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Harley Merlin – A Harry Potter knockoff that is a big disappointment

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

🌸 Title: Harley Merlin
🌸Author: Bella Forrest
🌸Published: August 27th, 2018
🌸Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
🌸Preview: A Harry Potter lookalike with glaringly obvious Harry Potter tropes that don’t work.
🌸A no major spoilers review.

Harley Merlin can sense people’s emotions and works at a casino in order to make use of these powers. A monster arrives after working at the casino and she meets Wade Crowley, a warlock. Harley decides to involve herself in the world of magic when attempts on her life come to fruition and Wade’s convincing pitches work. Can she find whoever is after her?

Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven attempts to market itself as a Harry Potter lookalike, but instead is just a worse version of it and attempts to copy multiple plots. Attempting to be original, sadly, it became unoriginal quickly.

Harley Merlin started off nicely, and I thought it was extremely interesting that this character was using her empathy abilities in a casino. It was a unique, fresh take on magic usage, and I really wanted that to be explored.

Sadly, it wasn’t. Instead, Wade starts to make cards magically show up around her in an attempt to make her want to come to the magic world.

So Harley takes Wade’s card invitation and leaves to go to the magic world. Goodbye fun casino, hello boring hidden magical world. I’m not joking.

The only reason I did not DNF this book at this point was that I wanted to see if the plot went back to the casino world instead. Sadly, it did not.

It was a glaringly obvious attempt to make Harley Merlin seem Harry Potter-esque, but instead, it seemed weirdly out of place.

After leaving the casino, the entire book lost momentum, making the Harry Potter-like scenes unrealistic. Stale and boring, Harley Merlin attempts to be a magical world when it could have been something more.

The characters lacked in development and were one-sided and boring.

Harley Merlin fails to deliver interesting characters that hold my attention.

I understand there are more books—20, in fact—but you have to give us some reasons to like these characters in the first place. It’s a given that she’s in the “ragtag” group of people, but how in the world does Wade fit in there? It didn’t make sense to me.

Connecting to Harley was an impossible feat. Too much happened and we didn’t obtain any background about anyone.

I understand that this is a long series. But the first book in a series is crucial, and that first book in Harley Merlin failed to rein me in.

It fails to become a more “adult” Harry Potter and instead makes it seem like they’re even younger than the Harry Potter characters with their childish bickering.

Seemingly written by an 8th grader, Harley Merlin fails to appeal to a Young Adult audience as expected. A middle school audience is appropriate.

This is exactly where you belong, Harley Merlin. A Harry Potter for adults my a**.

Like this review? Check out my other reviews on my blog here.

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