Incredibly syrupy with inane dialog. If you like Harlequin Romances you'll like this. Otherwise, it's not worth the time, especially given the ending that begs for a sequel.
There's much to love in this story: intriguing mysteries across time, a fresh scientific take on a subject that's usually far from science, and strong supporting characters. Whenever the plot was churning and the focus was on magic, research or history, I was swept up in the story.
The weak point, alas, was the protagonists. They're just not terribly interesting, and the level of attention lavished on their romance and the most mundane details of their life throws the book's rhythm way off. You get the exact same painstaking deliberation over the lead lady's choice of what sweater or yoga pants to wear -- page after page after page -- as over a brewing global supernatural war.
Also, listeners should be aware that this is very much the start of a series, not a stand-alone novel.
I suppose it was ok. I was expecting something of a historical mystery, maybe something like the Da Vinci Code meets the Dresden Files (love Dresden but hated Da Vinci, so perhaps an intelligent Da Vinci Code staring Dresden?), but it was far, far more romance than mystery. It is also one of a series, since the book never wraps anything up.
The characters seemed a little too shallow. Diana seemed to docile, and far too weak. I am trying to raise a strong willed daughter into a confident woman, and I do not want her falling to pieces when some tall dark stranger comes around. But this is what happens here. The female characters were too weak. The male were too overdone, too out of proportion. I got the impression that Matthew would look like something out of a comic book, physique exagerated to all extremes. He was a stereotype, which is a negative in my opinion.
My wife, who loves the Outlander books, will likely enjoy this. I was only mildly interested and only finished it out of obligation (I did spend a credit on it). I found the history of the characters somewhat interesting, I would be more interested in Matthew's history and experiences in Palestine for example. That being said, I would not recommend unless you like romance more than history.
Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review
This is the first time I’ve listened to Jennifer Ikeda read an audiobook, and I was impressed. She is particularly good with accents (French, British, and Irish), and has a very naturally expressive voice. Nothing over-the-top, but very believable. Her voice has just the right amount of emphasis to keep you from falling asleep while it’s soft and feminine enough to be consonant with the heroine.
A Discovery of Witches suffers from an identity crisis. On the one hand, it’s basically a very adult, very grown-up Twilight, where instead of students in high school, Diana and Matthew are professors at Oxford. Instead of dates at the movie theatre, on the beach, or in a meadow, we have yoga, teatime in England, and dancing at a French chateau. The audiobook aspires to that same Twilight feeling – the chaste love affair of two star-crossed lovers who should never be together, but fall for each other early on in the story and spend a good deal of the rest of it kissing, hugging, and nothing more. On the other hand, A Discovery of Witches aspires to also be a mystery/thriller a la The Da Vinci Code. The plot centers on this incredible discovery that Diana, a professor with special powers, is on the verge of splitting wide open that can change the direction of the way creatures (demons, vampires and witches) have viewed their past, and change the course of their future.
Overall, this book is enjoyable but very, very long. Great characters, plot, lots of emotions, but boy do you have to work through some parts of it to get there. Listening to this audiobook felt like a marathon. With a book you can skip over pages. With an audiobook, however, there is no skimming. You have to listen to every single word of that 24 hours. Every word of description. If there was an abridged version available, I’d highly recommend it. As is, I’d still recommend it, but with some reservations. It’s worth a listen, but know what you're getting into.
There is nothing worse to me that getting toward the end of over 20 hours of listening to a poorly narrated good book to find it is the beginning of a series that might never have the end written, or if there is a contract forcing the end, the rest is an awful contract filler. If it wasn't a series I would have given three stars. if it was well narrated, I would have given it three stars. If both I would have wanted to go above 5 stars.
glad this is such a long book...I put it on and started cleaning house and oh my gosh I got so lost in it I forgot to stop and eat...most of Spring Cleaning done...great building of characters. A much more believable world than some of the books I have listened to lately...Hope she writes another...
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This book is an amazing story with supernatural creatures. Interesting histories, love, lust, and devotion. It has quickly become my new favorite read!! The narrator is wonderful to listen to. definitely left me wanting another book to follow
LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT will definitely recommend it to any of my friends
I like science fiction. I don't usually like Gothic romances. Deborah Harkness has fussed these two genres into a new hybrid that is very interesting. Stir in the blending of two usually hostile and wary families, a little taboo, and you've got a great story.
Jennifer Ikeda gave a very good performance of this book.
Good story, well read, however, kept getting a sense of 'deja-vu' as to characters and storyline..... very much a "Bella and Edward" type of story...... makes you wonder 'who ripped off who here?' Stephanie Meyers or Deborah Harkness? Ending came as a surprise in that it felt 'unfinished.'
A cross between Karen Marie Moning and Stephanie Meyer. It was a fun scientific/historical view of vampires and witches, with lots of details. Sexy without being raunchy, great chemistry that leaves you wanting more. Quirky enough to be fun and fresh. The narrator was good. I'm sad that Harkness doesn't have more audiobooks, I can't wait for the next!