Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of WitchesA Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 688 pages
Published 2011 by Headline Publishing Group 
Source: Library loan

When historian Diana Bishop finds an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft.

Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.

Diana is inexplicably drawn to Mathew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels.

My Thoughts:
The Discovery of Witches starts off with us getting to know Diana Bishop, a witch who has lived her whole life in denial about her powers who accidentally comes across an ancient manuscript that has been hidden by a secret spell for centuries.

Little did she know that unlocking this ancient manuscript would stir up the supernatural world and make her a person of interest to every other creature around. It would also bring her to meet Matthew Clairmont, a centuries old vampire who has been wanting to get his hands on that manuscript and who becomes intrigued by Diana and the powers that she seems to be trying to supress.

I started out a big fan of Diana and her independent, level headed nature, but there were some scenes where she seemed to just fall apart and need looking after like a little girl which started making me more annoyed as the story went along.

Now, as far as Matthew is concerned, I really, really wanted to like him because there's always something that is a little sexy about the whole tough and unflappable vampire main man that takes control and wants to do nothing but protect his love but I must admit that his super controlling nature and elusive talk did kind of get on my nerves a little bit after a while.

As far as the rest of the story and characters were concerned, I really enjoyed the mix of witches, vampires and daemons and thought they were all mingled together quite well. Some of the back stories and descriptions were a little long winded now and then but I was always intrigued enough to keep reading on.

I found The Discovery of Witches wasn't just your typical paranormal creature novel. It contained so many different elements that could have been a bit overwhelming if not done right but in my opinion they all worked together really well.

Overall, I found this book to be a pretty enjoyable read and will definitely be picking up the next in the series to see where the story goes.

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