Review: The Merciless II by Danielle Vega

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Publication: July 5th 2016
Publisher:  Razorbill
Pages:  320 pages
Source: Bookstore (Chapters)
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤

Ultimately, this sequel is unnecessary, but it was better than the first book so I guess I can forgive it for existing.

I wasn’t interested in buying this sequel because at the time I hadn’t read The Merciless and didn’t understand why it needed a sequel. My sister adored The Merciless and bought it, and loved the second book even more. After disliking the first book, I decided to read the second book because I had it, and I was curious if it would be any better than the first.

Before you start thinking “The Merciless II is a dumb name for a sequel,” you should know that this ISN’T the full title of the book because the full title is a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the first book (for anyone who’s curious, the full title is The Exorcism of Sofia Flores).

But the spoilers don’t stop their, Vega ONCE AGAIN spoils a lot of the plot in the synopsis. Before the book even begins we know that:

  1. Sofia’s mom dies, which isn’t revealed until the second chapter.
  2. She meets a hot boy named Jude.
  3. Jude thinks she’s evil and wants to perform an exorcism on her.

Hell, we knew Sofia was going to be exorcised by the title of the book alone, and the actual exorcism doesn’t happen until the last few chapters of the book! I know that synopses of books are meant to sound interesting to lure readers in, but does it really have to be to the point of telling readers exactly what they’re going to be reading?

Now about the sequel. While spoiling that Sofia’s mom dies, Jude, and her exorcism, the synopsis also tells us that Sofia has been seeing a therapist who has convinced her that everything she thinks about Brooklyn and herself being demons was something she made up, and that she’s just paranoid. When Sofia’s mom dies, she goes to St. Mary’s Boarding school to live, when bad things start happening and she starts to believe she really is a demon.

We never see Sofia’s therapist. In general, it’s hard to guess how much time has passed from the first book to this, but since this book ends at Christmas I’d give it a couple of months. While Sofia talks about her therapist a lot, we never see her speak to him, and when she begins attending St. Mary’s she doesn’t seem to speak to him either. How is this therapist supposed to help you when you don’t see him?

Something that isn’t mentioned in the synopsis are Sofia’s roommates at St. Mary’s, Leena and Sutton. Why? I don’t know, I guess we needed some mystery. But she spends a whole heck of a lot more time with these two than with Jude, but this is a YA novel and as every YA readers know, hot mystery boys are more important than friends.

In general, the story was a lot more well written, and it was paced longer than a few hours like the first book. But what bothered me the most was how Sofia went from 0 to 100 from the first book to the next. While she was pathetic in the first, she’s just annoying now and “sins” non-stop. What bothers me the most about Sofia’s “sinning” in this book is that they are so minor compared to the big bad sin she did which was mentioned in the first book. In this book she’s lustful for Jude, she’s envious of Leena (for absolutely no reasons except that she has a mom and that she’s crushing hard on Jude), she’s angry her mom’s dead (which is completely understandable, though her anger does branch out in some unhealthy ways), and those are all seen as bad things, and as Brooklyn says at the end she only needs “one more sin” to send her over the edge. For anyone who cares, this sin ends up being murdering the real Sister Lauren, which I don’t get because she did that by accident thinking it was demon Brooklyn she was killing, she purposely killed Karen but for some reason that wasn’t enough to get a demon on her.

I enjoyed the exorcism scene with Jude and Sofia. Some of the torture instruments mentioned were terrifying, but overall it wasn’t as scary as the exorcism scene in the first book.

While The Merciless II is better written and does have a few twists, it’s overall pointless. Sofia’s character changed too dramatically, and most of the story was spoiled from the synopsis and title.

Some lingering questions:

  • Why is Brooklyn a demon?
  • It’s clear from the ending that Brooklyn was once human but somehow became possessed by a demon/a demon attached itself to her. How?
  • I just want to know more about Brooklyn.
  • How many high schools actually study The Tempest? Because Sofia’s studied it in three different high schools and I didn’t study it until university.

 

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