Title: The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
Author: Danielle Vega
Series: The Merciless, #2
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Danielle Vega’s sequel The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores takes all the horror elements from the first book in the series and kicks it up a notch. After being pulled into an exorcism by her new friends, Sofia found herself witnessing their murder by the girl they meant to save. Sofia can’t shake Brooklyn’s final words to her before she disappeared. We don’t kill our own. Convincing herself that she can’t possibly be possessed by a demon is harder said than done, but in order to move on, this is exactly what Sofia needs to do. But when tragedy strikes, Sofia ends up enrolling at St. Mary’s Prep School where it gets harder and harder for her to deny the growing darkness inside her.
The Merciless II has its flaws, but in terms of horror, there were several frightening scenes that kept me turning the pages. Vega’s sequel does improve on her previous book both in characterization and build-up. Sofia is fighting an internal battle with herself. Every ugly thought she has reminds her of Brooklyn’s words. Her new roommates have her hoping that she can start anew at this new school, but things grow complicated very quickly. Feeling jealous of one of her new friends isn’t exactly alarming and her less than charitable thoughts are fleetingly enough that even readers begin to convince themselves there is nothing wrong with Sofia. However, the tension in the novel begins when this friend begins to experience a bout of bad luck. Sofia grows increasingly concerned that she may be causing these bad accidents, but she doesn’t have anyone to turn to. Wrecked with guilt, Sofia reaches out to the one person she’s vowed to stay away from. Jude is one of the only bright spots in her life, though she’s promised herself not to pursue a relationship because of a new friend’s crush on him. Jude has some very zealous religious views, which raised a ton of alarm bells, but as a reader, you’re forced to watch Sofia open up to him and know that eventually Jude will start to believe himself that Sofia is possessed.
I sympathized with Sofia when it seemed that nothing in her life could go right. She tried so hard to fight her envious thoughts, but these thoughts seemed to have a life of their own. Though it’s clear from the synopsis that Sofia’s story is going to take an even darker turn, it did not prepare me for the horror she endures. It’s important to note that this book can be extremely triggering. I won’t go into the details, but there are several brutal scenes in this novel in which characters are subjected to physical abuse. That being said, The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores is an engrossing horror novel that will leave you aghast and begging to find out what happens next.