Review provided by Kristal
What’s it about:
Merlin the Magician only exists in myth and legend – at least that’s what archaeology student Jason Carpenter thought until he discovered the mysterious orb that had housed history’s greatest wizard for 1,600 years. Forced into an uneasy alliance, Jason and Merlin are sucked into a web of deceit, intrigue, and murder in a race to outwit and outrun Merlin’s ancient nemesis, the evil sorceress Morgana LaFay, a gang of drug smugglers, and a 500-year-old Chinese necromancer. It’s a race against time to complete their quest before an army of dragons is unleashed on a vulnerable and unsuspecting 21st century world.
What I thought: First, let me say that the electronic copy I received had horrible formatting issues. When I checked out what other reviewers had said, a few commented on this issue, but the vast majority did not. So, this could be a problem with the venue from which I downloaded the book. Putting that aside, this story did have some hiccups with content, such as continuity and character incongruencies. Additionally, some scenes were large information dumps and at times the dialog ran on and on without any forward momentum. That’s not to say that I found these scenes unnecessary. In truth, they were quite informative, even if a bit boggy and long-winded.
Reluctantly, I must admit that I also found that the characters lacked the emotional depth that I’m used to as a romance reader and I found that I really missed those elements. However, REVELATIONS is a FANTASY ADVENTURE, not a romance (although a relationship does bud between Jason and one of his archaeological dig teammates).
The story begins a few years after King Arthur’s death. Merlin is on the run from Morgana LaFay who is out to destroy not only him, but also the world. Merlin seeks out his fairy love, Vivian, to magically conceal him until a time comes when he has figured out how to defeat his mortal enemy. The story then jumps sixteen hundred years into the future, to our modern age when archeologist Jason Carpenter’s discovery of a mysterious orb exposes Merlin to the watchful eyes of the near-immortal LaFay. And that is where the true adventure begins. And what an adventure it is.
Diehl ingeniously intertwines the end of the world apocalypse foretold in the Biblical book of Revelations with the Arthurian legend. What unfolds is a fantastical tale that takes Merlin and Jason from England to Mongolia where they must defeat an ancient sorcerer (in my head it played out like those old Chinese martial movies where the hero battles an evil magician), and then they are forced to slay a dragon. Yep, a real-live, wing-batting, tail-flapping, sky-diving, fire-breathing dragon. It was an awesome scene.
Since REVELATIONS is the first book in the series, it merely begins Merlin and Jason’s quest to thwart LaFay’s machinations to destroy the world.
Despite the problems I had with the mechanics and execution of this story, I found REVELATIONS to be quite an imaginative tale. And you should know, I’m a paramount proponent of imagination. In the end, it piqued my interest enough that I will follow the series’ next release, THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE, which is hopefully coming soon.
Memorable Moments from REVELATIONS:
A glimpse of humor:
Jason lifted the fragile old mirror, holding it at arm’s length, looking at his distorted reflection in the flawed glass. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, where’s the meanest bitch of all?”
A few gems that sparkled and shined:
Waves of power pulsed from his hands with such intensity that the very air undulated, shimmering like ripples on a pond. When the two energy waves met, sparks from Merlin’s beam exploded in every direction, nearly blotting out the sky with glowing balls of fire.
Caked from head to toe with muck, their movements were slow and deliberate, like men in a nightmare who cannot move fast enough to escape some dark, pursuing terror.
Length: 331 pages (File size 764 KB)
Book Format: Paperback, E-Book
Publisher & Imprint: GMTA Publishing/ Mythos Press 9/23/13
Blush Quotient: Tainted Ivory No real sex on the page, although Jason periodically drops an F-bomb.
SG rating: 3 stars
Author Scoop: “Daniel Diehl has been an author, writer and investigative historian for thirty-five years. His canon of work includes twenty non-fiction books (which have been translated into ten foreign languages), one previous work of fiction and scripts for more than one hundred and seventy hours of documentary television primarily for A&E Network, The History Channel, History International, Biography Channel and Discovery Network.” Hang out with Daniel in the Twitterverse @DanielDiehlBOOK and Facebook. And, keep up with latest on the series at The Merlin Chronicles.
This book was provided by the publisher via Net Galley at no cost for an honest review. No other compensation was offered or received. The opinions expressed here are truly my own, and freely given.