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Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven

Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Harley Merlin Series, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (939 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a rogue 19-year-old witch is recruited to help guard an ancient magical Bestiary, an epic new journey begins...
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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 childhood jumping from home to home in the foster system, and her father left her with nothing more than a cryptic note. 

Then she crosses paths with a terrifyingly real monster. Which is when a mysterious and annoyingly arrogant young warlock named Wade Crowley steps in, introducing her to a hidden world of beasts, magicals, and covens riddled with secrets - as well as clues about her murky past.

Whether she likes it or not, this new world is where she belongs. But after a disturbing twist of events, Harley quickly realizes that her past is darker than she could ever have imagined. 

And that someone in the coven is out for her blood. 

With the help of Wade and her new friends, she must figure out who the traitor is and why they’re targeting her... Before the human and magical worlds dangerously collide. 

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*What Early Readers Are Saying:*

"I love the Harry Potter series. This first book here made me realize I could love another series. It's great!!" ★★★★★ 

“Enchanting! A fantastic new take on magic and monsters.” ★★★★★ 

"Heart warming story line with intrigue and suspense.” ★★★★★ 

“Well written, funny, and refreshingly different.” ★★★★★ 

“Would recommend it for teens and adults alike.” ★★★★★ 

Over 600 worldwide 5 star reviews of the series.
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If you love J.K. Rowling or Cassandra Clare, this will be a ride you won't want to miss.

Buy now and start listening....

*Beware of spoilers in the reviews below that are without spoiler alerts.*  

©2018 Bella Forrest (P)2018 Bella Forrest

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Torn

So lots of the reviews I read about this said that it was terrible because it's nothing like Harry Potter...well duh. So I'm not going by "is it like Harry Potter" because honestly I think it's fair to say that nothing is quite like Harry Potter. Instead, I'm rating this as it's own book..not by comparing it to others.
It was good. The story was intriguing and exciting..the ideas were unique. I have it 3 stars because I have a reallllly hard time with the main character...which as you can imagine makes things difficult. From what I can tell initially Harley is supposed to be 19 and independent and a spunky/cool/loner type...but then on the flip side..her personality seems really childish to me. Kind of like a freshman in high school. She is a magical empath which is a really cool twist but she likes to make fun of people and tease a lot...which is whatever..but she also shows very little sympathy for anyone which, as a "non magical"/real world empath, I very much dislike. She mostly just feels their feelings and is like "Oh well, they deserve it".
I also have a hard time with the fact that while the author does a good job at focusing on explaining the emotions of everyone around Harley..Harleys emotions seem rather two dementional. Also the fact that she hardly recognizes when she is attracted to a man bothers me. Shes all "for some reason he touched my arm and looked into my eyes and my heart skipped a beat and I couldn't breath" and I'm like..."how do you not understand what that is? It's not rocket science " I understand being confused about your emotions, but being completely oblivious to them bothers me.
Back to the "freshman" thing, I actually have to constantly remind myself that these characters are in their 20s because I feel like I'm reading about a group of high schoolers. I think there is just a lack of maturity to some of the characters and it throws me off a bit.
Last thing the whole stigma of Harley being classified as mediocre bothers me so much. Not because I think she should have been classified differently, but because Harley let's it be such a big deal to her. I think that's one of the authors points is to kind of end up killing that stereotype and everything which is great, so I dont mind that most everyone else looks down on Harleys status because it's part of the culture and they aren't perfect, etc. But I feel like Harley is so uncaring about everything else..and if shes going to be a rebel, she needs to just be a rebel and say "screw this, I dont care how you view me." Clearly that's not a personality for every kind of character to take onZaza but it matches Harley way better than her being like "well...I can't amount to anything because I'm mediocre so I guess I'll just pout about it." I feel like its inconsistent with the beginning when she says that her body and mind a screaming to her that she is anything but ordinary.
..This was way long and I really dont feel like going back through and editing before posting so sorry. All those things to say...it has its faults like every book...and its probably not for everyone..but I liked it and I'm starting the second one so we will see if Harley matures at all..hopefully.
P.S. I was unsure about narrator at first, but she's really good...super impressive with her switches in accents and dialogue. Good character portrayals, etc.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Totally captured. Didn't want to stop listening!

Very different take and great plot with nice twists and turns. My only problem is the rest of the series isn't on audio yet and I just HAVE to keep reading to find out what happens next. The narrator for this one did a great job with various voices and accents. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The beginning of a new book series addiction!

Not going to lie, I almost gave up on this book after 7 or so chapters in as it was a pretty slow start for me, and I just couldn't get into it. However, since I had already purchased it, and it was an audio book that I could listed to while cleaning, cooking, etc., I decided to "read" it all the way through...and I am so glad that I did! I am almost through the 4th book in the series in just 3 weeks because I can't put them down! The suspense was killing me though, so I had to purchase 3 and 4 on Kindle since they're not out in audible yet. I am so glad to have finally found another book series that I could get addicted to! Can't wait to see what happens next!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

This is not comparable to Harry Potter or Adults. This is poor writing, structure and character development. I will be returning this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Harry Potter Meets Discovery of Witches

Having read both exceptional series', I couldn't help but notice the common story lines between these two books. I'll be very interested to see future installments of this series. I was actually very pleased that Discovery of Witches comes through in this, it meant that the book series was read.

