Not what I had hoped. This is a romance novel. Might appeal to those weaned on the Twighlight series or the like, but nothing here of note. Was a grind to get through.
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.
Witches, vampires, demons, did we forget anything? Oh yes, a few ghosts and let's not forget the humans. Shouldn't there be some werewolves but oddly enough, there aren't any. There is an interesting plot, a mysterious alchemical manuscript, an old unsolved murder and finally the "hero" and "heroine". However, this is the first time that I've listened to a book and found the plot to be more interesting than the main characters. And the plot is what kept me going through the entire 24 hours and 2 minutes.
We first meet Diana Bishop, scholar, historian, emotionally stunted witch in the Bodleian Library and are quickly introduced to Matthew Clairmont, tall, dark, handsome stranger, no wait...vampire. Without much ado, Diana and Matthew become attracted to each other though why isn't at all clear. Neither character displays much by way of personality other than a propensity on Diana's part to be insipid, insecure and irrational. Matthew on the other hand, is autocratic, demanding and superior. And hearing him call Diana "mon coeur" over and over becomes positively nauseating. Both characters seem to have no conversation other than to make silly demands of each other, or issuing ultimatums. Buy the end of the book I was heartily sick of Diana and Matthew. They had become caricatures, one dimensional, boring and unsympathetic. And I really don't much care what happens to them.
Reader Jennifer Ikeda does an adequate job, though some of her voices for the different characters start to grate after awhile. It is perhaps more an indication of the character development (or lack thereof) that affects the reading.
There is promise to author Deborah Harkness' writing, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish A Discovery of Witches. Hopefully she'll continue to grow as an author and write a really terrific next book.
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.
Love internet shopping, from audio books to nail polish to silk scarves. Audible & Amazon are my go to places.
I feel the author read all the YA vampire, paranormal,witches etc etc books, put 'em in a blender with a soupçon of Nora Roberts, whipped em up and went for the money. After all, this stuff sells right now.
People give this book 5 freaking stars..To me, a 5 star book is "The Prince of Tides" I gave 5 stars to "American Gods" and "The Stand" This book isn't anywhere near that category and, really..there aren't that many actual 5 star books out there, but reviewers, lost in the blush of a fun read, will say "Its the best book I ever read", give it 5 stars and negate the review system. Nor is this book a total stinker-with editing and rewriting, it could come out to a reasonable book-so I gave it 2 stars overall.
OK I'm off my soap box.
Vamps, werewolves, witches and so on are hot sellers these days. Combined with uber strong and smart women along the lines of Skalander and Everdean. If you include some romance you have a 'guaranteed sell' to a certain audience that simply loves the genre and does not demand plotting or character development....and good for them. They have a lot to read these days.
Personally I also enjoy WELL WRITTEN books in this genre.
This book isn't well written, needs an editor to work it over and chop about 1/3 of the content....it just made me bored with the trite writing.
Lots of readers seem to love it though and I think about the same number of readers dislike it.
Guess that makes it average. I wish I hadn't spent a credit on it-I failed to read all the reviews-just hit the positive ones.
It might not make a bad read from the used book store for a couple of bucks, but it wasn't worth a whole credit to me.
Those who love this book will hate my review-but it's honestly my opinion...maybe I can save some other critically minded reader from making the same mistake I did.
While reasonably well written and entertaining, this book disappoints by -- after an unwarrantedly long time -- leaving every major plot point hanging in mid air, presumably for sequels. Like many fantasies and non-literary efforts, it's characters are all superhuman, not just in the sense of being supernatural beings, but by being the most superlative creatures seen in history. Most disturbing, the heroine spends the vast portion of the book being carried off sleeping in the hero's arms -- a predilection so extreme and frequently repeated that it can only represent a pathologic fixation on the father figure. I suspect even hard core romance novel fans will be creeped out by Ms. Harkness' naked desire to crawl into bed with her daddy.
I really enjoy genre fiction, mostly fantasy and mysteries but enjoy discovering new authors.
The book is narrated well, but the story has a very frustrating stop and start pace to it. It's about a non-practicing witch who comes across an enchanted manuscript while doing research at Oxford University. After she finds it, demons, vampires and other witches start bothering her. One vampire takes it upon himelf to be her protector and, of course, he's sexy and mysterious and, of course, they fall in love. The parts about the manuscript are pretty intersting. The parts of the two main characters falling in love is so slow. Whenever they are alone together I press fast forward. Another problem I have is that we are told that the main character is one of the most powerful witches ever and super brilliant and all that, but she never does anything brilliant or use her powers or show us in any way that she is who we're told she is. She actually has a DNA test that indicates all the powers she has but all she does is spend too much time describing a yoga class or a horse-back riding trip. Perhaps all the good stuff is being saved for a sequel. I'm not finding out, though. Waste of a credit.
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...
I was hoping for more with a world set with witches, vampires, and demons. The being held such promise but it quickly deteriorated into a romance novel. Almost all of this book was dedicated to a blooming romance and the story of the manuscript becomes a side story. If you enjoy romance novels then you will probably enjoy this book. BUT if you are looking at this book thinking its a fantasy novel you will be very disappointed.
I enjoyed this book. I thought the handling of the witches, vampires, and demons was excellent. It is only similar to Twilight (as others have stated) in that a vampire and a woman (in this case a witch) fall in love and that is forbidden in this society. The vampire Matthew has quite a history and it is interesting to watch that part of the story weave itself into the main story.
Diana is a flawed character, which I much prefer to a perfect main characater, and her flaws just enhance the course of the story. A witch that can't perform any magic doesn't make any sense until the pieces start to fall into place.
I especially love the house where Diana's aunts live. It's alive and full of ghosts, and everyone just accepts it. Really a lot of fun.
I recommend this to any fan of supernatural fiction. It's interesting and just fun. I can't wait for the next book. The ending screams for a sequel.