Synopsis: 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?
200words (or less) review: There is a warning on my ARC that says “For Mature Audiences Only”. The Merciless is pretty graphic in places so if you’re squeamish I don’t think this book going to be for you. Be prepared for plenty of blood and gore.
For me The Merciless was a good example of a teen horror movie on paper. The first twist being that instead of being chased by the scary monster the protagonist (Sofia) is actively, though reluctantly, participating in the exorcism/torture of Brooklyn. Who according to Sofia’s new friends needs rescuing from the devil.
Once you reach the part of the book where the five girls are locked inside the abandoned house the story really gets going. The pace is steady, there are some rather stomach churning moments. It’s vivid, dark and you know it’s going to end badly.
You’re easily swept away by The Merciless, I read the book in one sitting. As a horror-slasher it works but I would have liked a stronger connection with Sofia for the ending to really have that shock impact.