Triple Whammy...Mercy by Rebecca Lim

We have a triple whammy for you guys today!
Review + Interview + Giveaway = Woot!!

Title: Mercy (Mercy #1)
Author: Rebecca Lim
Publish Date:
May 17, 2011 by Hyperion
Pages: 288, hardcover
Read & Reviewed By: ISALYS
Purpose: Provided by publisher for review purposes.
An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, MERCY is the first book in a major new paranormal series.

There's something very wrong with me. I can't remember who I am or how old I am, or even how I got here. All I know is that when I wake up, I could be any one. It is always this way. There's nothing I can keep with me that will stay. It's made me adaptable. I must always re-establish ties. I must tread carefully or give myself away. I must survive.

Mercy doesn't realise it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial host exiled with fallen angel, Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis and keep the unwary from getting caught up in the games that angels play. Ultimately she must choose between her immortal companion, Lucifer, and a human boy who risks everything for her love.

As we come to understand, Mercy is a fallen angel.  She recalls very little of her "previous" life or how she ended up as she is. She gets impressions of doing something forbidden, of a love with someone forbidden and somehow that lead to her inhabiting host bodies. (Think classic show, "Quantum Leap" with Scott Bakula!)

She now wakes up in the body of a young, talented singer named Carmen.  She must now try  to piece together what little of Carmen and her own memories she can access.  She learns that she is staying with a family whose daughter disappeared over 2 years ago. Her twin brother, Ryan, is the only one who believes that Lauren is still alive.  Carmen/Mercy is torn between helping "Carmen" attain success as a singer and helping the damaged but irresistible Ryan find his sister.

Truthfully, there were things that I liked and things that I didn't.  I liked the characters; from non-angelic & determined Carmen/Mercy, broken but lovable Ryan, pain in the ass "frenemy" and creepy, overly-helpful teacher.  They were diversified and interesting.  I particularly enjoyed the mystery of Ryan's missing sister, Lauren and the serious curve we were thrown for at the end.  The mystery was dark and very well-done.  I was also very impressed with the quality of Rebecca's writing and music-related research. The words and descriptions flowed smoothly.

Where I struggled quite a bit is with the paranormal element of the story.  It stands to reason that because Mercy knew so little about her past, so would we.  However, I felt that the gaps were too wide to even get an inkling of who she really is.  She would have flashes that made little sense and conversations that made no sense.  I was left with more questions than answers.  I say this with all due respect to the story, but at the end I felt that while it was a good story, it needed more "meat on it's bones".

My understanding is that the following books will reveal to us more about Mercy's past (and hopefully a future with Ryan) so I fully intend to continue along for the ride.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

1) BS ♥ When and why did you begin writing?
It feels like I’ve been doodling cartoons and writing stories for almost as long as I’ve been alive, it’s just always interested me. From about the time I was seven I guess I seriously wanted to be a writer – but like a lot of people, I had no idea where to start.

School’s great for telling you exactly what you have to do to be a doctor, lawyer, scientist etc but it can only offer general pointers to people who want to be writers, video artists, baristas and other slightly left-field things.

When I was 17, it seemed possible to combine a career as a lawyer with a career as a writer because you’re working with words and ideas at the end of the day. But I ended up in the kind of law firm where you risk having your car towed away at 6am because you’ve left it out on the street in front of the office all night. The novels I was writing in those days were falling short of the mark. My creative brain and legal brain were pulling in different directions, so I gave myself a couple of years off law to try and make a go of it, and I’m happy to say that I haven’t gone back (yet!).

I was lucky enough to have a four book series of humorous detective stories for middle readers picked up by an Australian publisher. And that was the start of it. It’s weird, but it feels as if you can’t get published unless you’ve been published before, or have a really pushy agent, so that first break seems so crucial.

2) BS ♥
It seems you started as a children's writer, what made you decide to transition to YA?
Like lots of writers, I have a ton of manuscripts in my desk drawers at various stages of completion, for differing audiences. Something about the novels I was doing for middle readers sparked a publisher’s interest first, I guess, but I’ve always written for a range of ages.

