Published: June 4, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
From Danielle Vega, YA’s answer to Stephen King, comes a new paranormal novel about dark family secrets, deep-seated vengeance, and the horrifying truth that evil often lurks in the unlikeliest of places.
Hendricks Becker-O’Malley is new in town, and she’s bringing baggage with her. With a dark and wild past, Hendricks doesn’t think the small town her parents moved her to has much to offer her in terms of excitement. She plans on laying low, but when she’s suddenly welcomed into the popular crowd at school, things don’t go as expected.
Hendricks learns from her new friends that the fixer-upper her parents are so excited about is notorious in town. Local legend says it’s haunted. Hendricks doesn’t believe it. Until she’s forced to. Blood-curdling screams erupt from the basement, her little brother wakes up covered in scratches, and something, or someone pushes her dad down the stairs. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don’t take her first.
Another great one from Danielle Vega! This is a classic ghost story that is creepy and chilling. It actually follows Vega’s normal timeline within her books, but it’s more than her exorcism series. She even tied up any loose ends by the end of the story. I’ll admit that I wish the underlying plot for the haunting was a little deeper, sure. But it was still satisfying and she covered everything very well.
Steele House was the perfect setting and all the spirits and ghosts that showed up were pretty darn scary! Vega managed to add intense physical aspects to her ghosts that creeped the crap outta me! I also really liked the characters. And of course, typical Kim, I liked the mysterious neighbor boy the best. Overall, this book is chilling, scary, and perfect for reading when you want something dark. Definitely save it for the older teens but it’s a good choice for getting teens to read. Great book!
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: May 24, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Stephen King meets Pretty Little Liars in this pulse-pounding novel from the author of The Merciless.
Just back from rehab, Casey regrets letting her friends Shana, Julie, and Aya talk her into coming to Survive the Night, an all-night, underground rave in a New York City subway tunnel. Surrounded by frightening drugs and menacing strangers, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse…
…until she comes across Julie’s mutilated body in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Casey thought she was just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music. And by the time they get back to the party, everyone is gone.
Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway tunnels, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.
They’re being hunted.
Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to Aya’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here.”
Danielle Vega is the queen of creepy fiction! The Merciless Series was awesome and this book was almost as good. To be honest, I think I understood this one a little better than I did the Merciless Series. Survive the Night is a great metaphor for the dangers of drugs. Vega took a serious problem facing teens and turned it into an ominous story. The teens are all believable and realistic. I hated Shana so much because she is that typical teen who does whatever she wants and does things just because she can; I wouldn’t even mind it, except she drags everyone down with her. I really dislike selfish teens . . . if y’all didn’t already get that. One thing that I really liked was the fact that Vega was so meticulous and specific with her details that it just added another level of frightening. All the mud and murky water, and sludge; it was like I could feel the dirt and muck while I was reading! This was a really great read! I would reserve it for older teens because of the language, but I think it would make a good, cautionary tale.[Top]
Today Kim reviews The Merciless Series by Danielle Vega. The series is currently composed of three novels with a fourth coming out later this year! The information on it will be provided below and came from Goodreads. The Merciless Series by Danielle Vega
Books in the Series:
The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
The Merciless III: Origins of Evil
Descriptions from Amazon:
Published: June 12, 2014
Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls…unless she wants to be next. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores
Published: July 5, 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?
The Merciless III: Origins of Evil
Published: July 11, 2017
Brooklyn knows that there’s no good without evil, no right without wrong. And when a helpless girl calls her teen helpline, whispering that someone is hurting her, Brooklyn knows that she needs to save her anonymous caller, even if it means doing something bad. Her parents and friends assure her the call was probably a prank—but Brooklyn has always had a tendency to take over, whether someone has asked for help or not. She discovers the call came from Christ First Church and finds herself plunged into the cultish community of its youth group. She’s especially drawn to Gavin, the angelic yet tortured pastor’s son. Torn between an unstoppable attraction to Gavin and her obsession with the truth, Brooklyn is forced to make a devastating choice to rid Christ Church of evil once and for all. . . . But the devil has plans for Brooklyn’s soul.
Series reviewed by: Kim
Kim’s rating of the series: 4 stars
I really enjoyed this series! It satisfied my horror craving, without being overly predictable. The characters were interesting and relatively relatable. I hated the people I was supposed to hate and sympathized with the characters I was supposed to sympathize with. I liked how Vega captured the duality of humanity. Yes, there is black and white in this life, but mostly, there’s a whole lot of gray! The reason I’m giving this series 4 stars is because 1. The suspension of disbelief wore a little thin by the time I got to the third book, and 2. I just hate teenagers. To be fair, the teenagers in this series fit the story very well, but I can’t help reverting back to my feelings of annoyance because teenagers are obnoxious and stupid. ? As for the suspension of disbelief, apparently exorcisms happen quite often in Mississippi! How many exorcisms happen in one group of people?? That was the only predictable part of this series.
Vega did add several twists that surprised the heck out of me! At first, Vega’s view of Christianity bothered me, as a Christian, but then I thought about most of the Christians I know personally, and while her descriptions are by no means the norm, she has the number of some of us! I liked that the books aren’t huge, so I was able to read the series in less than a week. I like this series a lot and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy read. I would save this for older teens, there is language and some adult themes, but I think most older teens would enjoy this series.
There will be a fourth book in the Merciless series! All information on this upcoming novel comes from Goodreads:
The Merciless IV: Last Rites
Expected Publication: June 12th 2018
The fourth book of the scream-worthy cult series The Merciless combines Stephen King level terror with true crime stories like the Amanda Knox case.
The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive?
When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she’d end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.[Top]