The Eagle’s Cry Book Review, The Merciless


Kaitlyn Stork, Entertainment Reporter

                Sofia Flores knows that she never should have gotten involved. Granted, she’s just moved to a new town — her mom works for the military, so new towns are the norm — and the three girls that she befriended on her first day seemed nice enough. But somehow she’s stuck frozen in an abandoned basement, surrounded by the girls she once admired and longed to be a part of, with another girl chained bloody in a chair. When the trio first confided in her about the punkish Brooklyn, she never could have imagined that they really believed that she was possessed by the devil. Yet, here they are. And all that Sofia knows is that she would rather be anywhere but there. But she can’t turn against the other girls, as that would basically be a death wish. As Sofia begins to battle her morals and basic survival instinct one thing is certain: The popular girls have quickly turned homicidal.

              Welcome to Mean Girls with an occultist twist. Yet, this book is definitely not a true horror story, though it is deeply unsettling on so many levels. Just to start, the girls aren’t certain that Brooklyn is indeed possessed, it’s simply a hunch after all. Yet they still chose to kidnap her, chain her in a basement, and torture her. The premise is creepy and disgusting, using High School girls, who seemed so preoccupied by their boyfriends and the latest drama just the night before, to deliver harsh punishments and twisted judgments. Dealing with High School pressure, on an arguably extreme level, this book discusses personal ideals versus fitting in. Taking the typical story of a new girl trying to fit in with the “cool kids” and distorting it in a dangerous way, author Danielle Vega breathes new life into an overused trope. Even though the book isn’t typical horror, it still isn’t for the faint of heart. There are detailed torture scenes to stomach through, leaving plenty of gore for true horror fans.

            The series does continue with a sequel, The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores, picking up Sofia’s journey. But there’s also a much anticipated third book in the series, supposedly acting as a prequel for the first book. Expected to be published in July of 2017, The Merciless III: Origins of Evil will supposedly detail Brooklyn’s life leading up to the events of the first novel. For those who couldn’t put down the first, or second, novel, this is a welcome addition. The Merciless is also currently being adapted for film, and it would make a truly terrifying film if it ever got produced.

           If you’re looking for some solid YA horror, then look no further. The Merciless will make you begin to question whether or not something supernatural really is going on, or if the mean girls have finally gone off the deep end.