08 July 2013

a discovery of witches {book review}

a discovery of witches by deborah harkness // although i am always reading, i realized i haven't posted a book review in some time!  i guess i haven't felt that inspired to write about what i've been reading lately... that is, until i read this book!

i first heard about this book from a friend who was in town visiting as the sequel had just been released and she wanted to pick it up from the bookstore.  i kind of forgot about the series until i visited her several months later and saw the sequel on her bookshelf.  she let me borrow it, and i checked book 1 out of the library.

to start:  yes, this is a book about vampires, witches, and daemons and how they try to co-exist unknowingly amongst humans.  unfortunately, i think i will always compare any book with these subject figures with the twilight series.  this book was published in 2011, over five years after twilight was published, but features all of the same vampire cliches that were present in twilight - cold, blood drinking vampires who are unable to control themselves around the "scent" of non-vampires they find alluring, fierce urges to bring harm to those who wish to bring harm to the vampire's love interest, super speed, hunting, adversaries, you know the drill.  then again, maybe these cliches are present in nearly any book featuring vampires - so if you can get past that and just take it for what it's worth, there is a lot more to enjoy about this book!

the plot of this book takes place in oxford in england where a witch, diana, is doing research.  she is a historian and professor.  when she requests a manuscript from the library that she assumes will aid in her alchemy research, she suddenly realizes the book is not at all what it seems.  diana has kept her magic hidden her entire life, so when she senses magic hidden within the alchemy book, she promptly returns it to the stacks.  but it is too late, as her connection with the book and its reappearance turns the world of "creatures" (vampires, witches, daemons) into a tailspin.

the manuscript, diana learns, has extreme interest to the aforementioned groups as it is said to hold the true history of their creation and insight into mysteries of their beings.  everyone wants it and assumes diana is the key to retrieving it.  clearly, this creates a dangerous situation and a great deal of tension.  but a working relationship/protective friendship/tenuous romance (okay, you had to have known that was coming so don't consider it a spoiler alert!) develops between vampire matthew and witch diana as they embark on an amazing adventure to get the manuscript back that may, in fact, save all of their lives.

if anyone else has read this book i welcome your comments.  meanwhile, i'm off to read book 2!

check out my other book reviews here!

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