Second Look: Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS

Katie read Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS a while ago.  And while she raved about it, I never really thought of picking it up for myself.

That is…until I found out Danielle Vega is going to be at #YAFest2017!


So, like every year of a Fest, I make it my personal mission to read at least one book by each attending author.  (Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t happen.)

I picked up Danielle Vega’s MERCILESS (and MERCILESS II) from the library and finally made myself stop procrastinating and read.

And oh boy, was I in for a treat!

It’s coined as “Mean Girls meets The Exorcist“.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Psst.  Don’t let the cover fool you.

Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS
Deckle Edge, 2014

What It’s About:

Sofia Flores is the new girl in town…again.  She’s unexpectedly befriended by Riley, one of the school’s most popular girls.  But when Riley asks Sofia to “spy” on Brooklyn, another student at the high school who’s suspected of being possessed by the Devil, Sofia finds out that there’s much more to her new best friend.

After Sofia tells Riley that Riley’s boyfriend was cheating on her with Brooklyn, Riley decides that they have to “save” Brooklyn and perform an exorcism.  It’s not so much an exorcism of demons as it is of anger and jealousy…and a lot of torture.

There are major twists throughout the novel, so I won’t spoil them for you because — holy cow!

So, I’ll sum it up for you: Popular, Mean Girls.  Outcast Party Girl.  Unwitting New Girl.  Abandoned House.  Holy Water.  Bible.  Surprises.

What I Thought:

I don’t even know if I can form coherent thoughts.  I finished it last night and I wanted to write the review FAST so I didn’t forget it.  But I still feel like a ditzy, mumbling mess.

So, I’ll do what I normally do in these situations.  I’ll refer to a neatly organized, bulleted list of my thoughts.

  • The characters were interesting.  While some of them were pretty stock-ish (Riley, Grace, Alexis, Brooklyn), they were well-developed.  The story lies more in the plot and the action and not so much in the character development.
  • There’s a male protagonist, but he’s only in it for snippets.  I want to see more of him.
  • The writing is REALLY graphic.  So much so I made faces while reading.  But I was also so engrossed, I couldn’t put the book down.
  • The ending has more twists than I expected, which made it AWESOME.
  • The sequel is already on my nightstand and I’m ready to start it!

Basically, I’d recommend this book for anyone who’s a fan of horror, and well-written horror.  I loved the exorcism angle, but there was so much happening that I could barely wrap my head around all of the bombs that Vega dropped.

I was also excited to learn there’s an ORIGIN STORY coming out!  MERCILESS III: ORIGIN OF EVIL.

This book is NOT for the faint of heart.  Even if you’re a little squeamish, you may want to skip it.  But trust me — if you do get through it, the end makes it SO WORTH IT.


8/10 Stars


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