Book Reviews

Book Review: Mercy’s Quest

By East S.M.

Publication Date:  June 21, 2022

262 Pages

I’ll jump straight into the blurb:  Mercy is the youngest in a line of Appalachian Blood Stone witches.  Already in touch with her powers, she knows more is waiting for her evolution.  After unlocking a disconcerting family talisman, Mercy goes to New Orleans to visit her great aunt, a powerful witch in her own right.  There, she follows the lead of a white crow and other guides and begins a journey to uncover her true self, a being more powerful than she could have imagined.  However, there are enemies who would not only stand in her way, but also threaten humanity’s soul.

I’m going to be honest, the cover of this book creeped me out a little bit.  But still, I liked the back cover blurb so I gave it a shot.  The first thing that stood out is that this isn’t my typical Witchlit fare.  You won’t get a cozy mystery where the author may or may not know much about the Craft other than a few spells.  It’s obvious from the start that the author is a practitioner (even without reading her bio.).  It was refreshing and I loved it.

“Mercy’s Quest” interpreted by Wombo Dream

However, soon after the story really took off, I started noticing that the dialogue and prose felt a little stilted and incorporated a lot of unmarked scene jumps.  It was as if the plot outweighed the characterization, something I didn’t notice at the beginning of the book.  After a bit of thought, I realized the style was reminiscent of The Celestine Prophecy by Jame Redfield.  I read that book years ago and found it a remarkable story, but very high concept, which is an apt description for this novel as well.  The plot of Mercy’s Quest is imaginative and detailed and maybe even possible on some level, but since I could never fully wrap my head around it, I felt removed from what was happening to the main character.  And reading at a remove makes it hard for me to maintain a strong interest in the book.

Last words – I’m beginning to believe that lighter fare is better suited for me.  Most of what I read on the occult is non-fiction, and nothing as deep as what was presented in this novel.  If you liked a novel that deep dives into the occult like The Celestine Prophecy, you’ll probably also like this one.  I’m impressed with the author’s knowledge, but I don’t think this was the best fit for me.  

In the end, I rated this book 3 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Books Forward for providing the ARC of this book.  I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.

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