Tag Archives: early reviewer

Review: The Quest for Merlin

MTQFM(KINDLE)The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book 1)
by Rafael Lovato
Pages: 245
Date Finished: 6/15/16

Book Reviews- Liked it Alot Liked It A Lot

Early Reviewers

  • I received this book free from the LibraryThing members giveaways group in exchange for my honest option.

This was the first time I’ve received an eArc. I’ve been nervous about them because it’s not always in a format that I can read, and it’s been hit and miss with the email-to-Kindle. Luckily, I found a new tool where I can send books to the Kindle with a simple click from my PC. It worked great and I was able to read The Quest for Merlin on my Kindle without problems. (I really hate reading books on a computer screen, Kindle Paperwhite is really the way to go.)

MTQFMBANNER copy

The Quest for Merlin is a fantasy novel set in the modern day.  It has a very unique premise and mythology. The story is told through various characters, the main story following the decedents of Merlin, but also has a very interesting side story as told by the goblins. That’s right, goblins! I really enjoyed the GPoV (Goblin Point of View) chapters.

The book begins with a goblin and troll dropping off a stack of histories to the writer, even though he’s not named I can assume this character is Rafael Lovato the author of the novel. The goblin explains that it’s his job to translate them so the story of the Magimakia can be told to the world. Magimakia being a large magical battle between dimensions.

Each race seems to have it’s own dimension, with a magical energy signified by a special color (Angels – yellow, Humans – blue, Goblins – green and so on) and each race also has a magical specialty (for example Humans can open portals between dimensions.) Digging into this world is pretty interesting. It was unlike any other fantasy world I’ve seen in other books.

I wondered if the differences have to do with the author being Brazilian. One other foreign fantasy I read, the Russian The White Raven (Sword of the Northern Ancestors) was also very unique in its world building and mythology.

The chapters told in the point of view of Oliver, the teenage descendant of Merlin, are suppose to have been written by him in a history book of the Order of Mages and Witches. However, it really doesn’t seem like they were written after the fact by a probably older Oliver, because they are very much told in a teenage point of view (complete with annoying teen lingo and immaturity of thought.) In fact, at one point I wondered if the author had a bet going for how many pages he could have the main character think or say “Wicked.” That was the only real downside.

Bottom Line:

A fun and different fantasy novel. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series. If you enjoy modern fantasy you’ll probably enjoy this book.

How to Get Books [and More] Free from the Internet

Both copies of White RavenAs an LibraryThing early reviewer, I’m not new to the idea of getting something (books) in exchange for my honest option. In fact I have received about 20 books this way. Not all of them have been winners, but overall I have been very happy with the quality of the books.

One of my favorite stories as an early reviewer is that of White Raven. This fantasy novel was translated from Russian and most of us reviewers commented on how much potential the story had, but that the translation was very rough. The publisher listened to us and had the book re-translated! Then they reached out to us a second time and offered us a copy of the corrected text.

Based on the feedback of Early Reviewers like you, we have worked on cleaning up the translation of the book and now have a much smoother read. If you think you’d be interested in updated your review, we’d be happy to send you a final copy when it’s available. There would be no obligation, of course. Simply email me at and I’ll add you to our list.

It was a great experience and I treasure the fact that I have the two copies of the book. (I did read it a second time and reviewed the updated book.)

Recently, I received my first Vox Box* from Influester. Influenster is a social review site. It works somewhat like Klout meets Amazon. You connect your social media accounts and get a influence score. Then you review products on the site, answer questions and make lists of your favorite products. One other thing you can do is answer quick surveys called snaps. These snaps plus your influence score and activity on the site can qualify you for boxes of goodies, or virtual bonuses (like coupons.)

After nearly a year on the site I qualified for my first box* from them (called a voxbox.) Check out my unboxing video below.

So how do you get these books and other goodies? I’ll list 3 steps below, but really it all boils down to one thing; put in the time. You don’t actually get something for nothing. Companies are willing to give you their products because they feel like it will help them create buzz. If you aren’t reviewing products or talking about them on social media you may not be someone who creates enough buzz to be worthy of free stuff.

3 Steps to Getting Free Stuff From The Internet

  1. Find a site the reflects your interests. My husband uses RF Generation, where he can concentrate on his video game collection. I prefer Influenster, because it’s geared toward women like me who shop and look for reviews online. We both enjoy LibraryThing because we love to read. Find a site that is specific to what you already enjoy doing. Beside giving you a better chance at earning (or winning) the goods you’ll get to be involved with a community of like minded people.
  2. Get involved. Take a good look around, kick the tires and take a test drive. If it seems like a good fit start posting reviews and engaging with comments, pictures or posts. Build up your credibility by making good use of the site, and don’t forget to connect your social accounts (if available.)
  3. Bide your time. New comers are not usually the first to get the freebies. Just be patient, keep being active on the site and keep your eyes out for opportunities. One things that helps is to see what kinds of giveaways they’ve had in the past and work on reviewing products that are similar. Another idea, while you’re waiting, is to create a niche;  fantasy books, or children’s games, or make-up, or whatever. Find a niche where you can begin to build yourself up as an expert and you may find more opportunities come your way for that kind of item.

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.