Having loved Seven Devils, I had the highest hopes for Seven Mercies. And I loved it even more! I was able to really sink into my love for each of the characters having spent so much time with them. While that may be true for most sequels, in this one I fell in love with them all over again. Keep reading this book review for my full review.
After an ambush leaves the Novantae resistance in tatters, the survivors scatter across the galaxy. Wanted by two great empires, the bounty on any rebel’s head is enough to make a captor filthy rich. And the seven devils? Biggest score of them all. To avoid attacks, the crew of Zelus scavenge for supplies on long-abandoned Tholosian outposts.
Not long after the remnants of the rebellion settle briefly on Fortuna, Ariadne gets a message with unimaginable consequences: the Oracle has gone rogue. In a planned coup against the Empire’s new ruler, the AI has developed a way of mass programming citizens into mindless drones. The Oracle’s demand is simple: the AI wants One’s daughter back at any cost.
Time for an Impossible to Infiltrate mission: high chance of death, low chance of success. The devils will have to use their unique skills, no matter the sacrifice, and pair up with old enemies. Their plan? Get to the heart of the Empire. Destroy the Oracle. Burn it all to the ground.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
In Seven Mercies the characters only become dearer to us. You think you know a character, and in Seven Mercies what we think we know, their fears and doubts, only grows. Lam and May are able to explore more of these characters in this multiple POV story while also balancing epic action. Throughout Seven Mercies we peak into glimpses of their past lives and secret memories. We see the cruelty of people. The characters who fight for agency and choices amongst change.
A theme I loved in Seven Mercies, and basically any book, is this exploration of how we can fight our ‘programming’. The ways the world tries to force us to uproot our empathy. To rule with fear and never let us forget the power of punishments. All the ways they try to eliminate our compassion. Each of these characters struggle with this theme in their own ways as they search for a way to (re)assert their agency. In Seven Mercies there’s always more than meets the eyes in a world of connection without questions.
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Just when we think we know who the enemy is. We find new depths of control and loss. There are no easy choices where everyone wins and we are graced with peaceful nights. It’s always questions of contingency plans, necessary risks, and friends in the crossfire. Promises we break to ourselves and mistakes we can never outrun. I picked up Seven Mercies because I had to know what happens. And I fell in love with the characters all over again. Even as they wonder how much more they can withstand, it strengthens the themes of found family in this high paced detailed world.