Monday, 2 July 2012

Review: Muse by Rebecca Lim


THE STORY
An angel in exile, caught between lives ... and loves

Mercy is an angel, exiled from heaven, and when she wakes in the body of nineteen-year-old Irina, Mercy discovers that she′s one of the world′s most infamous supermodels on the verge of a very public breakdown. Against the glamorous background of Milan′s opulent fashion world, Mercy continues her increasingly desperate search for Ryan Daley, the mortal boy she remembers falling for in a past life. But this time, Mercy′s memories and powers are growing ever stronger - and she begins to doubt the pleas of her dream lover, Luc, as more of her mysterious past is revealed. Are Luc′s desires as selfless as her own or does he want her for a more terrifying purpose?

The grand scale celestial battle for Mercy′s soul builds to an incredible stormy crescendo as archangels and demons clash in a cataclysmic showdown that not all will survive ...

MY THOUGHTS


The Basics
I started reading Muse a couple of months ago and had to put it down for a rainy day. I knew I'd need it as a back up after a particularly terrible bout of YA books. Based on other reviews I've read, I know that some readers don't like Mercy as a character. I personally love her. She's cold and often uncaring and just the closest representation of how I think an angel would behave. 
      This installment sees Mercy sub planted into the host body of world famous supermodel Irina. I love how Mercy is unaffected for the most part by Irina's lifestyle and beauty. She neither covets nor shuns Irina's looks and astounding wealth. Though that doesn't extend to her appreciation of beauty in her male counterparts. A trait she freely admits to having. And who could blame her? If I rolled with a horde of gorgeous angels I'd be swooning over them too. Not that Mercy does this is the normal YA sense. In fact Mercy does nothing in the normal YA sense and I think that's why I love her so much.
     Mercy finally breaks free of the bonds which hold back her memories and we learn of the events leading up to her exile as an angelic body snatcher. I must admit I'd already figured out most of the reveals, but that didn't really phase me. It was obvious that the memories weren't meant to be difficult to work out, more that Mercy herself had so much trouble piecing them together because the angelic interference brought on my her constant body shifts. 
     It's clear how much research Lim has done for this series. Where other books just skim the surface of the world of angels, Muse in infused with  layer upon layer of it. I'm doing a lot of research into angels for my own story and I had a semi attack of excitement every time another angel I recognized appeared.

The Craft  
I'm going to take a moment to let myself be jealous of Rebecca Lim's incredible writing talent. Like the previous books in this series, I can only describe the writing style as a poetic symphony. The style fits particularly well with the heavenly plot, adding a sense of etherealness that I haven't seen before in any book except maybe Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lainy Taylor. 

The Literally Star Crossed Loves
I complained of a lack of Ryan in the last book. That complaint still stands. What's with Aussie writers and the ability to imprint a character so vividly on a reader without giving them much page time? Ryan is the kind of love interest I want to be able to write. He's sweet and easy going which is hard to pull off given the scale of the events in this book. Sure it's unbelievable that he keep uprooting himself to go in search of her but no less so than some of the other stuff that happens in other books. I'm in awe of how accepting he is of the stratosphere of crazy that gravitates towards Mercy. How vulnerable he is as a mere human in the face of the highest order of angels. I can't see a HEA for Mercy and Ryan but that won't stop me from hoping for it.

One Tiny Complaint
I've only just realised how large the print in this series is and wish that the books were longer so that more time could be devoted to flashing out a few things. Things like people's reactions to Mercy's true nature for one. I know if I found out there was an angel inhabiting the body of someone I knew my reaction would be a heck of a lot of screaming and not such easy acceptance.

THE RATING
4.5/5



39 comments:

  1. Great review. I understand what you mean about the reactions. Sometimes I read books and wonder how come people react the way they do to big bombs dropped. Like "oh by the way, I'm a demon sent here to kill everyone but somehow fell in love with you and have this urge to kill you and kiss you at the same time." "Really? Well I love you too!" Huh? How about some screaming and running away? How about you go into shock? It just makes more sense.

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    1. I know right?? Sometimes I think some people don't take any time out at all to process. We're so picky aren't we? If the person took 5 chapters to deal with the news we'd complain about that as well! I suppose of the two I prefer the quick acceptance route!

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  2. These books are indeed very different from others of their kind. I confess I likedthe first one best because it was a LOT different from other angel stories. But this one is good too. It has quite a dramatic climax and yes, the writing is very good.

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    1. I liked the first one best as well but I always tend to do that. I love the build up. Plus that one had the most Ryan!

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  3. This sounds really interesting... poetic symphony? That sounds good too! I may have to look into this one sometime. :)

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    1. You will understand about the poetic symphony when you read this Jessica!

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  4. LAN! I wasn't going to read this book because of what I've heard about Mercy and her cold attitude, but when I think about it, you're absolutely right: That is more like how a real angel would act! :) I like how this angel series is different from all other angel books out there. Considering how many cookie-cutter books we get in YA fiction, I'm super intrigued to meet Mercy now! She doesn't sound like the BFF type, but she DOES sound like the kind of girl I'd really admire!

    Amazing review, Lan! :) <3

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    1. This one is so different to any angel books that I've read so far. To me, Mercy is probably the only real portrayal of an angel that I can think of. Besides Raffe from Angelfall! Mercy prob won't be your best friend but gosh darnit she is real.

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  5. This book sounds really interesting, great review :) is it the second in a series or something? I'm struggling a bit to understand :/ Nevertheless, the thought of a YA book that deviates from the usual YA bullshit is something I need to check out!

