Summary: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. . . .
At the core, The Merciless truly is a wonderful horror novel, one that doesn’t fail to get under your skin and make you start to bite your nails or scream. However, while the actual horror aspects were something to be admired, I did, however, feel that the character development in this novel was just a bit lacking.
True horror novels in YA really are a thing of rarity. You may have a book that’s categorized as a “horror” novel, but typically those books are vague on the gruesome details. The Merciless is not one of those books. The scenes in this book are displayed in all their gory glory. It is not by any stretch of the imagination something for everyone!
Sofia Flores knows what it’s like to be the new girl after having done it so many times before. So when she, her mother and her grandmother move to a small town in Mississippi, Sofia is determined this town will be different.
When the “popular girls” – Riley, Grace, and Alexis – went out of their way to befriend her, she should have known that was a warning sign of itself. But it’s too late now, because she never saw it coming. They said they wanted to save fellow classmate Brooklyn, but Sofia never realized they believed she was possessed. Now, locked in a house in the middle of the night with Riley and the girls, who are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn, Sofia must find a way to escape…before she ends up being next.
The only thing I didn’t necessarily like about the plot was how it sometimes became unrealistic and required quite a bit of suspension of disbelief. I found it very odd that nobody would notice that these girls were torturing Brooklyn. Surely someone would have heard the screams and cries coming from her house and gone to investigate? And they’re performing this torture in Riley’s house during the middle of the night.View Spoiler »And, when Sofia and Brooklyn finally escape, you mean to tell me that nobody questions where the bruises, scars and scratches on them come from? Or why there’s so much blood – and even a dead body! – in this house? You really can’t expect me to believe neither Brooklyn nor Sofia would call 911? « Hide Spoiler
The character development is not necessarily the strong point here. Rather than actually developing her characters through their actions and words, Vega develops her characters through secrecy. Each character has a secret they’re hiding, and once it is revealed, that reveal supposedly equals character development (which, obviously, isn’t true). This led me to have a real disconnect to the characters in general, which definitely lowered my enjoyment for the story.
Nonetheless, while it might lack a little substance, The Merciless is definitely commendable in terms of its scare and gore factors, and I guess I can give it some brownie points for that, right?