Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Posted July 27, 2012 by Katrina @ Bookish Things in Book Review / 0 Comments

Published: February 8, 2011

Buy: Amazon, B&N, Audible

Source: Audible

Goodreads Blurb: A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

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.

I listened to this book through Audible.  The narrator’s voice was soothing, and if I didn’t watch myself I’d find myself dozing off.  She just put me in that cozy spot, and I felt like a child being read to before bed.

The story kept me intrigued, but it felt drawn out.  I’m not sure if it’s because I was listening instead of reading.  I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read or listened to it.

I like Diana most of the time.  At times she’s hard-headed and refuses to accept what she is.  I admired the fact that she is an intelligent woman, and tries not to rely on others, or magic, to get her out of a jam.  I did feel like she tried to hard to ingrain herself into Matthew’s family.  But that was the only thing that turned me off from her.  She doesn’t show fear, even when in very bad situations.  She’s one tough cookie.

Matthew got on my nerves.  He’s extremely old fashioned and arrogant. I know he’s from another time, but good grief get with the times.  Women don’t like being told what to do! He’s definitely not a fan of being challenged when he gives instructions or orders.

Sarah, Marcus, and Sophie were by far my favorite. Sarah only cares about the well being of her niece.  She even works to get past her prejudices.  Marcus if very much the rebellious child. You’ll see what I mean when you read his parts.  Sophie is something different altogether, but she is bubbly and full of life.

The events took place at a slow pace.  There wasn’t anything rushed. Well, except for Diana and Matthew’s relationship.  There were a couple of tense moments and situations, but most of the book was planning and trying to figure things out.

I’m interested in what happens next.  I’ll be reading Shadow of Night.  It’s a really good story and worth the read, or listen.

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Katrina @ Bookish Things

About Katrina @ Bookish Things

I’m a mom of two and love to read, listen to music, and rock out at concerts. Sometimes you can find me reading, or writing, in between sets at concerts. I read many genres, and have a TBR mountain.

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