Book Review

Harley Merlin And The Mystery Twins

Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins

  • Author: Bella Forrest
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publication Date: September 30, 2018
  • Publisher: Nightlight Press
  • Series: Harley Merlin #2

TRIGGER WARNING: mention of foster care, violent attacks, murder, vague mention of abuse (off-page)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A dark past. A hidden power. A dangerous enemy.

Harley Merlin has a lot of unanswered questions in her life. What drove her father to kill her mother? How can she know the true extent of her magical abilities? Has Wade Crowley always been this annoying?

After the violent gargoyle incident that left many dead, Harley fears what other evil tricks her psychotic aunt has up her sleeve. When she discovers that magical foster kids like herself are in danger, she knows she must do whatever it takes to protect them.

And it turns out that Tatyana, the Coven’s resident ghost-whisperer, is also willing to make sacrifices and has secrets of her own …

I really enjoyed the first book (see my review of Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven here), but this one just didn’t live up to the same standards. 

Let me start out by saying that I started this book not expecting it to be a literary masterpiece. Each book in the series is published about a month apart, but every so often I like the bookish equivalent of fast food, you know? Although I did start to notice how repetitive it is at times. I don’t know if it wasn’t like that in book 1, or if I just didn’t notice if it was, but for some reason it stuck out to me in this book.

The story starts out by reviewing the events from book 1, which was kind of frustrating since it made me feel like I didn’t actually need to read the first book. The action was very slow to get started, and just involved everyone on the team going around in circles asking questions and getting nowhere. 

There’s also use of two narrators, which is new. However, unlike a few other books I’ve read recently, Harley and Tatyana have very similar voices and I would often get confused as to who was narrating. Multiple narrators is tricky to work with unless they have a different enough voice that it is easy to distinguish between them without having to flip back to the beginning of the chapter constantly to see who it is that is speaking, unless the character happens to mention the other narrator.

The story actually was interesting, and once the action picked up, I couldn’t put it down. I like how everything unfolds and connects, and I enjoy Harley’s character. She’s stubborn, smart, headstrong, sarcastic, and even a little abrasive, which I like. I’m not fully sure, but I get some slow-burn romantic vibes between Harley and Wade, although if there is something happening, it’s so slow-moving it makes a snail moving through peanut butter look fast. 

I’m still curious about where the series is going, so I’m most likely going to continue reading more of the series. I did like finding out a little more about Harley and her history, as well as what could happen in her future. I also loved the way different types of magic were incorporated, from all different cultures and areas of the world. Hopefully things get better as the series goes on!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 12

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