Merlin's Harp

Summary: When I was yet a very young woman I threw my heart away. Ever since then I have lived heartless, or almost heartless, the way Humans think all Fey live.

Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and greed of man. But the strife of King Arthur’s realm threatens even the peace of Avalon. And while Merlin the mage has been training Niviene as his apprentice, he now needs her help to thwart the chaos devouring Camelot. Niviene’s special talents must help save a kingdom and discover the treachery of men and the beauty of love… — Sourcebooks Fire

I love Arthurian legend. I love Arthurian books.  I love the story, the mystery, the myth, the legend.  I wanted to love this book, but sadly, I did not.  When I read the summary I was just sure it was going to be another amazing entry into the canon of Arthurian literature and this time for teens! Not to mention being from the point of view of the Lady of the Lake, I can’t say I’ve seen that very much in the genre (not that I am like extremely well read!).  However, when I started reading the book, my excitement waned.  It’s not that the book is badly written.  It’s more like it is, well, excessively written.  The words are so flowery, so descriptive, that I kept getting lost within the text.  I had to reread whole paragraphs to make sense of what I had just read.   Finally I had to set the book aside unfinished as I just couldn’t get into the story at all.  It is quite possible it was a mood thing with me, I am normally a moody reader and here lately, well, I’ve been moodier than usual.

Sourcebooks Fire has set up a website website devoted to MERLIN’S HARP and you can read an excerpt of the writing so you can see what you think of it here: Merlin’s Harp Chapter 1 Excerpt.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me a review copy of this novel.

Merlin’s Harp
Author:
Category:
Young Adult Fantasy
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Trade Paperback
On Sale: March 1, 2010
ISBN: 1402237839

Purchase from

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Powells

I am a Book Depository, Powells, and Indie Bound Affiliate and will make a very small profit
if you buy a book through one of my links.


Beautiful Dead – Book 1 – Jonas by Eden Maguire

“Not alive. Not dead.
Somewhere in between lie
the Beautiful Dead.”

In the past year, Jonas, Arizona, and Summer, Ellerton High teens, all died myseriously.  Phoenix is the latest one, victim to street-fighting and a knife in the back.  Rumors of ghosts are running rampant through this small, spooked community as it begins to try to heal from their shared tragedy.

Darina, Phoenix’s girlfriend is, understandably, grief-stricken.  While out walking, she becomes lost in memories and heartache – and lost in where she is.  As she walks, she hears a barn door banging in the wind.  She thinks to stop the banging and, as she peeks in the door, sees an astonishing sight – Jonas, Arizona, Summer, and her beloved Phoenix, standing in a circle in the barn.  Chanting.  And very much alive.

Delighted to find the love of her life “alive,” Darina is drafted into helping the Beautiful Dead.  Each “zombie” (their description) has exactly one year to find out what really happened to them – and get justice.  Jonas doesn’t have much time left, and, to help Phoenix, Darina must first help Jonas, Arizona and Summer.

Intriguing premise yes?  Execution? Well…there are some good parts and some not so good parts.  Good.  Yes, the interesting premise.  I can’t quite remember ever reading something quite like this before.  Some of the characters were pretty well written.  As typical to the genre, Darina is “oh no IN LOVE with Phoenix and will DIED without him” but she’s also smart, tenacious, and slightly crazy. Which describes a lot of teenage girls I know!

Not so great…the Beautiful Dead are described as pale, beautiful, and dead.  Sound familiar?  At least these dead, gorgeous teenagers don’t sparkle.  And they come with an expiration date.

Also, I was not thrilled with the ending.  I don’t feel that I can go into much detail here, as I don’t want to give it all away, suffice to say I feel like the ending sends the wrong message to anyone reading this book, teenagers and older readers alike.  I do not feel that what happened was acceptable and it feels like the message here is that it is.  And it’s not.  To say anything further would be spoiler territory; if you’ve read it, I would love to hear your opinion of the ending.

Still, there are enough good parts that I would like to at least read the next book in the series, the one about Arizona.  Despite a few freshman problems, Eden Maguire has a way with a story.  I’ll be interested to see how she grows as a writer.

Beautiful Dead
Author:
by Eden Maguire
Category:
Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Trade Paperback
On Sale: March 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-1402239441

Purchase your copy from:

The Book Depository | IndieBound |Powells

Copy from the publisher. Thank you Paul!

I am a Book Depository, Powells, and Indie Bound Affiliate and will make a very small profit
if you buy a book through one of my links.