Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Audio)

How did I come into possession of this book?

When this book first came out I had read many reviews about it and it seemed to be a sort of book I would enjoy.  What mostly drew me to it was that it had a realistic setting with a hint of fantasy.  It also helped that it seemed to be an adult book written in the same genre that so many young adult books are currently successful.  I happened to see it on the audio bookshelf at the library and decided to give it a listen!

What is it about?

Diana is a graduate student at Oxford, and she knows that she descends from a line of witches but chooses not to explore that side of herself and just be a normal person.  This all changes when she comes across a coveted manuscript that greatly affects the whole magical world.  

What did I think?
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 (or listening), and I do like to see how things resolve.

Who would I recommend it to?

At first I thought this would be a great book even if you don’t like fantasy or vampire stories since it seemed to be written so well.  But when things took a turn for the love struck magical beings I can see how it would lose many readers.  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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