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Michaela Debelius is an indie author whose novels include elements of science fiction, romance, and horror. Originally from New England, she now lives in the Southwest with her husband and two furry children.
on March 30, 2013 :
"Some people say they don't care. I actually mean it."
This tag line really sums up Mercy's attitude. Whenever I read a book about immortal beings, whether they be vampires, gods, or whatever, one of my thoughts is always how horrible it would be to truly be immortal. I mean, seriously... who would really want to live F O R E V E R ? Think about it. Seems like a great idea on the surface, but give it enough time and um, yeah...thanks, but no thanks. The premise for Perpetual touches on this and maybe that's why I was interested in the storyline.
Mercy Green was made immortal after she was attacked and murdered in 1822. She doesn't know who did this to her. She was left to discover everything about her new existence on her own. Her unending life has made her jaded, apathetic, and bored. Everything she does is calculated to protect her secret from being discovered, to stay away from other immortals, and also to protect herself emotionally so she can tolerate her neverending existence. By the end of the book, all the behaviors and rules she has created for herself over the years, the type of life she made for herself, and her "immortal" worldview will be challenged.
The beginning of the book is not action-packed but sets the stage and paints a thorough picture of Mercy and how she feels about her immortality. You learn about the lengths she goes to keep from being discovered and to exist through a ceaseless life. This part was not boring to me at all. I found it very interesting and it pulled me along right from the beginning. It gave me a really good sense of how jaded and detached Mercy had become. The author's writing style is also very descriptive, though not in the sense that it takes five pages to describe a flower petal. It was the attention to little details that I enjoyed the most and the types of comparisons that were used to describe them. It helped paint the picture and kept my head-movie rolling along smoothly.
Now, though I liked the attention to detail in the descriptions, at the same time the style also tended to be overly descriptive and florid at times. Sometimes the wording used was a little over the top. A fancier, more uncommon word would be used where a simpler and more common word would have sufficed and worked just fine. This made the prose sound like it was trying too hard at times. Of course, writing style is subjective so other people may not notice or may even like it a lot. I guess I had a little bit of a like/dislike thing going on with the writing style but the dislike portion wasn't that big of a factor for me. I truly enjoyed the imagery and storytelling. It was very easy for me to fall into this story.
There were also some instances where I felt there were some inconsistencies with the story that just made me go hmmm. For example, why is she using his chest as leverage when it was burned in the fire? Why did Nick dress the bed when the mattress was soaked with blood from Mercy's attack? (Pssst, dude! Get rid of the mattress!). Why does Nick act surprised when Mercy tells him the year she died? He already knows what era she lived in from the book scene at the beginning. Little things like this that just didn't make sense to me or seemed inconsistent with what happened in the story.
It is sometimes hard to express why I do or don't like a character, but I liked Mercy. You might think that she sounds a bit depressing, but she didn't come off that way to me. Nor does she act TSTL (which is good since she is immortal!) Mercy has built walls around herself and stays emotionally secluded from the world--until Adam. She is intrigued by and attracted to him. Because of this she starts to break some of her rules. I liked Adam's character, too. In fact, I actually liked all the characters in this book. The interaction between him and Mercy felt natural. It was easy to connect with them. Adam isn't your typical alpha male hero and that was actually a little refreshing. I did guess what would happen to him eventually *pats self on back* but not the details of how it would happen. The dialogue between Mercy and Adam and also Mercy and Nick worked for me and felt natural as well. Speaking of Nick, he is another immortal that makes a brief appearance early in the book and then gradually comes more into the story as it progresses. You don't know what his motives are at first but it eventually becomes clear and I think it makes him even more likeable and endearing. There was one thing he did that I felt was out of character, and I'm curious if it will come up in some way in the next book.
A few more characters in this book worth mentioning are of the four-pawed and furry variety. Mercy has a dog and a cat, both of which were rescued from abusive situations. Adam also has a cat and they both volunteer at an animal shelter. There is a lot of attention to the pets in this story and a lot of description about them and their behaviors. I really loved this aspect of the book and gobbled up these parts. Giving this much attention to the pets in this story convinces me that the author must be an animal lover herself (and the images on her website reinforce that theory!). I will give a warning though to other animal lovers, there is a dog in this story that gets hurt (not Mercy's dog--more of an extra like a "redshirt" dog so to speak) BUT it works out okay! So don't let it scare you off.
I think I would call this book an Urban Fantasy with a romantic element. Though I had some small issues with some aspects of the writing style and I occasionally pondered why someone would do or say something that made no sense to me, these ended up being minor to me in the end. I definitely enjoyed the world, the story, the characters, and the style overall. It is one of those books that I can have issues with but still really enjoy because the storytelling engaged me. Immortal characters are by no means a new story idea, but the way it was presented felt a little different than what I have read before. I want to know what happens next and I look forward to returning to the world of Mercy Green. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next book in this series. :-)
My Tags: urban fantasy romance, paranormal, immortals, dogs and cats
Heat Level: more sensual than spicy--only 1 short scene
Word Count: approx. 87,000 (Novel)
Print Length: 279 (per Amazon estimate)
Kindle Locations: 4615 (story text ends at 99%)
Epub pages: 257 (story text ends on pg 256)
Includes Table of Contents
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)
(reviewed long after purchase)