Mercy Bound by Karen Plaisance
Mercy is a Death Oracle. When she touches someone, she can tell how they are most likely to die. She is also fated: her death cannot be prevented. She knows when and how she’ll meet her death, as well as whom the killer is, but there is nothing she can do to change her fate. She can warn those who aren’t fated and they can change something in their lives (for instance, wearing a helmet if they are to die because they were too stupid to wear a helmet), but for her there is no such hope.
Mercy is nearing her time to die and wants to be near her aunt, her only remaining family member, for her remaining years. Needing a job, she travels to New Orleans (even though her aunt, a powerful witch, has forbidden her to go into the city) to apply for a job at Amaranthus, a vampire-owned night club. Being a fated death oracle carried its own set of problems. Being a fated death oracle wanted by the “grand poobah” of New Orleans makes those problems seem almost insignificant.
Mercy’s attempt at getting a job sets off a chain of events that keep the pages turning.
Karen Plaisance has created a heroine of serious complexity, as well as of amusing false immaturity. Mercy is fated to die, thus has learned the importance of each second. This makes her often overly inclined (it seems to those of us not knowingly fated) to help others, even when they may not deserve it. Mercy is also snarky, which provides a lot of welcome humor.
The hero, Adam, is a stand-up guy, who goes to bat for a person he doesn’t even know. Such altruistic behavior is in extremely short supply in today’s society. Adam is grim, quiet, dependable, and trustworthy. Plaisance has created characters that become real in such a way that if there is no sequel, this reviewer will be most perturbed.
I received this unedited copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.