The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega

Title: The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
Author: Danielle Vega
Series: The Merciless, #2
Pages: 320
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: July 5th 2016

      “Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else . . . until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish.
      Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a creepy Catholic boarding school in Mississippi. There, seemingly everyone is doing penance for something, most of all the mysterious Jude, for whom Sofia can’t help feeling an unshakeable attraction. But when Sofia and Jude confide in each other about their pasts, something flips in him. He becomes convinced that Sofia is possessed by the devil. . . . Is an exorcism the only way to save her eternal soul?
      Readers won’t be able to look away from this terrifying read full of twists and turns that will leave them wondering, Is there evil in all of us?”

swirl (2)

“The wind blows, spreading red petals over the dead grass. I shiver and wrap my arms around my chest, watching the petals dance across the crumbling stone angels and moss-covered tombstones. Almost like droplets of blood.”

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.

4/5

★★★★

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9 thoughts on “The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega

  1. Holy moly, is this a young adult book? It sounds really gritty for teens, though I don’t necessarily have a firm definition of what I think is too “old” for teen readers. It sounds like Jude is Catholic, but what is he doing in the school for naughty youth, I wonder… How many more books will be in this series? Are they already published? Also, I bought two more books yesterday. Now I always think of you when I add more to the stack! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: December ’17 | A Kernel of Nonsense

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