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review 2019-10-28 15:37
I Feel Guilt Over the Two Stars Rating
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

I loved this book when it first came out and I have to say that my re-read of this was painful. Why did I like this so much? Did I not see that Matthew was uber possessive which is my least favorite hero trait? The constant endearments in French may me roll my eyes. Also the Mary Sueness of Diana was beyond ridiculous. She gets powers on top of powers and also decides that the only thing that matters is her love for Matthew. She started to turn me off way before we get to the ending. And the way that Harkness just drops how pretty much Matthew met every historical figure you can think of in this one (it gets worse in book #2) it started to get even more ridiculous. There are info dumps galore and besides some of the historical aspects of this book, this is just "Twilight" for adults with no sparkly vampires. 


"A Discovery of Witches" follows Diana Bishop. Diana is living in England and while at Oxford, ends up requesting a book, but a book that comes to her is a bewitched alchemical manuscript. When Diana touches the book something starts happening to her. After this, a vampire comes calling named Matthew Clairmont, who is a a vampire geneticist. Yes, this is a real thing I guess. In this world we have vampires, witches, and daemons just hanging out. Matthew is interested in the book since there seems to be some issue with vampires not being able to turn people without the person being turned dying.


I will say something nice here. The parts with Diana and Matthew in Oxford were really good. I forgot how much I loved that part. And it reminds me a bit of how Pullman played/changed up things in "His Dark Materials" when we follow Lyra at Oxford. But after that the book just drops down to repetitive and boring.


Diana and Matthew are quickly on the run from a magical organization and are in France and then Massachusetts hiding out (barely) with their families. I just didn't care about Diana's parents secret, or her magic. The whole book was pretty much Diana and Matthew constantly reaffirming their love and then them obsessing when one of them wasn't in the same room with each other. Also why are these two together? I didn't get deep and lasting love at all initially and then somehow they were just in thrall with each other. I just don't know. There's no there there. Diana somehow becoming super witch made me think about Katrina from Sleepy Hollow and how she was seriously the worse witch ever. Oh there's also vampire yoga which I never want to read about again. 


Image result for sleepy hollow gif katrina


I can't say much about the other characters. We get glimpses of them and that makes me sad. When I first read this, I loved the idea behind Matthew's "mother," "son," etc. And this book only makes them characters who give info-dumps throughout this book. I really wanted someone to shake both Matthew and Diana and tell them to get over themselves. 


The writing started off well, but then it just tapers off slowly until we get to the end where I was going is it over yet? No? Another freaking chapter? I forgot how long this book is (594 pages) and it really really needed edited down. A lot. And don't get me started on the whole hey species can't really be with each other sexually and have kids which someone got overly explained via DNA, chemistry, and then alchemy which resulted in me not giving one crap. That was pretty much the whole book. We get told something via a character and then somehow the rules get thrown out five minutes later (see vampires and witches can't marry). It got aggravating after a while. Also there's like I think three secret organizations referenced in this damn book. I could not after a while. 


The flow was awful after a while. It's just Matthew and Diana running off, her getting kidnapped, hurt, healing, Matthew calling her a lion or whatever that was, and then Diana and Matthew listening as people told them well now this is happening and or now this is what this means while drinking tea. 


The setting of the book from Oxford, France, Massachusetts just started to run together after a while. The Bishop family house and ghosts were cool though. That's all I got.


The ending ends on a cliffhanger (which I hate) and we know we have to follow the second book to see what happens next. 


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text 2019-10-24 19:58
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Well thank goodness for the book lists we have! Cause I have never been that not happy while reading a book. Well not since reading 50 Shades of Grey. Either way, I am switching for this. Thank goodness I bought this eons ago and am going to read it for vampires. Seriously though guys, my head hurts from "They Thirst."


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review 2019-10-20 02:34
Great choice for a Halloween read
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness ticked all of my boxes. There's werewolves, daemons, vampires, and of course witches with the main setting of the story set at Oxford University and the Bodleian Library. (There are also side plot lines in Scotland and the U.S. but the most detailed descriptions are those that happen at Oxford.) Our main character is Diana Bishop who comes from a long line of witches but who has decided to turn her back on her heritage in order to lead a "normal life". Unfortunately, life has other plans for her. When she calls up a manuscript at the Bodleian it turns out that there are hidden messages in the pages which only she can see...because she's the only one who's been able to successfully call up the book in centuries. Suddenly the entire community of supernatural creatures is very interested in her but none more so than a vampire named Matthew Clairmont...


