Monday 20 July 2020

THE MERCILESS IV: Last Rites by Danielle Vega

The Merciless IV: Last Rites
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By now, it's no secret that I absolutely LOVE the Merciless series and have enjoyed the hell out of each book. This one was no different.

After the suicide of one of her best friends, Berkley suffered a mental breakdown and spent time in an institution. But she's much better now, and months later decides to travel to Italy to spend a few weeks with her other friends.

Everything starts out okay, and she even meets a cute local guy, but it doesn't take long for strange things to start happening...

Wow. Just, wow.

This quartet turned out to be one hell of a dark ride. A destructive freight train that tore through the lives of so many young girls while on a hellish collision course to The End.

In spite of her sin, Berkley--just like Sofia and Brooklyn--was very likeable. And just like the two girls before her, she had such a strong voice that her struggle is hard to watch, but impossible to turn away from. I felt bad for her because she was so convinced that her life was back on track when in fact, it was only a matter of time before everything spiralled out of control. And there was nothing she could do about it.

The last forty pages were super intense and did a fantastic job at finalising Berkley's book, as well as the rest of the series. I thought this was an amazing way to end the series that begins with Sofia Flores and leads back to her.

Danielle Vega has a real knack for telling horrifying and brutal horror stories that brilliantly blend human nature at its most basic level, with the effects of pure evil. And peer pressure, because all of these characters suffered through this. She sure knows how to twist a bunch of seemingly average lives out of proportion and highlights how easily it is to lose grasp of reality.

Also, the way she paints such vivid imagery of truly creepy and gross situations in such an unflinching way is a true delight to read. She never held back from the brutal and disturbing. Never abandoned the thread of destruction even though the discomfort level was way off the charts.

THIS is how you tell horror stories that will stick with the reader for years to come. THIS series deserves a place on my Keeper Shelf. And THIS is how you highlight the many ways teenage girls are the perfect vessels for horror. Always have been, always will be.

I fucking loved these books and can't wait to read more from this fantastic author!

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