The Merciless by Danielle Vega
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: 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. . . .
Review: This book has been on my radar for a long time, though I don’t remember reading any reviews. I guess I just liked the look of the book (you’ll have to get a physical copy to really know what I mean) and the summary had me hooked. This is not a book for those that get faint thinking about blood and torture. This book deals with both, and in exact, gruesome detail. I tend to find reading about things much easier than watching it, so I didn’t have any problems with The Merciless. Now if the book had been a film, that would be a different story…
The summary does a great job explaining the plot of this book, but to reiterate a bit, Sofia Flores is new to town and ready to put her past behind her. She meets Brooklyn first, and finds her a bit odd but overall, fairly nice. However, when Riley invites her to eat lunch with her friends, Grace and Alexis, Sofia begins to learn more about Brooklyn and how the girls believe her to be in need of “saving.” Yes, religious saving. Think of the movie Saved but with a lot of violence and anger and you sort of have The Merciless. Riley believes Brooklyn is possessed and needs to be exorcised, but when she kidnaps Brooklyn, Sofia soon realizes that Riley doesn’t truly want to save Brooklyn.
If you are a very religious person, this might not be the best book for you. There is a lot of talk about religious things, especially God, though I still felt it was done well. It’s ultimately up to the individual. This aspect of the book didn’t bother me, though. I thought The Merciless was really well written, and for a horror novel, I still felt like I got to know the characters fairly well. The book did leave me wondering about some things, but that’s mostly a sign of Vega’s good writing.
Vega's sophomore novel, Survive the Night, is released tomorrow. I can't wait to read it!