girl in school. But the story is very different, when the plastics in Mean Girls were obsessed with burn books, Riley, Alexis, and Grace were obsessed with religion-in-a-way-that-they-feel-that-they-are-the-holiest-of-all.

The ending was unexpected, well at least for me. I mean I was so sure that after a certain thing happened that that's it but then the writer decided to throw in an additional surprise. I liked the ending, because it was unexpected but that's it. As far as horror ending goes, it's your typical cliff-hanger-y-not-a-happy-ending.

There's little in the way of character development though. I truly have no character that I would root for, they all just seemed distant because I don't know a lot about the characters aside from the physical features explained by the writer's words. The process of Riley, Alexis, Grace, and Sofia becoming friends also moved a little too quickly it almost felt like it was rushed.

I would consider this a light horror? Because there's definitely blood and gore in this book but it definitely doesn't make me squeamish. Overall, a nice debut from Danielle Vega.

© books-over-all ©


  1. I am impressed that you got a chill from the book, but I am sad that it was lacking the character development.
    New follower :) Cute blog!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Yea, got a sort of a chill at almost the end of the book but no place else. Other than that it was sort of lacking on the horror aspect. Thanks for following! :D


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