Book 1 of the All Souls Trilogy
Genre: urban fantasy
About A Discovery Of Witches:
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.Source: Info in the About A Discovery Of Witches was taken from http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8667848-a-discovery-of-witches on 21/06/2012.
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.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
It took a few chapters before I could get into the story but once I did, it was easy going and became quicker and quicker towards the end. And after which, I was so glad I have book 2, Shadow Of Night, handy to read right after hitting the ending of this book. Speaking of endings, the entire book is just a chapter of a bigger book, but then again, this series has always been advertised as a trilogy so we are already expecting that the finalle would come with the third book. So the ending in this book is not really the ending of the story...
I also like Ms. Harkness's spin on this tired old vampire genre. It's a slightly different angle and gives a slightly different flavour. Even as I am looking forward to reading the subsequent books in this series, I am also dreading the fight scenes. Ms. Harkness seriously needs help with them. The ones in this book is so unreal that it drops the suspension of disbelief a couple of notches. So we have an alpha vampire with uber protective instincts with his love-of-his-life facing off an enemy and doesn't lift a finger to protect himself from the blows. Just stands there and let the blows land... Yeah, very real! Warner Brothers bought the movie rights to All Souls Trilogy and let's hope that the director would make the fight scenes more convincing. Anyway, which vampire face do you think best suits Matthew Clairmont for the silver screen? Out of the four selections here, which face would you give him? How about Diana Bishop? Now, her... I wouldn't be so unkind as to call Diana Bishop too stupid to live (TSTL), but I get irritated with her at times....
After all that moaning, however, I really do like the world Ms. Harkness has created and enjoyed this book and is eagerly awaiting the release of the third and final book in this trilogy!
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 3.5
Plot = 4
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries
Other Books In This series:
Thank you to Headline Publishing for the review copy of A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness received.