Book Review: The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Hi guyz! Dee here.Today we have a friend of mine, Monica Flores, join us at Nerd & Lace. She’ll be joining us a Book Reviewer. She has a wide taste in books and a lot to say. Help me welcome Monica, and without any further ado, here’s her first review. We hope you enjoy it!

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The Merciless by Danielle Vega Cover

Young Adults
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 12, 2014 
Available in eBook & Paperback from Amazon, and B&N.

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?



“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.”

Pretty chilly words for a YA (young adult) book, isn’t it? If you’re looking for a light and fluffy read. Or a book where Mary Sue (her actual name is Sofia Flores) is trying to fit in with the in crowd. Yet trying to make friends with the faux goth chick, and totally trying to get the cute boy to notice her, then this is not your book. Danielle Vega’s freshman novel The Merciless is filled with gore, a bottle or two of underage drinking, and some light back stabbing. There’s also a sprinkle of typical teenage angst, with a dash of overreacting teenage bible thumpers, and did I mention torture? And we musn’t forget the possible demon possession.

We meet Sofia Flores, an only child of an Army medical something, or another, single mother. Who also helps her bed-ridden grandmother do leg exercises after school. We also meet the three Bible Plastics who befriend Sofia within the first day of school. Bible Plastics with their perfect smiles and pretty shiny hair. The type of super friendly treatment is enough, for anyone trying to make friends, to jump on the bandwagon and have lunch with them. Then there’s Brooklyn, who may or may not be possessed, she used to be part of the Bible Plastics but now she spends her time skinning cats under the bleachers. That’s actually never proven but wasn’t really denied either.Throughout the book you find out secrets about everyone, secrets that remind you that no matter how well put together a person may be on the outside, it’s typically not so on the inside.

The story as a whole is an entertaining read, it has the right amount of suspense to keep you turning the pages; after it’s made you flinch and maybe even gross you a bit. I know there were plenty of scenes where I had to put down my food because my stomach did a little tumble. It was great!.

My main complaint, with this otherwise enjoyable book, is that the main characters point of view is written in as Mary Sue. As far as main character’s go, Sofia Flores is forgettable. Which is a shame because we don’t get a lot of Hispanic main characters in YA books. Vega doesn’t really make Ms. Flores a likeable character nor is she disliked, she just is. There is virtually no character development and there’s plenty of opportunities for her to grow as a person within the 24 hours that the horror takes place. It’s a shame, really. There was so much potential!

Alas, it is what it is and I give it 3 tacos on the Taco Scale of Awesome of 5. I really wanted to give it a 4 but the lack of character development and the WTF moment towards the end (it’s left wide open for a sequel but I actually don’t know if there will be one. If not then it’s a horrible way to end a stand alone book) prevents me from doing so.

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