An engaging story line is something that’s a constant across all readership age groups. But I’ve found that when I write for much younger readers, I just can’t build in as many layers or leave things too open-ended.

When I write for the YA readership, the reader is more able to form their own interpretations, or bring more of their “world view”, if you like, to the act of reading. And that’s the beauty of the YA readership in general – provided they are hooked into the storyline, it doesn’t matter to them what “genre” they are reading, they just go with it. So writing for YA readers is a lot more liberating. Things can be darker or more uncertain because they can handle it.

I enjoy building in a little more complexity, because I like to think that most readers are people who are sophisticated, intelligent and engaged, and who want to be challenged.

3) BS ♥
Are you working on any other projects?
I have at least three other series, for different age groups, I keep picking up and putting down because the Mercy series is kind of all-consuming right now. One is a paranormal YA series (as far from angels and vampires as you can get), one is a fantasy series for middle readers and the other one? I can’t even categorize that one at present! It’s just a mass of potential directions and interlocking storylines.

4) BS ♥
Are there any new authors or books that have grasped your interest?
I’ve only just read the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy and I thought it was fabulous. Collins treats her readership like thinking, mature individuals, which I love. It’s pacy and thrilling and unafraid to show the ugly side of life, even though it’s set in a notional world. And I think that’s important – that teens aren’t shielded from reality. The stuff that people do to each other in the real world is staggering; it’s not all hearts and flowers.

I have a teetering TBR pile right now that is liberally laced with new YA titles (though not angels, steering well clear of angels until my own series is finished). Some are Aussie, some American. I literally have them piled up in bags in one corner of my house because I keep seeing fabulous new things and buying them, then realizing I have a serious pile of deadlines to get through first.

When Fury (Mercy #4) is done, I’m just going to read and read (and eat).

5) BS ♥ Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers about "Mercy" or a general message?
Mercy, brings together some of the genre-mashing I enjoy as a reader. It’s a YA mystery/crime novel – but with angels and romance and Latin and choral music thrown in. I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone with extraordinary powers to be suffering from a bizarre kind of amnesia where she only has prismatic flashes of memory. The inklings of more than one past life, and of what she’s truly capable of, would hopefully keep things interesting for the reader.

But I also consciously set out to create a female heroine who can, literally, do anything if she puts her mind to it. I wanted to show that it's okay to be a smart-mouthed, think-on-your-feet, strong and abrasive, yet empathetic character, who also happens to be female. It's not something that should just be the province of male hero-types.

Now the thing to bear in mind with Mercy is that I was hoping to reach YA readers and female readers generally, because of some of the themes I cover. The stuff that happens to women just makes my blood boil sometimes, and I wanted to create a female heroine who looks outwardly weak, but who could actually dish out vengeance to her persecutors. Kind of an empowering revenge fantasy, I always say.

I’d like to thank everyone who has read Mercy and been happy to go along for the ride. I know you’ve had to work a little – because the reader is literally only a second or two behind (or ahead!) of Mercy – but hopefully the journey will be worth it, so hang in there.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

June 15 - June 22

Thanks to the The Book Report Network and Rebecca, we get to give away ONE copy of Mercy to one winner.

  • To enter the giveaway you must complete the form linked above and leave a comment indicating that you've entered.
  • Giveaway open to U.S. residents. No P.O. boxes please.  Note: It may take several weeks to receive your prize so please be patient! 
  • Winner will be drawn after the contest ends and posted soon thereafter.
  • Winner will be chosen using!
Feel free to contact us via email at booksoulmates[at]gmail[dot]com if you have any questions.

Happy reading!


  1. Entered! [:
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  2. I've heard good things about this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! This book looks pretty intriguing.

  4. I'm Entered!
    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  5. How awesome are you for hosting this wonderful giveaway opportunity. Thank you.

  6. I've entered!

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

  7. I entered. Mercy sounds interesting, but with the Mercy's situation as you outlined I can understand your issues.

  8. Entered... Thanks!

  9. I completed the form and would love to read Mercy :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  10. Entered! Thanks for the giveaway! I just saw this book for the first time this weekend and the cover caught my eye.

  11. I just fell in love with your page. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!


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