By Caroline T. Patti
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.
Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.
But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.
With an interesting take on a combination of mind control, body-snatching, and higher powers, Into the Dark introduces the reader to Breachers and the creatures that hunt them, Hunters, and those in control, the Assembled. Breachers can body-hop and typically this results with the fact that, once their current body has literally outlived its usefulness, a skin suit is left behind, one that previously contained a living human capable of free will. The Assembled, using the powers they possess which are verging on biblical, send Hunters to track down and kill the Breachers for good before more bodies can be left in their wake.
While the Assembled seem to be on the side of good initially, we are introduced to the fact that they hunt Breachers indiscriminately. Meaning that Mercy, who has just unwittingly completed her first breach, is in the Assembly’s crosshairs. She is quickly introduced, however, to this new and bizarre aspect of her life when a boy she just met, Gage, is revealed to have more information about her life than he let on.
Mercy was a great MC in the fact that she adjusted to her new and quickly evolving situation readily by asking questions and not being an idiot. She also thought beyond herself in a realistic fashion, she was worried about what her breaching would do to her friend Lyla’s body but not in an unrealistic sense, i.e., she was highly worried about what it meant for her life and future first of all before wondering about Lyla. Which gave her internal dialogue an air of selfish believability.
On the romance front, there was a love triangle, an unusual one, between Mercy and two brothers. Both of which who have been hunting her down for different reasons. Gage is a Hunter, tasked with tracking down and killing Mercy, but in a rather creeper fashion, he falls in love, or claims to fall in love, with her instead. I say claimed, because shortly after admitting to himself that her loves her, he contemplates how if he had killed Mercy when he first started watching her, none of the shit in his life would have happened. Which doesn’t really spell ‘I love you’ to me. He also agrees with one of his Hunter coworkers, in front of Mercy, that she has “ruined him” and then is confused as to why Mercy is distant.
Nathaniel is the other corner of this triangle and I have to say I am leaning more towards him since he hasn’t said anything too stupid to Mercy. There is one point where he does reject her, but this is brushed over and never brought up again. He also kind of creeped on her,”watched out for her,” for about a year, but I guess since both love interests did some creeping it is kind of a moot point. He is also much more open about the way he feels toward Mercy and I appreciate that, especially since I had to see from Gage’s point of view from time to time and I had to hear about how much Gage cared about Mercy but never did anything about it. However, the love triangle is a little odd, for a love triangle, as the reader has to question how much of each guys’ feelings are genuine as they seem to share feelings (I think?) and can therefore be influenced by how the other feels.
There were also some things that were not quite explained, that I wish had been elaborated on. How, exactly, are Breachers killed? What are the Assembled? They seem to act as an all powerful, god-like congregation, but it is never really stated that they are actually at the top of the hierarchy. Also, when something very big happens to Gage, is he now a Breacher, too? And why can certain people see and interact with and manipulate Mercy when she is out of a body and others can not?
The book was a very entertaining read and the questions I had didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel. There was enough that was explained in the book that the gaps leftover were not confusing. I am very interested in seeing where Mercy’s story goes from here and how events and major decisions from the end of the book influence the characters further.
Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter: @carepatti or find her onFacebook.
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