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Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven

(Harley Merlin #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,816 ratings  ·  508 reviews
When a rogue 19-year-old witch is recruited to help guard an ancient magical Bestiary, a breath-stealing journey begins...
Being an empath has its advantages.

Harley Merlin can sense people’s emotions, among other things. It’s how she snagged her first job pinpointing cheaters at a casino.

But she has no clue where she got these freakish powers because she spent her childho
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published August 27th 2018 by Nightlight Press
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,816 ratings  ·  508 reviews

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Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Started out well, and I thought it was going to be both well-edited and fairly original. Sadly, in the end it was neither. Enjoyable enough, but not quite worthy of four stars (I did originally err on the side of generosity, but decided on reflection to give it three).

Firstly, it's based much too closely on Harry Potter, up to and including points for an end-of-year prize and childish bickering (if anything, the HP kids are more mature than these characters - "mature YA" in the blurb apparently
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
A fun read and a good start of a promising story. I do have my gripe with this one but they are more than balanced out by the good points.

All the 'going forward' happening - everything does it, even the dreamcatcher. I didn't notice them going backward or sideways a lot, did we need to specifically note that they were going forward a lot?

It's a good thing I'm an HP fan and am not irritated by parallels happening. Actually, some stuff is an improvement on the HP line.

More to follow.

Good stuff:
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
What I liked:

Wade - one of the main characters, I could connect with him as a person easily enough and liked him.

Storyline and Plot - I liked the overall arc, despite the slight "chosen one" feeling it gave.

Pace - Perfect.

What I didn't like:

The Writing Style - After about 50% into the book it stopped bothering me because the plot was engaging but it seriously bothered me until then. It's clumsy and lazy.

Sometimes the writer would preempt something that the book might be critiqued upon, case i
Kaitlin Underwood
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting new world of witchcraft and wizardry! This book has a bit of a nostalgic feel for the fans of Harry Potter, in that there are secret institutions of magical people hidden in enchanted pockets of the world. It is much more mature and dark than any children's books, though.

One thing Bella Forrest is the Queen, Grand Master, and Ultimate Ruler of is creating a full cast of characters who band together and exhibit the true definition of friendship, love and loyalty. Already, we can se
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
That's a couple of hours I'm never getting back. Started out nicely but went downhill faster than a rollercoaster ride. DNF and won't bother. "The next Harry Potter" my arse. Thank u, next.
Jacob Proffitt
May 12, 2019 marked it as unfinished
I got to 30% and had a suspicion. The setup seemed kind of fragile with lots of titanic forces in stress, not least having the coven sanctuary sitting on a powder keg. And I figured that either Forrest is unaware of her own setup or things were going to explode and that was integral to the plot. Which twigged me onto a feeling I had that I was reading outside of the genre I expected (UF with YA flavor). So I explored a bit. Okay, I read the cover copy of later books in the series. And found that ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
A disappointment. 🤨 the 📖 begins well enough but as it progressed it suffered from slow pacing & uninteresting characters. 1 Subpar Star DNF 25%
Melissa Dinwiddie
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An older, female Harry Potter

Several other reviewers, as well as the book’s description, have compared Harley Merlin to Harry Potter, and the comparisons are apt—a magical society/school that humans are unaware of; bureaucratic elements; forces of evil; an orphaned main character with an opaque family history.

But Bella Forrest has created her own magical world, filled with delightful characters and rules that I found great fun to explore. I look forward to reading more books in this series!
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Just no...

This book seemed like it was going to be awesome and the high ratings made me believe I had picked a winner. I was wrong. I didn’t like it, but I’m not sure if it’s because of my idiosyncrasies,
rather than the author’s writing style, the plot or the characters that tanked this for me. Let me explain.

The book moves really slow (at least to me). More so in the first part of the book. I expected more action, less talk. I’m not sure I really like or want to root for Harley or Wade for tha
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this book as it had been compared to Harry Potter in reviews. I grew up with Harry Potter and those books have shaped my childhood. While the Harley Merlin series was an enjoyable, quick read, it has nothing on Harry Potter. I found that the author focused on the outer appearance and as with almost all teen novels nowadays they could all be found on runways in real life and the main character has two gorgeous guys vying for her attention. Instead of carving out characters that are not car ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven. Where do I start? I picked it up in the first place because I heard it compares favorably to Harry Potter.

It is an entertaining story and it does indeed remind me of Harry Potter. And Harley is 19 when we meet her, which is nice in that it makes me feel less like I’m reading a children’s book.

I’m not sold on it, though. The biggest issue for me is that the book reads not like an inspired fan’s attempt to create a new magical world, but like a calculated attem
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am, by all measures, an adult. I also happen to like YA fiction.

This book is not Harry Potter. It is not even close to Harry Potter. The language and vocabulary sounds like a frustrated 8th grader wrote it. It has a trope on every page.

Most 30 year olds do not have "Did not!-Did too!" arguments. To have this occur in the world the author has created is jarring at best and laughable at worst.

