Jul 13, 2014

"The Book of Life" by Deborah Harkness

Title: The Book of Life

Author: Deborah Harkness

Series: All Souls, #3

Publisher: Penguin Group Viking

Imprint: Viking Adult

Publication date: July 15th, 2014

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book read from July 7th to July 13th, 2014,  from the eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  


The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches — with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close. 

My Thoughts on the Book:

The Book of Life is the perfect finale to the All Souls trilogy that started with A Discovery of Witches, continued with Shadow of Night and now finished with The Book of Life. I was quite satisfied with it, with the way the story developed, the way the story wrapped up, and the pacing of the story, as well as the writing style. I won't go into details, this will be spoiler-free review, but the waiting was definitely worth it!

I read both A Discovery of Witches & Shadow of Night in 2012, and despite really enjoying the first one, I had mixed feeling about the sequel. I thought that the story should've been a little bit more polished, and needed a little bit more work, and I felt like it was too rushed to be published quickly, so I was glad that the author decided not to rush with the next and final book, because with The Book of Life she delivered the finale that her characters deserved, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

I have to admit that having read both books a couple of years ago, I didn't remember a lot of the details (and lots of things happened in them, especially because they're both on the chunky side), so I was afraid I won't remember lots of things. But, thankfully Deborah Harkness managed to incorporate important past events in her storytelling quite flawlessly, so I didn't felt like I was reminded on purpose, yet I was quite thankful for them, because it reminded me why I liked this story so much.

Also, I've forgotten how much I got attached to the characters - main & secondary. The level of which I adore the characters is almost up there with the Parasol Protectorate gang. I think that no one will be able to stop themselves from caring about them all, connect with them and to stop them from getting under their skin. So, yes, my favorite thing about this book & this trilogy are the characters. I adore Diana, Matthew, Marcus, Jack, Fernando, Ysabeau, Chris, Phillippe, Gallowglass, Miriam, etc. Just about everyone, not including the evil ones. And I adored all of their stories, the good & the bad; the past, present & the future; their loyalty, love & friendship, and the way they support each other, no matter if they're human, witches, vampires or daemons.

Even though the pacing was on the slow side, it was actually perfect for the story, and I found the story quite entertaining. I especially loved the interactions between the family members. The Book of Life was the perfect mix of history, science, humor, magic, terror, danger, heartbreak & some deserved butt-kicking & justice. And the mystery of the Book of Life was quite satisfying, and I think it was quite perfect, and despite this being the final book, I'm hoping that it's not over yet a.k.a I'm crossing my fingers for a spin-off set in the same world, and maybe with some of the same characters.

Deborah Harkness has written a beautiful story that incorporates romance, history, love, family, the supernatural, science, magic and mystery, so I highly recommend The Book of Life, as well as the complete All Souls trilogy!



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