Exile by Rebecca Lim

Rebecca Lim is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. She worked as a commercial lawyer for several years before leaving to write full time. Rebecca is the author of ten other books for children and young adult readers, and her novels have been translated into German, French and Turkish. She is well known for writing the Mercy series, of which Exile is the second book. Rebecca is currently working on the fourth book of the series, Fury, which is due for release in May 2012. 

This review contains spoilers for the Mercy series. If you have not read the books already I recommend that you do not read further.

Mercy′s search continues …

All Mercy knows is that she is an angel, exiled from heaven for a crime she can′t remember committing. So when she ′wakes′ inside the body and life of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill, Mercy has only limited recall of her past life. Her strongest memories are of Ryan, the mortal boy who′d begun to fall for her - and she for him.

Lela′s life is divided between caring for her terminally ill mother and her work as a waitress at the Green Lantern, a busy city cafe frequented by suits, cab drivers, strippers, backpackers and the homeless, and Mercy quickly falls into the rhythm of this new life. But when Mercy′s beloved, Luc, reappears in her dreams, she begins to awaken to glimpses of her true nature and her true feelings for Ryan. How can she know that her attempts to contact Ryan will have explosive consequences?

Meanwhile, ′the Eight′ - responsible for her banishment - hover near, determined to keep Mercy and Luc apart, forever …

While Mercy read like a thriller, Exile is more of a contemporary novel, describing the struggles of Lela (and through her, Mercy) as she takes care of her dying mother. Instead of trying to solve a missing-person case, Mercy is struggling to handle day-to-day life as Lela, and this brings out harder side to her. I didn’t like Mercy’s willingness to use those around her to achieve her means, but other than that her character continues to be interesting and evolve. 

I feel the plot of the book lagged when compared to Mercy. The last book had a mystery thriller driving the plot, but Exile relies solely on Mercy and her interactions with other characters. Despite believing otherwise, Mercy is surprisingly blind to the motivations behind other people. I believe this is because the book, and therefore Mercy, is focused on the love triangle between Luc, Mercy and Ryan. Mercy is too worried about meeting both of the boys to really pay attention to anything around her, and this is a major failing of the book. 

I enjoyed unravelling Mercy’s past with her and believe this aspect of the story was handled well. Enough questions have been answered to satiate readers, but intriguing new hints have been dropped to keep readers engaged. In particular, I am glad that Luc seems to be revealing his true colours and Mercy has begun to rethink her unwavering trust in him. 

I didn’t like Exile as much as I liked Mercy, but still recommend them book to others. The characters are great, but the plot lacked something. I will be continuing with the series because I think the lore surrounding Mercy and the angels is interesting. 

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