01 June 2013

Book Series Review: "Merlin" by James Mallory

Synopsis: Born as a product of magic, Merlin, the famed, legendary wizard, is raised by his foster mother Mab, after his biological mother dies after giving birth to him.  When Mab turns selfish and cruel, Merlin turns against her...and their war of magic will change the world.  Based on the NBC miniseries starring Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter.

Plot: 4/5
The trilogy starts off interestingly enough, but loses steam towards the end of the finale.  It's not as action-packed as one would expect, but the story still kept me going until the end.  I haven't seen the original miniseries, though, so I can't comment on if or how it deviates.

Writing: 4.5/5
The book reads like an original novel instead of one based on a movie or TV show.  Those who have had problems with previous novelizations of other entertainment will likely have no such qualms with this one.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: An Oedipus-style relationship is implied, though not discussed in graphic detail.
  • Nudity: None that I recall.
  • Language: Occasional usage of the d-word.
  • Violence: A bit of fantasy action, some of which involves people being killed, but nothing graphic.
  • Drugs: None that I recall.
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: If you're old enough to understand this series, there's likely nothing in it that will freak you out.
  • Other: Some criticism of the Christian faith, a la Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, might bother some readers.
Conclusion: I came across these at a local library sale, and was glad to find that the entire series was available; I just finished it today, just a mere two weeks after buying them.  What did I think? Though the writing is better than usual for a movie/TV novelization, it still feels like it is inferior to the original miniseries.  Die-hard fans of the original and/or all things Arthurian have probably already devoured it, and even a casual fan might enjoy it, but everyone else should probably stick to getting the miniseries on DVD.

Score: 2.75/5

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