My plight to read more books by indie authors AND AuthorTubers continues. Historical fantasy is a genre I wanted to read more of, and this one was promising.
But do you know what’s worse than a promise being broken? When that promise comes from a book.
The Black Plague is ripping through Aida’s village. Death and hatred surround her as her near-white eyes brand her as a witch. To save her people, even when she is shunned, an actual witch promises her the power to do so – a trick. Aida is instead granted immortality and a slumber that leads has her wake up hundreds of years in the future in an unfamiliar town. Without the sense of touch to ground her to reality, she wanders the world in a pessimistic eternity.
Here’s the biggest problem with the book, and it isn’t even what’s written in it. It’s the blurb and the way it was marketed. I was promised a story about a girl becoming a witch and curing the Black Plague and I didn’t get that. I got a story about a girl becoming more or less a ghost and then coming to terms with it over the course of hundreds of years in hermitage. This is not the first time that a book blurb has fooled me, and I HATE when authors do this now. A blurb is meant to promise the readers that something will be happening, and the plague became completely irrelevant about 80 pages in. I was robbed of the story that hooked me in and that I wanted to read! That affects my opinion of it a lot in a negative way.
Now let’s move on to the actual content of the book.
The actual writing of the book was very nice, however. The writing style was very compelling and reflective, especially when considering the interesting lack of the sense of touch. That put a lot more attention on other senses that were absolutely beautiful when written out and described. It created a very visual experience. One filled with very beautiful language that draws you in and makes you keep reading.
But that thing to read was sketchy. Lynn clearly had no clue what the plot of this novel was going to be about. The main conflict felt like it changed every chapter and the book left more questions than answers – a literary sin! The premise of the black plague never being mentioned again is very obvious – but then there were characters that were never interacted with again, plot points left lose in the wind, and trajectories that were never once foreshadowed. While I recognise now that this was a prequel I didn’t read the original of prior, this is NOT how you write one.
One thing I’m always checking is how distinct characters are from each other. This was done very well. You could see it from characters who were there for a long time or just a chapter. They were each characterised very well, showed their purposes and flaunted them. Or… most of them. There wound up being a very large cast of characters towards the end that I wonder why they were given a name or introduced except to set up the original story this was a prequel of… I guess?
In summary, it once the betrayal of the focus on the Black Plague happened it was very difficult to discern was was worth remembering or not. I’m probably gonna forget about this book anyway, with pleasure.
Don’t break promises.
I Am Mercy gets a score of 2.5/5. If your novel is not about the Black Plague, then DO NOT say it is about the Black Plague. Simple.
Yours in writing