Now, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover… but upon a causal trip to Chapters, it was the cover of Danielle Vega’s ‘The Merciless,” that compelled me to buy it. Perhaps it was my small 12-year-old self (who had an unsettling obsession with everything dark) that truly made this decision. It was an instinctual ‘yes’ when seeing the hot pink novel, with a gold pentagram plastered on the front.
My copy of this book (the hardcover version), is probably my favourite cover design as of yet. Something about the lack of jacket-cover and the simplicity of a bare book stands out. It reminds me of books my grandfather has passed down to me, as they all lack jacket-covers as well.
Cover aside, the story-line itself follows a teenage girl named Sofia Flores, as she befriends three seemingly perfect girls – or so she thought. The plot of this novel is so dark and brutal that my inner 12-year-old was screaming with joy – heck my inner 18-year-old self is still screaming with joy.
If you like horror movies and dark stories in general, then I’m sure you’ll love this. There are still many elements that stay true to the teen fiction category – teenagers, high school, and drama – but it’s highlighted through Vega’s talented way of creating a truly horrific scene.
Even more incredible, The Merciless is author Danielle Vega’s first novel. First. Honestly, I don’t understand it either. How could someone’s first novel be that great? Danielle, please teach me your ways.
I recommended this book to a friend once, and upon finishing it, she immediately texted me:
‘What the f—k Maddi.’
Needless to say, she didn’t take my ‘horror’ warning seriously. Honestly, I can assume the reviews on The Merciless are mixed, if you don’t appreciate possession like horror films, or anything close to Stephen King’s work, then I don’t think you’ll be a fan of this.
It is truly dark and twisted, and there were plenty of moments where my eyes grew so wide that I thought they would fall out. The cringing was inevitable. However, if an author can gain that type of reaction from their readers, then they truly are something special.
Overall, I would rate this book a 5 out of 5. I personally was so compelled by the story, and so wrapped up by the horror, that I can’t possibly give it anything less.
(Also on a side note I just found out there are two more books for this… So, stay tuned for reviews on those later).
Have any of you read this piece before? What did you think about it? Let me know down below, but be sure NOT to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the book!
Want a little taste of horror? Check out The Merciless down below!