Harley Merlin and the First Ritual (2018)

By: Bella Forrest

The fourth book in the “Harley Merlin” series finds the group trying to prevent the Big Bad, Katherine, from taking the next step to becoming a Child of Chaos. Of course, there are some road bumps, and shocking familial revelations, along the way. I wont give any spoilers away, because I highly recommend reading this series. But, there’s some really cool magic and lore in this book.

I enjoyed the second P.O.V., this time from Astrid, the one human in the group. However, I’ve found that many of Forrest’s P.O.V.s sound like the main character. Save for the last book with the chapters in Santana’s point of view. I don’t find this a detriment, seeing as each point of view gives a new perspective on the story. But I did find that I was eager to get back to Harley’s chapters, rather than read more of Astrid’s.

By now, I’m sure you all know how much I enjoy this series. I cannot wait until the final book comes out this month—I’ve already preordered it! Honestly, do yourself a favor and check out this series. It’s got a spunky heroine, cool magic, and interesting lore.

PSA: I recently found out, when I was checking Forrest’s site for her other books, that I’ve read novels by her before. The reviews on many of them are negative, and I have to say, I didn’t pick up more of the series I’d read by her previously. That being said, Harley Merlin’s story is quite different from her other works. So, ignore the trash reviews of her other novels and give this a shot. I’m certainly not disappointed I did.

Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins (2018)

By: Bella Forrest

After the events of the last novel, Harley finds herself recovering and adapting to life in the coven. But things take a nasty turn when two mysterious shapeshifters appear and impersonate coven officials. Now, it’s a race against the clock, to try and discover the identities of these shifters and save the children caught in the crossfire.

There’s never a dull moment in these novels. Each page brings something new about magic or characters, giving depth to this world. Plus, Harley’s empathy is something to behold. Forrest does an incredible job of showing us how Harley feels, as well as how everyone feels around her. Definitely read this series.

Polaris (2015)

By: Mindee Arnett

Following the events of Avalon, Jeth and his crew of teenaged mercenaries are on the run. There’s been some familial revelations along the way, which are making it difficult aboard the ship. When caught between a rock and a hard place, Jeth turns to the last person he’d thought he’d work with: an ITA soldier. However, he soon learns that everything in space comes with a price.

Guys, when I tell you I devoured these novels, I seriously devoured them. I don’t know if I could speak higher of Avalon and Polaris. The twists and turns are truly unique. The characters are brilliant. The world feels alive! Read these books. For real.

The Pearl Savage (2011) 2nd Ed. (2014)

By: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Long ago, there was a Big Bad that forced people to live in bio-spheres, sealed off from the outside world. Their air is recycled, everyone’s pale from lack of direct sunlight, and, of course, they’re all terrified of the outside world. That is, until the Savages break into the sphere and steal the Princess away from her abusive mother.

As a whole, this novel was entertaining. Although, I started reading it because it was labeled as a dark paranormal romance. There is nothing paranormal about this series. It’s more dystopic/steampunk/Pocahontas than anything else. That being said, the points of view give interesting insights into the characters, but it does fall back on the dreaded love triangle and damsel in distress tropes. Plus, the best friend is in love with the protagonist and she has no idea.

But this is a really interesting world. I’d give this a fifty-fifty chance. Check it out if you’re on the fence about what to read.