Mercy: The Last New England Vampire by Sarah L. Thomson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Mercy: The Last New England Vampire

Mercy: The Last New England Vampire

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by Sarah L. Thomson
     
 

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Fourteen-year-old Haley is struggling to cope with her stepmom and baby brother, with her beloved cousin's terminal illness, and with dropping grades at school. When she digs deep into her family history for a school project, she uncovers a disturbing New England tradition and a ghostly past. Haley must overcome her doubts and confront a vampire in order to save

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Haley is struggling to cope with her stepmom and baby brother, with her beloved cousin's terminal illness, and with dropping grades at school. When she digs deep into her family history for a school project, she uncovers a disturbing New England tradition and a ghostly past. Haley must overcome her doubts and confront a vampire in order to save herself and her family. Inspired by a true New England story, Mercy is accomplished children's author Sarah L. Thomson's first book for Islandport Press.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

 Paranormal mystery meets family drama in a fictionalized, modernized exploration of a historical suspected vampire tragedy. 

Over 100 years after the Mercy Brown vampire incident in Exeter, R.I., Mercy's fictional modern relative re-opens the case. Haley, a 14-year-old doing a family-history project for school, picks Mercy not just because of the fame of the case or that she was an alleged vampire, but because of her own grieving. Along with the stresses of fitting into a new family structure her parents are divorced, bringing a stepmother and 2-year-old half-brother into her life she also grieves the looming death of her terminally ill, favorite cousin, Jake, whose medical mystery no doctor has been able to diagnose or treat. A mysterious, standoffish older relative, Aunt Brown, provides a family tree and haunted glove that serve as evidence and a way to connect with the ghosts of the family's past...
Thomson (Dragon's Egg, 2010, etc.) generally writes a likable and appealing lead character, capturing both Haley's grief over her family and her difficulties finding where she fits into their lives.
- Kirkus Review

"Thomson brings an historical bent to the very popular vampire theme. New England s battle with tuberculosis was an extremely frightening time, as no one could yet explain how the disease traveled or why certain people fell ill. Thomson seamlessly merges the historical and the chilling in this short tale. Chapters alternating between Haley and Mercy s viewpoints take readers through the generations, as Mercy searches for a way to finally stop her undead sister s murderous ways. Teens sick of the paranormal trope, yet still looking for supernatural chills, will enjoy this unique new take on the vampire and reluctant readers will enjoy its concise length. School and public libraries could enhance several facets of their collections with this title."

-- VOYA

Disturbing historical events serve as the inspiration behind Sarah L.Thomson's latest book "Mercy, The Last New England Vampire." Unlike the romanticized vampires in much popular fiction, Thompson explores the more chilling side of vampires from old New England folklore and superstition in this spooky middle-grade novel with surprising depth.

Thomson creates a spectacularly creepy and suspenseful mood for the book...
The general increase in tension makes the short book move very quickly, keeping it engaging for reluctant readers.
 
With so many vampire/paranormal books available, comparison to everything from Twilight to Goosebumps could be made, but Thomson avoids becoming hackneyed or trite by simply being authentic in her paranormal elements and her characters. The traditional New England vampire, along with the rather gruesome ritual associated with Mercy, are truly different and are inherently darker than some fabricated stories. ...
[Haley's] struggles to cope with change, death, and everyday challenges capture what many readers will deal with, grounding the horror and fantasy elements and giving her a bit more depth.
With "Mercy," the accomplished, award-winning Thomson has another title that will strongly entice readers.
ForeWord Book Reviews

Barnes and Noble Review's Best Young Adult Fiction of 2011 (Top Ten List) "... a refreshing reminder that much of what we call supernatural phenomena are very human indeed." 

-- Amy Benfer, Barnes and Noble Review

VOYA - Jessica Miller
While working on a school project, Haley uncovers a dark family secret. Generations before, Mercy Brown's immediate family contracted tuberculosis and four members succumbed to the disease. Unable to explain why the disease struck just their family, the townspeople exhumed Mercy's body and finding fresh blood in her heart, concluded she was a vampire feeding off her family members. When Aunt Brown, whom Haley had consulted for her project, begins to act strangely and sinister ghost images begin to appear, Haley worries that Mercy is haunting her. She goes to confide in her cousin, Jake, only to find someone ripping at his throat. Haley has to face the idea that the New England folk tale about vampires may be fact and that her family may be the target. Through Haley's family research, Thomson brings an historical bent to the very popular vampire theme. New England's battle with tuberculosis was an extremely frightening time, as no one could yet explain how the disease traveled or why certain people fell ill. Thomson seamlessly merges the historical and the chilling in this short tale. Chapters alternating between Haley and Mercy's viewpoints take readers through the generations, as Mercy searches for a way to finally stop her undead sister's murderous ways. Teens sick of the paranormal trope, yet still looking for supernatural chills will enjoy this unique new take on the vampire and reluctant readers will enjoy its concise length. School and public libraries could enhance several facets of their collections with this title. Reviewer: Jessica Miller
Kirkus Reviews

Paranormal mystery meets family drama in a fictionalized, modernized exploration of a historical suspected vampire tragedy.

Over 100 years after the Mercy Brown vampire incident in Exeter, R.I., Mercy's fictional modern relative re-opens the case. Haley, a 14-year-old doing a family-history project for school, picks Mercy not just because of the fame of the case or that she was an alleged vampire, but because of her own grieving. Along with the stresses of fitting into a new family structure—her parents are divorced, bringing a stepmother and 2-year-old half-brother into her life—she also grieves the looming death of her terminally ill, favorite cousin, Jake, whose medical mystery no doctor has been able to diagnose or treat. A mysterious, standoffish older relative, Aunt Brown, provides a family tree and haunted glove that serve as evidence and a way to connect with the ghosts of the family's past. While simplified and repetitive sentence structures deflate tension from some of the scarier moments, Thomson (Dragon's Egg, 2010, etc.) generally writes a likable and appealing lead character, capturing both Haley's grief over her family and her difficulties finding where she fits into their lives.

With varying degrees of success as a ghost story, vampire mystery and family drama, this story is solid but unremarkable. (historical note) (Paranormal mystery. 11-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934031360
Publisher:
Islandport Press
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
178
Sales rank:
1,073,426
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Sarah L. Thomson has published more than twenty-five books for young readers. Her young adult titles include Dragon's Egg (Junior Literary Guild Premier Selection and Maine Lupine Award winner, 2007), The Dragon's Son, which Booklist called a spellbinding tale of love, intrigue, and betrayal, The Manny (worthy of Jane Austen, according to the Washington Post), The Secret of the Rose, and The Young Reader's Edition of Three Cups of Tea (a New York Times bestseller). A former children's book editor for HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, she now lives and writes in Portland, Maine.

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Mercy: The Last New England Vampire 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't read unless you like VAMPIRES!!!!!!!!! IT WAS HORIBBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT READ!!!!!
AlbertG More than 1 year ago
An interesting tale in the realm of the vampire mythos as it brings forward the New England vampire rather than the European variety that we are all so familiar with. Sarah Thomson brings forward with a few twists the story of Mercy Brown of Rhode Island who died in 1892 and was considered due fear and superstition to be considered a vampire and the last of her kind on these shores. The story is told through the actions and eyes of a modern day descendant of Mercy named Haley Brown. It is with Haley that we learned the story of Mercy and how her actions may be affecting the family of Browns up to modern day. The tale itself is fast paced and interesting with history and action and if there was a slight to this small novel it is with Haley, a petulant and dislikable little girl at best. Her selfishness seeps througout the book and I felt at times that it may not be the worst thing if the vampire got her after all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story but also a bit freaky