The Merciless by Danielle Vega
Published: June 12th 2014 by Razorbill
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?
I have had this book on my TBR for absolutely ages now. I only actually remembered it being on there when I noticed that the second book in this series was going to be released at some point soon… which it has already been! So, you know, obviously I had to grab myself a copy. I had seen reviews running around mentioning just how violent this book was etc. But me being me, I kept thinking “It cannot be that bad”… well, I was wrong!
I actually really liked Sofia at the beginning of the book. She was reliable and relatable and definitely someone who was the sort of person that could easily become friends with. I loved her wit at times because she just didn’t seem like the character who would be that witty… She is one of those, when you get to know her, she is actually much funnier than when you don’t know her! I also admired the fact that she didn’t join the crowd when they were trying to perform an exorcism on Brooklyn. She was constantly trying to help Brooklyn in secret, eve though she knew that if she was found out by anyone else(especially Riley) she would be next. She seemed brave in way that no one else was. Of course… that all came to an end when we found out what her sin was!! You think you know someone and then you don’t!
Riley came across as psycho throughout the entire book. You know those religious fanatics you see in zombie movies or wherever? Where they break under the pressure, bow to God, pray all the time, preach – go crazy… well… welcome to Riley! Her religiousness actually bugged me a little bit and I don’t understand how anyone would want to be friends with someone who was constantly preaching! I think this was probably the point the author was trying to make, but still! Plus, all the things she did to Brooklyn had me tingling all over… and not in a good way! I felt like I was watching Saw or something similar, when the violence is so much your body tingles and you start shaking the body parts that are being affected int he film/book just to make sure they are all there and nothing has happened to them? yep! My point. Riley = pyscho! Her friends (Grace and Alexis) seem like sheep with Riley. The exorcism sends Alexis over the edge and she starts ripping out her and hair and generally going a little bit mad. Grace also seems to start to change as events unfurl, but she is unreliable. One minute she is trying to help Sofia escape and the next she is with Riley trying to punish Sofia.
I think this book probably should have come with a warning about the violence! It is marketed as young adult horror, but it is pretty gory and violent and probably not something someone should read they have issues with that kind of thing. Despite the bone tingling, body shaking thing going on with me, I don’t normally have an issues with stuff like that – but I know others that might! So.. probably should have warning issued!
I was also not expecting that ending! Like, what?? I wasn’t expecting Sofia’s sin to be what it was and I was actually kinda shocked and betrayed! You get this idea in your head about someone and then you are completely wrong and it leaves you reeling. I probably should have learnt with Dangerous Girls not to trust anyone in the YA world!!
I actually pretty enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the next instalment. I gave this book 4/5 stars.