Saturday, March 26, 2011
Review of A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Review Source: Used a credit at audibles.com
My rating: 4/5
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 author Deborah Harkness has definitely hooked me in with her novel A Discovery of Witches. Now I won't pretend to know anything about tenure at a college, or alchemical things so it helps anyway for me to enjoy this book much more because I wouldn't know if the author screwed something up. LOL
I listened to this book on audio and the narrator had a very smooth and enjoyable voice. She did a very good job with trying to make voices for everyone and only sort of messed up on that when she was trying to do two male voices at the same time. For example she had a voice for Mathew, but when she had a new male voice Mathews voice sort of disappeared and became like the other male voice. Though I don't think I could do all those voices while reading the book aloud so kudos to the narrator Jennifer Ikeda.
We learn that Diana is a witch, but she really doesn't like to have anything to do with magic. She is a historian and was wanting a alchemical manuscript and she receives the manuscript but didn't know it at the time but she called the script using magic because it was under a spell and everyone wants this particular script. So even though she has put it back and has no clue how to call it back everyone thinks she can and it puts her life in danger. Not only do other witches want this manuscript but Vampires and Demons as well.
There is a certain vampire Mathew Claremont who keeps hanging around and get to know Diana and sort of becomes her protector from everyone. He also wants the manuscript but he takes a liking to Diana even though he knows that you are not suppose to mix breeds. There is a council that is formed from three witches, vampires and demons to enforce such rules like that one. So being together is dangerous in more ways than one, not only because of the script but because of them being different creatures.
Though as you go along you find out that there is a lot more to what the council is wanting than just the script and being mad because they are dating.
Diana is a interesting main character, at first I thought she was a little bit wimpy, but she turns out to be a fighter in the end. She doesn't want to learn her magic, but it sort of comes out of her and she has no clue how it happens. Its sort of weird that she is 35, but doesn't have a clue about her magic or want anything to do with it. Mathew has been around for centuries so he knows a lot about witches and he knows that Diana has a lot of magic in her even if its suppressed. He also knows she is in a lot more danger than she could ever imagine and he tries his best to protect her from as much of it as he can, but there are times when she has to protect him. Mathew sounds like a very likable, handsome vampire and I like how protective he is of Diana.
It also has a lot of secondary characters and villains. Since I listened to the audio I can't recall all of their names but I do like Emily which is Diana's Aunt Sarah's woman. Sometimes I like Sarah and sometimes I don't. Mathews mother Isabol (not sure of spelling) is a pretty fun character. She is his mother because she made him a vampire, just like Mathew has a son Marcus who he made into a vampire. There are a lot of villains in this book, each breed of creatures has villains and good guys. Though so far the worst villains have been two witches and one vampire, but there are a lot of them because they don't like the witch and the vampire being together.
Over all I found the book to be very enjoyable, at points it has some slow parts, but once I got over that hump and it headed towards the end all I wanted to do was listen to it to find out what happens next. It leaves you wanting to know what happens next as this is part of a series. I would recommend this book if you like witches, vampires and demons. It's got a love story in it but I wouldn't really say it is just a romance book because it has so much more in the book than the romance.