I am Mercy is Mandi Lynn’s second book and is tied to her first book, Essence. It’s centered around a similar concept as Essence – that some persons, by a mystical process become “essences,” who inhabit but are not really part of the physical world. They are eternal and trapped and must find their value in that state.
What I liked:
Mandi is excellent at painting a scene. The places all felt vivid and real – especially her description of France during the black plague. There was an early dream sequence that captured the feeling of the dream state that was probably my favorite part of the book.
I also liked the themes present in the first 1/4 of the book. I had never really felt the despair (and hope) of people living in during the black plague, but Mandi captures it extremely well. It was both disturbing and philosophically interesting. My favorite scene in this category involves a young boy, but I’ll say no more.
What missed the mark for me:
The book felt like it was confused as to its tone. This could have been on purpose as the book is divided into four “books,” so this criticism could be moot, except its related to the next point.
My largest frustration with I am Mercy was that the main character never seemed to have a overarching goal that spanned the four “books.” I wanted to see her be more proactive. Here are my recommendations
Book 1: I wanted to see Aida try to find a way to prove to her family she was not a witch. This would have given her something to do.
Book 2: I would’ve liked to see Aida struggle to find a way to become human again. May seek out Mystral for help or revenge?
Book 3 and 4: I wasn’t sure why Aida didn’t try to find a way to get back to Garren. She resigned herself to the fact that she couldn’t, but I was unclear on why.
If you are a fan of Mandi’s first book, I think you’ll enjoy this one even more. If you’re looking for a protagonist who drives the story, you may have to look elsewhere.