Don't hesitate to get this book, especially if you like Amanda Ronconi as narrator. She always does a wonderful job. And if you haven't read the All Souls Series by Deborah Harkness, definitely get that and read it. They have even made a TV series about it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

it was great very suspenseful.

I loved it . I did not want to stop listening
I can not wsit for the next one to be ready.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Story Line

But the writing is sub-par. The story is intriguing, but I was looking for top-quality writing. This, sadly, is not it. Everyone "smirked". Always and everyone. There was never just a smile or a grin or anything else. Smirk, smirk, smirk. There was even one sentence with the same word in it twice. This was recommended as a post-Harry Potter read. Well, maybe. Because it has magic in it, I suppose. But the depth and quality of writing is just not there. I almost quit about a chapter or two before the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A way to spend the time

some of that time will be used comparing notes to Harry Potter. The formula is too obvious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre

Mediocre with a chance of improvement

Enjoyed this because it was not a taxing read, but 2 hurdles I ran across:

1. Although the reader tries to differentiate between characters by using different voices, the male voices were too whiny to take seriously. I'm sorry, but the men just sounded like spoiled teenagers, and it was distracting.

2. Ok, so all magical fantasy stories will henceforth be compared to the Harry Potter series. There are going to be parallels (orphaned magical person ✅, blood magic allowing communication with beasts ✅, magical dimension protected from human awareness ✅, biological substance pressed to a metal object to retrieve the secret message hidden inside ✅, etc) but these parallels don't need to be a shot at the HP series. Don't refer to "wands" as children's stories yet use an "espirit" as a magical amplifier. Call 'em wizards, warlocks, witches, whatever... regional differences in the vernacular shouldn't be an issue. Got it... this isn't HP. Nor is it LOTR. Magical continuity between books/series can be a good thing. Don't diminish them.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

No Harry Potter

This was touted as the next Harry Potter, but I found it very disappointing. The characters and writing are lack luster.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily Hopkinson
  • 01-10-19

Good but plot a bit less exciting than expected

The writing and characters were good. Plot started strong but did start to lose me in the middle as there didn't seem to be much action. This could be because the narrator read at the same steady pace throughout, even at tense parts of the book. A good first novel with a good concept of a new magical world.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lymara charles
  • 04-18-19

Loved it

I would rate this book 5 stars just for the narration. She is brilliant, she does accents and the part with the intercom was brilliant. The book itself is great and I’m jumping straight into the second as purchased that by the 5th chapter so all in all I would encourage anyone to listen to this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Smith
  • 03-22-19

The audio is annoying its distorted

I'm struggling to continue as the dotorted audio is making me want to throw it out of the window. The story is interesting but the narrator isn't my cup of tea and that mixed with the distortion has rained this book for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephi
  • 05-11-19

Couldn’t put it down!

Likable characters and well read. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to listen to the next ones!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rosie Nice
  • 04-17-19

Rather juvenile

This was advertised on Facebook as Harry Potter for adults. I would say it is aimed more at teen audiences. There are quite a few similarities to the HP stories but J K Rowling definitely did it better. Won't be bothering with rest of series as I found it a bit tedious.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila
  • 04-12-19

Fantastic

Loved every minute of this book and immediately downloaded the next one - Bella Forrest you are a superb story teller

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • michelle witham
  • 02-22-19

Awesome

this was an amazing book extremely well read. cant wait for the next one! wicked

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • rob morgan
  • 02-01-19

amazing

love this book it's like Harry potter but not and may be even better 😱😱 can't wait to hear the next book .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yorkiegirl
  • 02-07-19

Harley Merlin Book1

l really enjoyed this book and l'm looking forward to reading the second book of the series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-19

Not very good writing

I really wanted to like this book. I had just finished the Discovery of Witches Trilogy, when I picked this up and I was really looking forward to a new magical adventure. Unfortunately this book did not meet my expectations. I found the authors writing style to be very unsophisticated. Her choices of words such as “dude” or “chill” made the book feel very much like a high school English assignment. The authors overall writing style was immature and unsophisticated and in the end I couldn’t even finish it. Was there a potential for a good story here? Maybe. Unfortunately it ended up reading like an angsty teenage girls diary.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea
  • 04-30-19

Appallingly awful

This book was truly terrible. It reads like bad fan fiction, blending all the worst parts of Harry Potter with Twilight (I assume). I wanted to stop listening but it was like trying to look away from a train wreck in slow motion. In the end I was just hanging around for the anticipated awkward teenage sex scene but even that didn’t eventuate. The book lacks originality, depth and vocabulary.
The narration made the whole experience cringeworthy with bad accents and terrible emphasis. Why this was recommended as a book that listeners of Rivers of London might like I can only imagine.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PaulaN
  • 01-05-19

Fantastic Story for Teens & Adults!!

Originally downloaded this for my Tween on a car trip, but my husband and I loved it as well.

We spent a couple of evenings playing jenga listening to this instead of the usual zone out to TV.

Fantastic story, great reader!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Captain Skurvy
  • 02-10-19

A great book and narrator

What’s not to love a great story and characters along with one of the greatest narrator of our times crests a wonderful fantasy world.

Enjoy ♿️🖖🇲🇸

0 of 1 people found this review helpful