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Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: A Discovery of Witches

Title: A Discovery of Witches (Audio)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication Date: February 8th, 2011
Reviewer: Annie

Summary (from Amazon): 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 really liked the way this book started.  It all seemed very real with a vampire or witch thrown in there, but it was still in a believable world.  I felt like I was reading a good piece of literature with a lot of different adventures that could stem off from it.  Then suddenly I was thrown into a love story, which wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t so unbelievable.  Diana falls in love with this vampire in a matter of days.  I now felt like I was reading any other vampire young adult novel.  What happened to this strong female character?  She was gone.  I was quite a bit less interested in the rest of the story, but it held my attention well enough to finish.  It does leave with a big cliffhanger and I’m not totally committed to being interested in where the second novel will take us.  The one thing that may keep me around is that her writing style makes for great reading, and I do like to see how things resolve.  If you like love stories especially ones involving witches and vampires you will like this book, if not you should probably avoid it.

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