Part paranormal/supernatural conspiracy theory mystery and part burning hot forbidden romance this book hooked me but good. The only reason I haven't completely dived into the second book is because this is one hefty piece of work at over 600 pages and my TRL is about 5,700 miles long. Rest assured, I will be continuing this trilogy...even if I didn't particularly like the overly complicated plot in the last third of the book. 


Oh and did I mention that it's been made into a TV series? Cause it absolutely has and the guy playing Matthew is scarily accurate to what I pictured when reading this book. O_O 10/10


What's Up Next: Strange Sight by Syd Moore


What I'm Currently Reading: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-01 13:05
Review: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness



Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.







This book was more or less an impulse buy. I saw the trailer for the movie or TV show and thought it sounded interesting so I went on Amazon and ordered me, luckily ,a cheap used copy. Did I regret buying and reading it, no not really but maybe next time just get the book from the library.

Overall it was okay, not the worse but defiantly not the best.

The beginning was slow and sooo much info dumping that I was close to giving up. We were just thrown a whole ton of background information after the next load, it was way too much. I mean after 80 pages I knew all of her history, her parents history, both sites, the witches history and how they and other creatures exists, that was just the first 80 pages and it’s not like she was short on pages we do get over 500 some pages.

After that it did get a little better and I could enjoy the book a bit more.

I did like the overall story line, the different creatures, and also how she used a Bishop witch to be the main character, which was rather clever. I liked the magic system and how vampire and demons were endangered in a way. But sometimes I had the feeling I’m reading the NA version of Twilight.

Diana was okay but often annoying, not only her personality but also her choices, she seemed to go one way or the other, no in between. Like she either trusted no one or she trusted everyone way to fast, which of course got her in trouble. She also seemed to think with other parts of her body more than her brain ,that is for sure.

Oh their relationship. It just seemed to jump too. I actually had to track back a couple chapters to see if I missed something because it was from one peck to test a reaction to a full blown relationship the next minute. That just felt odd I thought I missed something. Also once they were a together the romance defiantly took over the story and book, which is sad because you could have both nicely balanced.

Matthew, I had a hate-love relationship with. On the one hand I really liked him and on the other I really didn’t and never could fully trust him, not even sure why. He reminded me of Vampire Bill from True Blood, the TV version, maybe that is why lol.

Overall it was an okay read and I might continue on to see what will happen but I’m not in a hurry. I need to recover from the eye rolling that this book made me do so many times.

I really have a hard time rating this book, because some aspects I really liked but others I really didn’t so I will just go with 2 ½★ - 3★ on this book .







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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/08/01/review-a-discovery-of-witches-all-souls-trilogy-1-by-deborah-harkness
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review 2015-09-19 17:32
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness
Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness

Oh look, a review! I finished a book! Granted it was an audio book, and it took me over a month to finish, but I finished a book. On to the review.


So despite a few rather dense portions of the first book, A Discovery of Witches ended up garnering 4 stars from me. I was drawn in by the wide cast of characters, and specifically by Diana's vibrant personality. Jennifer Ikeda's narration of that book stole my heart, and I couldn't wait to get to the second book. Which is why I was so surprised at how long it took me to make it through Shadow of Night. Same amazing narrator, yet it was much harder to sink into the story.


This book takes place in the the past, Elizabethan London to be exact. I think that this was the first big nail in the coffin for me. It's not that I don't love this setting. I absolutely do! However the need for Diana to blend in completely squashed everything about her that I loved. Her fire was tampered. Her wit was under wraps. She was an obedient and terrified woman, and nothing more. Worse yet, the relationship between Matthew and Diana that I fell in love with in the first book suffered massively here. The tension between them, Matthew's tendency to act the part of dominant male, and the fact that they wouldn't communicate, all drove me mad. For the entire first half of this story, I was annoyed.


Then, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Without warning, things suddenly became much more interesting. The Diana that I fell in love with started to come to the surface again. She confronted Matthew, and things stopped being so sad. Suddenly there was magic in the world again. Things were vivid, characters were fascinating, and I couldn't stop reading. If only I had known that this was coming, I would have read much quicker. It's sad that the beginning bogged me down so much.


Final verdict? This is definitely a book that suffers from middle book syndrome, in my eyes. It isn't bad, it's just extremely dense. Lots of events need to take place to make sure that things are set up for the future (or present from book one), and so there's not as much attention paid to many of the items I became attached to at the beginning of this series. Do I have high hopes for book three? Absolutely! The ending of this book was perfection, and I can't wait to see what happens next.


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