This is my stop during the blog tour for the Merlin’s Shakespeare series by Carol Anne Douglas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 3 till 16 September. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-merlins-shakespeare-by-carol-anne-douglas
Book and Author Details:
The Mercutio Problem (Merlin’s Shakespeare #2)
By Carol Anne Douglas
Genre: Fantasy/ Time Travel
Age category: Young Adult
High school actor Beth Owens faces a new challenge: She needs to bring a Shakespearean character she loves back from the dead. But she has to become a man and risk her life to do it. Richard III still menaces her.
The prizes you can win are:
One set of paperback copies of both Merlin’s Shakespeare and The Mercutio Problem (US Only)
Two winners will each win a set of e-copies of both Merlin’s Shakespeare and The Mercutio Problem (International)
Carol Anne Douglas has loved Shakespeare since she watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream when she was a child. She identifies with the character Nick Bottom because she wants to play every part, which only a writer can do. She is an avid reader of Arthurian and Shakespearean literature. Her previous fantasy novels, Lancelot: Her Story and Lancelot and Guinevere, feature Lancelot as a woman in disguise. When Douglas isn’t reading or writing,
she spends as much time as she can in the national parks, hiking and watching wildlife. She lives in Washington, D.C.
No more danger, no more killing, no more other worlds, this semester, Beth Owens told herself as she walked to her history class.The Mercutio Problem by Carol Ann Douglas
I went into reading The Mercutio Problem, thinking that it was going to be the same “meh” book that Merlin’s Shakespeare was. So, I was taken aback when I read The Mercutio Problem and enjoyed it.
The Mercutio Problem takes place shortly after Merlin’s Shakespeare ends. Beth is devastated by Mercutio’s death at the end of Merlin’s Shakespeare. She vows that she won’t time travel again. Then Merlin comes to her with a problem. King Richard III has not been defeated. Instead, he is causing mayhem across the other plays, comedies and tragedies alike. Merlin asks Beth to find a way to defeat King Richard for good. He gives her the task of finding Mercutio, whose body never rematerialized back into his play. But there was a catch. Beth will be disguised as Mercutio. Can Beth defeat King Richard?
The plotline for The Mercutio Problem was well written. The plot did lag a couple of times in the book. Once in the middle, when Beth was trying to convince the main characters from the tragedies not to side with King Richard, and once at the end, when Merlin and King Richard faced off. The author did do a great job of getting the book back on track.
I loved how knowledgeable the author was on Shakespeare and King Arthur. It was one of the things that made this book enjoyable to read.
I liked Beth in The Mercutio Problem. In the previous book, she wasn’t as fleshed out as she should have been. Well, she was more than fleshed out here. She was a regular teenager, with the teenage angst and drama. It was wonderful to read.
There were some areas of the book that I didn’t like, though. Kevin’s attempted suicide was the main one. He had been telling people he was going to kill himself, and it was brushed off. Even the flipping teacher brushed it off. There was one scene where she yelled at him and told him to stop it. Then she told him to lie about what caused his suicide attempt. That was a huge “WTF” for me. That whole substory line left a bad taste in my mouth, and it did affect my review.
The end of The Mercutio Problem was alright. Everything ended the way it was supposed to. I was surprised at how King Richard was defeated, though. I did feel like the ending was drawn out. There were a couple of times when I ended the chapter and thought, “It’s done.” Only to swipe and find out that there was more.
I would give The Mercutio Problem an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread The Mercutio Problem. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**