I feel like the author is trying way too hard to cram in a bunch of information that doesn't add to the story but instead seems intended to showcase just how much she knows about everything (you don't need to go into detail about the flow of poses in a yoga class, or what era every single piece of furniture in the main character's home is from, or have it described a million different ways how remarkably unamerican the main character is after living in England for so long... I get it! Yoga! Old Furniture! Expat! Let's move on with the actual story!)
Trim a lot of the fat. I know it sounds awful, but I feel like with some tighter editing it would have been an entertaining listen/read. Part of telling a great story is knowing how much is right and how much is rambling. When I realized the book was 24 hrs long, my heart fell. I commute about 10 hrs per wk, and I welcome long, entertaining books, but... I'm only human...
She makes everything entirely too dramatic. I never thought someone would try to romantically linger on words for something as prosaic as driving up a hill.
Buy a different audiobook to listen to.
I hate to sound mean. I was just really disappointed in this book, especially after seeing it highly recommended in so many places. I'm not some literature snob who thinks anything after Dickens or Hardy should just wither up and die (Far from the Madding Crowd is awesome, though). I mean, I love lots of different books, even Twilight! Take what you will from that last statement, I'll defend it to the end of time, or the end of A Discovery of Witches, whichever comes first. Maybe the book is better but I can't recommend the audiobook. Really glad it was on sale.
I agree with some of the earlier reviews:
Twilight for adults. Sappy. Romantic fiction.
But what teed me off is that this is 24 hours of set up for a series.
Asa King and Rice fan I was disappointed. As a Christie fan I was livid.
In all that time the mystery doesn't get solved. Poirot we need you.
I resented being sucked into a series without warning.
Series are great as long as each book will stand on its own. This one does not.
I am a longtime listener to Audible and this has been one of the few that I made a mistake with. I read the reviews and listened to the preview. I still downloaded it thinking it might be ok. Well I was wrong. I have listened to 7 hours and can't bare anymore. The story is boring, the characters are even more boring and their history and situations are preposterous and laughable.I kept saying to myself, "Oh please. Give me a break".
I was thinking maybe this should be categorized as a "Romance" novel but there isn't even any romance in it. I also thought that a story of witches instead of another tiring vampire story would be different. But no it's just another roll your eyes and shake your head vampire story. Plus it just rambles on and on and on and on about nothing and goes absolutely nowhere. And the narrator makes it even worse by reading in a constant monotone or in long drawn out mellow dramatic sentences. Just a total waste of time and credit.
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
The narrator did well here. I would listen to her pleasant voice again.
I couldn't see this series being a very good movie or series really. It would probably end up being a replica of true blood or twilight, with more childish ideas of romance.
This book is mostly centered on the romance between the main characters, more so than the potentially very interesting story line. The romance goes inexplicably from acquaintance to undying love right off the bat, without any exchanges between the characters that would indicate their feelings for each other without the author just spelling it out for you. The heroin is not especially mature (for a doctor at Oxford!), Or likeable. Her loving, elder matriarch witch aunt comes off as a complete jerk. The story leans on narratives and elements already well traveled by the sookie Stackhouse novels and the true blood series, which should work out quite lucratively for this author. The set up for sequels in this book seems obvious and opportunistic, as it sacrifices the integrity of the story. The author jumped into all the magical elements of the world of her story so immediately that it kind of made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief, though she did recover some of that magical realism for me later on in the first few hours of the book. SOME. The only things I really admired about this book are 1.) The research the author must have done on DNA sequencing and other biology related narratives, and how well she used it, and 2.) The creativity of the elements of the story that seemed more original, like the explanations of the "reality" of witches as "creatures" living in hiding among humans, and the witches academic interest in alchemy. All in all, though I love fantasy/reality and science fiction, I would have preferred to read something else. Something more well written, and less cliche and romance focused.
Yes, it is a romance, and yes, it is more Twilight meets Harry Potter than Fifty Shades meets Lord of the Rings, so there are going to be people who love and people who hate. I thought it was entertaining and fun. There was a lot of character development, but I did not find it tedious, as some have. I was interested in how it all related, and the author offered the information in a way I found entertaining. I suspect that the next books will have a bit less of that, and I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes. Definitely worth a credit whether you plan to wait for and continue with the sequels or not.
I am not sure what I didn't like about this audiobook, the story was fine, if a little ripped off from Twilight, and the characters were somewhat interesting. I think it was the narrator's accents that I found grating. If I had read this instead of listening, I may have liked it better. It seemed a little contrived, and thoroughly unoriginal.
An intriguing premise, but the execution (for starters, can you buy a 1500 year-old man smitten like a lovesick calf for a twenty-something genius-cum-naif?) was too silly for words. I couldn't finish it.
I found the description of this book very misleading. The storyline of witches, vampires and demons and the mystery of a magical book is what drew me to this novel. Instead, I found it to be a very overdone story about how much the main character wants to have sex with vampires. I'm not sure what the draw is, but I found the "love story" part of this novel worse and worse as the book went on.
It also seemed like the author lost track of the story, as by the end, it was very confusing as to what everyone was doing, what their motivations were, etc. Basically, this book read to me mostly as a "Twilight for adults". The main character, on one side is the "most powerful witch ever" and on the other side she needs to be completely taken care of and babied the entire time.
To make it worse, the part of the story that I was actually interested in (the mystery about the "magic book") as well as most of the rest of the conflicts is never resolved at the end. Even with some random deus ex machina (an enchanted house and time traveling) the author doesn't even bother tying the story together. I certainly will not be bothering with any sequel if it's written.
This book felt like a failed attempt at creating a grown-up Twilight. Whether you like them or not, the similarities between S.M.'s books and this one are obvious. In addition, I didn't realize this was a romance when I bought the book- IT IS! The romance takes up at least 3/4 of the book and moves at a confusing, awkward pace. I only kept listening to it so that I could write a review based on the entire book- otherwise I would have stopped listening around 2/3 of the way through.
On the bright side- the narrator does a fantastic job. The stars are for her.
An ancient manuscript, modern-day witches, vampires, demons... all the elements of an absorbing read, if not great literature, you'd think. But A Discovery of Witches manages to make it all ho-hum, poor to no character development, no real sense of danger, a toothless vampire who takes our heroine, a witch reluctant to use her powers, for lattes and to yoga classes. And endless tedious details, obscure Latin quotes, and references to the character's smells, left me wondering near the end of the first installment, if anything was ever going to happen. The love story left me cold, the mystery failed to excite me and I had to give it up, especially when I read in another review that the ending is not really a resolution, but instead paves the way for the next book...