[REVIEW] Mercy – Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Lim
Mercy (Mercy, Book 1)
HarperCollins Children’s (UK: 28th October 2010; AU: 1st November 2010; CA: 8th November 2010)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The only suburbs included in this book are fictional (as far as I know), and there’s no reference to country, state or whatnot. The author is based in Melbourne, by the way. But because the series has already sold to the US, UK and Canada – as well as Australia – the story feels like it could be set anywhere. And that’s not a good thing. I need certainty! Not vagueness in order to appeal to all countries equally! Internationals aren’t put off by Australian novels, right?

But enough of that particular rant…

We need to talk about marketing – particularly mismarketing. The publisher seems to be targeting fans of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Nora Grey series, but this book is really best matched to readers of Kim Wilkins’ Gina Champion series. Remember that one, or am I being esoteric? Anyhoo, the summary (Australian edition) refers to “angels, mystery and romance”. Well, the middle one is correct. I don’t think angels are ever specifically mentioned in the novel, but we know what Mercy is. As for the romance…maybe that develops over the series (three or four books), but doesn’t really feature here, except for mentioning how good-looking some characters are. That’s not romance – that’s angel horniness. Splitting hairs, eh?

As for the “host of angels out for Mercy’s blood”, they’re very minor here. Really, the antagonist is human, I’m pretty sure. So what is the story about? A missing girl, petty bitchiness between choir members, and singing.

Oh, and Mercy glows in the dark. Just thought you should know.

But for all my ranting, Mercy is actually rather readable. It’s a short, fast trip with little-to-no character development for our narrator, but is still a fun little venture. The publisher may be pushing it as “major”, but the story’s really quite laid back.

2 responses to “[REVIEW] Mercy – Rebecca Lim

  1. I know exactly what you mean by the nonspecific settings. I’ve recently read two books by Aussie authors that were vaguely set in a city that could really have been anywhere, with one being in a school that felt far more American than Australian. Surely the American market can handle a few Australianisms?

    Perhaps we’re too Austr-alien. 😉

    • I don’t think American readers are as xenophobic as their publishers seem to treat them. Still, since Keri Arthur’s Melbourne-set novels hit the NYT Bestsellers lists, I would’ve thought publishers would be more willing to embrace non-US settings. But I’m not in the biz, so I am clearly talking out my arse 😉

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