Stick to the in-flight magazine, and don't bother with this book.
Chloe Adams
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read stuff like this but I've been hooked all day! Brilliant read can nit want to read the next!!
Mar 11, 2019 marked it as just-curious
Facebook really wants me to read this.
Like The Gender Game (which FB also really wanted me to read, also by Bella Forrest), this is billed as the next [insert popular series name here]. For this, it's Harry Potter. For The Gender Game, it was The Hunger Games.
Also like The Gender Game, this series has 7 books, all published within a year of each other (this series isn't yet complete)
Also like The Gender Game, I've seen some very negative reviews.
Extremely tempted to read the first book of each a
Natalia Navarro
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow!!! 🤓

This a fantastic start of the series!!!... Just by reading Harley's last name I knew it has to be a great book!!!... The plot is amazing, with the last of the Merlin descendant as the main character; who has to find out her place in the world, when she discovers she's not the only one with special abilities... Will she stay in the coven after all that happen in her first week there?, including the discovery of her true heritage?... I can't wait for the next book to release!!! 🤗❤
This was a pretty good book. It had interesting magic and culture. The pacing was good. The plot had a twisty, surprising mystery. The characters were intriguing and the main character was easy to like. I was never bored, and liked it from the beginning. The start of the romance is promising. Overall, a good start to a series that is, to my knowledge, complete this month. I will read book 2. 4.5 stars.
Nicole Ouimet
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it

I am an enormous Harry Potter fan, and while nothing will ever come close to HP, this book was captivating. I read it in just 2 days!! Can’t wait to read the next one, and I am also very excited to see that Bella Forrest has a ton of other series out there for me to enjoy. I am a huge fun of the supernatural, and it looks like I found the right author for me.
Danielle Schiestle
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series! Giving it 5 stars due to how engaging it was and how quickly I flew through the book - the characters are quirky and have more depth to them than you realize when you first meet them. However, the writing style I'd put more at 3 stars. It's very informal and definitely a YA book. At times the writing is a little immature. I initially started this book because it's been marketed as a series for Harry Potter lovers. If you like fantasy ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcia  Haskell
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I saw an ad that said this book was the next Harry Potter and laughter, to myself “oh sure, I don’t believe it”. This has the same characteristics I enjoyed in the Harry Potter series, a fun, quirky main character, interesting, not-quite-believable situations and an enemy who is hidden. I enjoyed every minute of this book and will certainly get the next books in the series. I am looking forward to seeing what Hailey learns and how she learns to use all her abilities.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: wizards-witches
Meh, this book was written well with developed characters and a good plot. My “meh” review is because I couldn’t decided what age level it was designed for. Some parents are YA and some children’s. It was a bit confusing and a little hard for me to get into. The point system really threw me, like who cares if the coven doesn’t get points this is real life not children at hog warts. People are getting killed and injured, just do the right thing and find out what’s going on.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really good YA read.

I will definitely recommend Harley to my kids at school. I can tell the author is a Harry Potter fan - a few similarities to Hogwarts for sure - which makes the story more endearing and let's the reader connect with a new kind of magical world. On to the 2nd book!
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Book 1 in this series

It took me a while to get through the reading of this book, but the ending more than made up for the boredom in between. Finch will be back. Wade is caring. The Rag team are amazing! On to Book 2 to see where Harley goes next, happy reading!
Hilary Broadway
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fun young adult read. The pace is quick. The writing is a bit fair - I've never seen the word "chuckled" used so frequently, but the ride is fun enough that I went on to read book two and am reading book 3 now. It's a fast read, perfect for Percy Jackson fans.
Monica Alvarado
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read

I really enjoyed reading Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven by Bella Forrest. I can not wait to read the whole series.
Lori McCord McAlister
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid 4 star read with potential to make a fun tv series.
LIKES: Harley's banter was reminiscent of Buffy Summers, which I liked. Tough and gentle with side of snarky. A wide variety of characters with versatile magical styles and abilities. Fast paced novel. Action/battle scenes well written and easy to visualize. Lots of good vs evil, elite vs misfit, and a hint of romance.
DISLIKES: Most of my dislikes are nitpicking. Overuse of the word 'raucous'. The orphan/foster thing felt beat over my hea
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this book there is a world of magicals and gargoyles and superb characters; a smart mouth smart thinking heroine called Harley, her Rag tag team lead by a handsome fella called Wade and a lot of supernatural action.

This was as good as I'd hoped it would be, and I look forward to reading the next.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I loved that it wasn't your typical witch story. It was full of interesting things but didn't feel like a heavy read and I really needed that. Can't wait to read the next one.
Michelle Esterhuyzen
So much worth it. I would love to see a tv series or a movie of this I loved it
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good witchy tale. I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the characters and world building. It was read by Amanda Ronconi, who did a good job.
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New Adult Book Club: Bella Forrest paperback Giveaway 8 48 Mar 03, 2019 01:03AM  

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Bella Forrest is a lover of fantasy, romance, action, and mystery infused stories with twists you don’t see coming. She has sold over seven million books since her first novel was published in 2012.

☞ A Love that Endures
☞ A Shade of Vampire 76: A Phantom of Truth
☞ Harley Merlin 8: Harley Merlin and the Challenge of Chaos

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Other books in the series

Harley Merlin (9 books)
  • Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins (Harley Merlin #2)
  • Harley Merlin and the Stolen Magicals (Harley Merlin #3)
  • Harley Merlin and the First Ritual (Harley Merlin #4)
  • Harley Merlin and the Broken Spell (Harley Merlin #5)
  • Harley Merlin and the Cult of Eris (Harley Merlin #6)
  • Harley Merlin and the Detector Fix (Harley Merlin #7)
  • Harley Merlin and the Challenge of Chaos (Harley Merlin #8)
  • Harley Merlin and the Mortal Pact (Harley Merlin #9)
“History was meant to serve as a lesson, not a guideline. Errors were meant to be recorded and later avoided, not repeated. Elitism raised the masses once, to the point where the people got angry and toppled entire monarchies. Had we really learned nothing?” 1 likes
“Errors were meant to be recorded and later avoided, not repeated. Elitism raised the masses once, to the point where the people got angry and toppled entire monarchies. Had we really learned nothing?” 1 likes
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