I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
eBook: 339 pages
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Release Date: December 9, 2012
Series: The Merlin Chronicles #1
Merlin the magician only exists in myth and legend--at least that is what archaeology student Jason Carpenter thought until he discovered the mysterious orb that 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 sending them on a chaotic race to outwit, and out run, Merlin's ancient nemesis, the evil sorceress Morgana La Fay: a gang of drug smugglers and a 500-year-old Chinese necromancer. It is a race against time to complete their quest before an army of dragons are unleashed on a vulnerable and unsuspecting 21st century world.
In The Merlin Chronicles: Revelations, Daniel Diehl has created an adventurous blend of Arthurian legend, biblical prophecy, classic wizard fantasy and contemporary urban fantasy to create a world exactly like ours -- except that Merlin and the age of magic return full-blast to battle ancient evils and save civilization.
This book first caught my attention because it promised to tell the story of the reappearance of Merlin, the famous magician we’ve probably all heard of. Most of us know Merlin from the legend of King Arthur and his knights, but I think Daniel Diehl was able to reinvent Merlin’s myth and write a story about one of the most known fictional characters. I think he succeeded in creating his own adventurous tale about Merlin, set in our modern world, while still keeping true to some of the original myth.
Although Merlin plays a major part in the novel, Jason Carpenter is actually the hero of the story. After finding a small and mysterious sphere at an archeological dig, Jason became a key player in fighting evil dragons and sorcerers. Little did he know that the sphere he found contained Merlin, whom had been in hiding for almost two centuries. As a character, I found Jason very hard to relate to. He seems almost too perfect, as if he has the answer too all the problems that arise. We barely know anything about him except that he’s from small town America and that he’s an archeology student. I think a little more history on all the characters would have been welcomed so that the readers could better understand them. Beverley, Jason girlfriend, also seems random, as if she’s just there to fill a spot because a romantic element felt necessary.
Despite my problems with the characters, I think Daniel Diehl is on to something with his Merlin Chronicles. I fumbled with the pace a little but once I read the initial scenes, the action started and the story got interesting. Some elements were hard to grasp and some elements were hard to believe, but I guess that’s why the book is classified as fantasy. The flow of some scenes were a little problematic because it felt like the author didn’t want to leave anything out. As a historian, the author probably felt compelled to describe every little detail in every scene but it felt like some of these details could have been omitted. Since this is his first dab into fiction, I think Daniel Diehl can be forgiven for this small fact.
The main character, Jason, obviously feels obligated to help Merlin in his quest to fight the main antagonist, Morgana la Fay, but I think this obligation eventually becomes a desire to help a friend. In the few scenes that concentrate on Morgana, we truly see how awful she is and we truly feel the evil coming off of her. With Morgana, I think the author succeeded in creating a wonderful, yet evil character. Dragons are also part of this story and while I’m usually a big fan of dragons, these dragons are really not my favorites for obvious reasons. Controlled by Morgana, these dragons are more or less weapons used in a fight between good and evil.
This is my first modern day fantasy so this type of book is completely new to me. I’m not sure if I’m a huge fan of the genre yet but REVELATIONS seems like a good start to a series. The book will make you visit various cities an regions of the UK, and will even take you on a chilling adventure through a wintery Mongolia. Diehl has caught enough of my attention to put book two on my to-be-read list.