ARC Review: Seven Mercies by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

ARC Review: Seven Mercies by Laura Lam and Elizabeth MaySeven Mercies by Laura Lam, Elizabeth May

Published by DAW Books on January 25th 2022
Also by this author: Pantomime, Seven Devils (Seven Devils, #1)
Pages: 464

The second book in a feminist space opera duology that follows the team of seven rebels who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire--or die trying.

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.

Thank you to Orion Publishing and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been so long since I read Seven Devils my longing for the sequel, Seven Mercies, never faded. It was so good, and my expectations for the final book in this duology were high. But Laura Lam and Elizabeth May went even further than that. A lot of internal screaming happened.

My friend, Aurelie, also received an ARC so we decided to do a buddy read. I already knew I’d need someone to shout at because so much happened in Seven Devils, it was going to happen in Seven Mercies too. And it did. Reading it together, a few chapters every time, it was good. Even though She’s in Ireland and I’m in the Netherlands, we’d put the book and look at each other, both wide-eyed, jaws dropped.

The main cast of Seven Mercies is much the same as in the previous book although the points of view change more frequently among the Devils. While Eris felt like the main character in the first, the others, Kyla especially, gets more screen time. It felt more balanced this way and we get a good view of all the events happening across space. And a lot is happening. Every character has a clear arc with their own struggles and personal victories. It’s in these arcs that the internal screaming mostly happened as a character made another dumb decision. But a book wouldn’t be fun if they only made the right ones.

I never would’ve guessed this would be the ending but it was satisfying in every way possible. Characters got their closure, a new future, and no tyrant on the throne. The world has taken a hit because of the war and it’s changing. It doesn’t feel forced or far-fetched to me, although I have no clue how

Seven Mercies gets five stars for me. I loved it just as much as the first and I’ll definitely re-read it again once I’ve got my matching set of hardcovers. If you like space opera, women kicking ass, rebels fighting the patriarchy, you’ll enjoy this duology.

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