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on August 16, 2013
I received this book from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

General: I hate zombie stories- they've been done to death and back and I've sworn off al zombie related products. But this was a gift so to speak and thank goodness or else I never would have picked it up myself. Edge of Mercy puts a human spin on the zombie curse, showing the world of the people fighting to continue to live and not so much just senseless fighting off zombie attacks.

The novel has a few weak links and I figure start there so you don't keep reading how awesome it was if you don't like the weaknesses. The first weakness is perhaps the biggest flaw and almost had me putting the book down at first.The world building isn't done upfront. Only little tidbits of information are given at first and I almost felt it not enough to understand the world. I pushed past it and slowly things fall into place but the aggravation I felt didn't quite leave as it didn't seem to serve any purpose to play hide and seek with the information to the reader. Now there is a secret in the book other than Charlie's and I don't reference that, just the world building. The other is the logistics of her being in a compound for 8 months and actually hiding her femininity from the men. I'm all for the occasional joke that men are blind and don't pay attention but boobs? Not questioning why she didn't shower or pee in front of them? Some things were addressed but for the most part I felt it implausible.

Now on for the good stuff. The world once built was amazing. It was a nice spin on the zombie side that they had more limitations than strengths in this book. It was also awesome to see the dystopia actually play out, it was a perfect addition like Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games to show just how humanity can fall in the right circumstances.

Charlie "Charlotte" is new to the compound and doesn't have many people she can trust and not to many she even likes. On top of that she despises the Council, the rulers who decided the fate of everything. She's learned to not question anything but has millions of them running through her head. And why are there no women in the compound but her little sister can stay? This book served mainly to enter into the world and build a fondness for Charlie and it worked perfectly. My only real complaint...CLIFFHANGERS. I'll leave it at that.

Characters: Charlie- So much of this character is wonderfully believable. As a female posing to be a male there were so many moments when the young lady slipped through and made it so much more true to the reality of it. She was obstinate and fearful at the right moments. Confused and lost as someone who had lost their whole world would be.

Thomas: I loved Thomas from the get go. Silent and with eyes that never aren't watching his hero attitude goes no further than that, wanting to help. His manner suits someone who holds the knowledge he holds and I cannot wait to see more of him.

Zeke: Zeke I'm on the fence about. I know I should love his jovial manner right away. But in the face of such circumstances he read more like a pest to me than a comedian. His acts of heroism were plentiful and seemed to counteract and contradict his goofiness and possibly why I found it hard to connect with him.
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on August 10, 2012
This post-apocalyptic zombie-esque tale is worth the read. While there are many undead apocalypse novels, this one has a new spin. Rather than focus on the "creatures" so much, the writer focuses on the society formed by necessity in this new world. The story outlines the teenage protagonist's struggle to keep her secret identity hidden in order to remain in the safety of "the community". There are many twists and turns--damning revelations within the community, ominous plots, and a little love. It's an exciting story line that makes you want to keep reading. While I haven't read anything else by this author, I'd definitely read the sequel. I have high hopes for the series. :) Can't wait for the next book.
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on May 10, 2014
Edge of Mercy begins with a young boy after the world ends. Draghoul, the zombie-like disease that infected the world, scrabble at the edge of the compound where Charlie and her friends live. Except, Charlie isn’t a boy, and girls are particularly sweet meat to the infected.
I liked Charlie, as a character, because she’s scared and traumatized, and it shows. She has been through more than any seventeen year old should have to, and it affects her decisions. She scared, nervous, distrusting, frustrated. She can envision a better world, but no one will help her reach it. Fiercely protective of her baby sister, Star, Charlie is trying to survive in an environment tailor made out of her own worst nightmares.
Thomas and Zeke, the only two boys she really trusts in the entire complex full of men, are polar opposites. Zeke is the exuberant, boastful, try-to-hide-all-scars type while Thomas is steady, focused, and protective. The two boys are tested to their limits in just how far they’re willing to go for the girl they call their friend.
Edge of Mercy is book one in the series, and I’m definitely going to find book two!
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on May 17, 2014
Edge of Mercy by C. C. Marks is a fast-paced, well-written, exciting story that I could barely put down. The story is so compelling that I’m already immersed in the second of the series, Heart of Mercy.

From the first page, the author throws the reader into the action as our heroine Charlotte (pretending to be a boy named Charlie) hunkers down for another night amidst the shrieks and pounding from the zombie-like Draghouls outside the walls of an isolated community of surviving humans. I haven’t read any other zombie-themed books, but I am a fan of The Walking Dead, and there are striking similarities between the infection that causes the “turning” of humans and the way the disease spreads. Nonetheless, Edge of Mercy is a unique story about a young woman’s fight to survive in a world gone mad.

Edge of Mercy is told from Charlie’s point of view in a voice that rings strong and true. Charlie is smart and impulsive and her courage grows as she learns more about the people in the community and their terrible secrets.

Fans of the Hunger Games and The Walking Dead will love this book.
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on November 10, 2014
This was a great dystopian read. Charlie is a girl pretending to be a boy in a walled up facility dominated by males only aside from her baby sister Star. A disease decimated humanity turning the dead into monsters trying to eat the rest of humanity. They somehow figured the monsters are attracted to women that’s why this particular facility forced all women to leave. But Charlie didn’t know that. She only followed her mother’s instructions before she died to pretend she was a boy.

Zack was a fun character and Charlie’s friend. He was polar opposite of his cousin Thomas that ended up Charlie’s love interest. I liked there was no swooning in this story but I still think that Thomas’ idea to take over the council at the end was a little unrealistic as he was so young.

