Sunday, 3 June 2012

Exile by Rebecca Lim

Exile by Rebecca Lim is the second book in the Mercy series. You can read my review of Mercy here.

Exile continues the story of Mercy, an angel who for reasons unknown to her is cursed/sentenced to briefly possess different humans, constantly jumping around and never knowing where she’s going to end up next.

This time, she lands in Melbourne into the body of Lela a 19 year old girl who works at a coffee shop in the city and whose mother is dying of cancer.

She also has a vivid dream in which Luc, her angel love who is always beseeching her to find him, visits her. This time he has a plan for reuniting them.

Overall, I felt a bit ambivalent about this book. It wasn’t bad, in fact the writing was objectively fairly good. But the story, especially the angelic parts, completely failed to resonate with me. Which is more a comment on me than on the book. Compared with Mercy there were more magical dream-sequences which particularly didn’t do it for me. We do learn more about who and why Mercy is, but Luc has always seemed a bit creepy to me and if anything he seems more so after Exile. He’s her star-crossed lover and they’re being punished for some reason by being kept apart and he spends his time trying to stalk her down. On the bright side, it gives me someone to cheer against. Also the sort-of love interest from Mercy reappears and is a much more likeable prospect.

Unsurprisingly, as Mercy learns more, everything seems to get more complicated. If I have one complaint about the story structure it’s that it ends too soon for us to really get into to the meat of the mystery. However, it does end in a logical place and it’s not an unsatisfying ending. I do want to know more, but the sequels aren’t very high on my to buy list. Mostly, it’s just a little bit too goddy for my taste (but objectively, really not that religious).

One final note: I’m not sure this is terribly YA. The protagonist is on the cusp of the requisite age group but thematically this series hasn’t struck me as very YAish. I suspect the shortness of the books contributed to them being marketed as YA. It’s not that I think they’re inappropriate for young people, I just didn’t feel they quite fitted into the usual YA mould (but it sort of makes sense from a marketing perspective since they’re short and fantasyish it would be harder to sell them as adult fiction).

If you like YA fantasy with angels, then I highly recommend this book. If you like YA that’s lighter on the fantasy and more rooted in the real world than, for example, your standard vampire story, this is also a book you might like.

3.5 / 5 stars

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