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    1. Sorry, I should have said it's the 3rd book in the series. I always leave out important stuff like that in my reviews :(

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  6. I have the second book in this series I found at my local half price books now if i could get the other ones. It sounds like a really good series especially if you like it. :) Nice review..

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    1. I was going to see if I could send you a copy of the first Mercy book a while ago but when I went back to the bookstore where I saw it for cheap they'd run out. I'm pretty sure the books are published in the US though!

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    2. I'm sure it is. If not there's always amazon and book depository.

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  7. Hm. I'm usually not a fan of angel stories, but this one intrigue's me, especially if the writing is good. :) I think I'll have to check this series out. Mercy sounds like a good main character too. I like books that stray from the cookie cutter norms.

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    1. I was never into angel books either! Then I stumbled upon the first book in this series and became hooked. I suppose a lot of people don't prescribe to angel books because of various reasons i.e religion, creep factor and stuff but I am not that picky about that kind of stuff. The writing is just sensational.

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  8. Seriously, you had me at "angel" and "Milan's opulent fashion world." This books sounds sooooo cool! And I love great writing like Lani Taylor's. I'm going to check this out. Thanks for the recommendatino, Lan!

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    1. This book is like a mix between Gossip Girl and some kind of literary magic (hmmm that sounded better in my head!)Judging by our similar tastes otherwise, I think you'll like this one.

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  9. I've still only read the first one! The second only came out here in the USA about two months ago so I don't feel to bad for not having gotten to it, but still. I loved Lim's writing. It truly is beautiful. I need to get my hands on the second book.

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    1. I picked up the last book a few weeks ago. Don't want to read it because it'll be the end :( I won't spoil anything for you, but I will just say there's no complaints from me as per my usual whinging.

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  10. Great review! I haven't heard of this one before but I love the cover! The author sounds like a wonderful writer and considering I haven't read a good angel book in a while I think this one sounds interesting! Thanks for the awesome review :-)

    SeeitORreadit

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    1. If you like angel books and want something a little different, this one is for you. Lim manages something that a lot of other writer's don't. She manages to writer angels with an actual sense of foreboding as opposed to the usual teen angst.

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  11. What I liked about the first one was the "quantum Leap" flavour but after that it's more about Mercy herself. I suggest starting at the beginning, as there's a story arc here.

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    1. I actually enjoyed that this one seems to be the end of the leaps. It's a different direction and I love that the story evolves and doesn't try to drag itself on for another 10 books.

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  12. Hm. I've never heard of this book before. I really love the cover and summery. Will definitely have to check it out. Nice review :)

    Thanks for stopping by
    @ Livin' Life Through Books

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    1. This series has hands down one of the best covers I've ever seen. So simple and yet memorable.

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  13. Great review! I usually keep away from the angel stuff. Don't know why, maybe because of how most of the antagonists are.

    Beth ^_^
    http://sweetbooksnstuff.blogspot.com/

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    1. It's weird because most angel books are either really preachy or just so left field. The antagonists are usually always fallen angels. This one does a whole different take altogether and I never once question the story like I have in other books.

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  14. When I first heard about this series I was totally excited about it. But then I heard so many mixed things that my interest just vanished & angels were beginning to bore me a little. I cannot turn down fab writing, so will i read this book? yes!

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    1. I think angels were the new vampire for a while. The genre may be getting a resurgence because of the popularity of Angelfall but this series is a whole different thing altogether. Mercy certainly is different from your typical YA heroine. She's an angel so there's no whining about her looks or anything like that. I found it so refreshing.

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  15. Great review! I'm not really familar with this series, but will have to take a look as you made it sound worth reading. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  16. I have only read a few reviews of this author's work, but yours is pretty awesome, Lan, because it really, genuinely made me want to go out and get these books and read them. It's awesome when you can get inside the head and mindset of a character who isn't that likeable, but with good reason. I love and also hate it when the biggest complaint about a book is that it isn't long enough. That means that the author is doing something right!

    Fab review - you've really piqued my interest in this series!

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    1. Isn't that an incredible trait? Getting into the head of a character that people won't like is such an amazing thing to be able to do. It's so easy to write from the perspective of a sympathetic character. This is actually going to be the topic of one of my Writer's Corner posts!

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  17. Never heard of this book series, but your review is really great. It's nice to be able to praise a book! How does it compare to Halo? I've heard awful things about that book.

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    1. I've tried to steer well clear of Halo! Have read some of the things that go on in that book and I get the feeling I will break the professional blogger code again. I don't think the two series are similar at all.

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  18. I know this is completely unrelated, but I adore the cover model's dress!

    The premise of this series sounds really interesting. I don't know if Mercy would turn out to be my type of girl, but I definitely want to know more about Ryan!

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    1. You should see the dress on the model in the next book in the series! I am considering trying to find if any stores stock it!

      I can't even begin to describe Ryan. For me he was perfect. And it was great to see a relationship where the girl has all the power.

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  19. Awesome review, Lan! I think I missed this book when it came out. The cover is gorgeous and it sounds amazing! <3 Like you, I love cold heroine LOL! It's certainly refreshing break from most heroines we see in YA. :P

    I really need to check out this book soon. Especially because I'm always in a lookout for amazing angel books! x)

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  20. Hi Lan. I have the first book in this series so I'm glad to hear you love Lim's writing. I've heard this is a well thought out angel series so I can't wait to start it. I'm a little worried that I'm going to fall for Ryan especially when you say you can't see a HEA for them. Great review.

    Thank you for you comment on The Readers Den. I followed your blog. :)

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