The twist in the story was a surprise but then escape was predictable. Still a very good read.
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on October 5, 2013
Read from October 02 to 03, 2013

Book Info
Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published July 29th 2012 by Timbercreek Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Mercy Series #1
Source:Personal copy
Book Buy Links

AMAZON
B&N

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Charlie hides her true identity, but her very presence places everyone around her in danger. With no other choice but to remain where she is, she stays with a community that might not be as benevolent as it appears. In this new and dangerous version of the world, where a friend might be an enemy and an enemy might be a friend, seventeen-year-old Charlie protects her baby sister and herself from grotesque monsters outside the community as well as human ones inside. Will the truth she discovers about her protectors save her or ultimately doom her to a fate worse than death?

This is the first full book of the series.

My Thoughts

In the Zombie genre this one stands out for the fact that it builds suspense without using gore to make the action scenes work. The 17 year old Charlie Little is one of the newest inhabitants of an abandoned institution that is overseen by a group of men who call themselves The Council and whose strict rules mean swift punishment for the smallest infraction committed by anyone under their control.

The author reveals stunning secrets about past events that open Charlie's eyes to the danger that she is in if her true gender is ever discovered. Before Charlie manages to take her baby sister Star and escape her worst nightmare comes true as the last person she ever expected to do so is the one to disclose her true gender to the council members. For Charlie the sentence that they in turn decide will be her fate is nightmare inducing and when they send her to the lower chambers of their abode she finds an even worse nightmare is waiting for her.

The author sets up the next book neatly with the end of this one so hopefully book 2 Heart of Mercy (Young Adult Dystopian) (The Mercy Series)(Volume 2) will find Charlie's situation to be resolved but from it's synopsis am not counting on that just yet!

This was easy to read, fast paced and made quite a few points for readers that touched on the vulnerability of being female in a world where your gender makes you a target for more than the "inhuman monsters" that inhabit it.

Sobering tale about fighting the lesser of two evils while trying to survive in a world where you can trust no one.
[Personal copy]
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on January 8, 2014
I was hooked from the first sentence. Charlie's tale is one of heartbreak and the strength of will. The characters are very well defined and written. I found myself getting lost in this book. I started and finished in one night!
I went right away and bought the second.

C. C. Marks has found a new fan!
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on July 11, 2014
I'll start by saying that I'm not generally a fan of zombie stories. But there was something about the description of Edge of Mercy that drew me in.

I'm glad that I picked up this book. C.C. Marks has an engaging writing style that flows smoothly from dialogue to scene-setting. I was drawn quickly into Charlie's world - the community into which she and her little sister have been taken in. The story is set in the future, a world where a virus has turned most people into Draghouls, zombie-like creatures that come out at night and terrorize those who have not already turned. Charlie finds herself in relative safety in the community. When Charlie finds an old journal left by one of the girls who used to live in the community, she learns the truth of why there are no longer women in the group. Charlie begins to wonder if she's really as safe as she thought she was within the walls of the community.

I think the reason I liked this book when I'm not usually a fan of zombie stories is because it wasn't just page after page of people fighting zombies. There's a bit of zombie - enough so the reader is reminded of the danger beyond the walls. But the focus is on the relationships between the people inside and the slow unfolding of the story of how the community - and the world outside - came to be the way it is. C.C. Marks is a heck of a writer and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

While it was a bit hard to believe that Charlie could pull off her charade at playing a boy for eight months (as you read you'll understand why the charade was necessary), the story was engaging enough for me to ignore this slight flaw. Charlie (Charlotte) is a capable young woman, able to hold her own against Draghouls and dangerous humans alike. She's just the kind of strong female character that I enjoy reading about (not a simpering damsel in distress). The only other slight flaw, for me? Here and there were bits of exposition where Charlie was weighing things, i.e. this guy compared to that, etc. I found that slightly boring and found myself skimming ahead to when something happened next.

There are romantic elements in this book, but it is not primarily a romance. Perhaps that's why I liked it as I'm not into romance novels. Charlie has to deal with developing feelings about two different young men while trying to maintain her disguise as a boy. I can't saw much without spoiling it, but I liked how the author avoided the obvious ending and threw a twist at the end that leaves the reader guessing what will happen next in the romance department.

The book ends with quite a cliff-hanger so plan on picking up the second book as soon as you finish the first because you're going to want to see what happens next.

The book is well-written and well-edited as well, not suffering from the copious grammatical and other errors so common with self-published books. I'm glad to have found a new author who shows much promise in the young adult genre.
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on March 24, 2015
I'm relatively new to the zombie apocalypse genre but this was not only a great beginning to a series but I really liked the main character Charlie. She was proactive in her own story and not just a damsel in distress that plagues the YA genre. She annoyed me a few times but overall she's a great character.

I wish we were given a little more background into the current state of the world. I would've settle for something as simple as a "news article" or "emergency broadcast" as a prologue. Just something that establishes the world that Charlie lives in.
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on April 11, 2014
I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review and could contain spoilers.

Edge of Mercy captivated me from the first few pages, I almost didn't want to put it down to go to sleep. I needed to know what was going to happen next, I needed answers.

From the beginning I felt sympathetic to Charlie and her predicament. To survive, She has to lie and keep secrets even from the people she's grown close to. Charlie not only has to keep this facade going to keep herself alive but most importantly her baby sister who is the only remaining family she has left.

This book had such an original concept for a monster, that I've read. I was genuinely freaked out reading a few scenes. The Draghoul, which are basically what most would describe as zombies are pretty terrifying, finding out how they came to be was very interesting.

I don't know if I could be as brave as Charlie if I were facing the same situation. She was a terrific heroine, in my opinion. I don't want to give too much away so I'll stop here.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the dystopian/science fiction genres. I am currently beginning the sequel and I can't wait to get into it.

Happy reading!
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