I didn't know anything about Deborah Harkness prior to reading this but since I am an academic library director, I look for well written fiction that involves texts, manuscripts, and libraries like Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, or Katherine Howe's The Lost Book of Salem. This one involves a medieval alchemical manuscript Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. The mixture of a modern, literary approach combined with the high politics of academia plus a touch of humor is really compelling.
The fact that it involves witches, vampires, and demons almost made me not choose this title. However, Deborah makes the magic believable and in line with magical realism encountered in literary South American and Eastern European novels. An added attraction for me is that Diana Bishop's home is located so near near my own in Hamilton (the nearby town of Madison in Madison Co.), NY. Because it was so easy to become lost in the story and the characters were well developed, I am happy that this is the first of a trilogy.
The narrator did a fine job making difference characters recognizable.
I highly recommend this as a compelling read and look forward to the following two titles in the trilogy.
former nuclear scientist
If she had skipped the adolescent love story stolen from Twilight and shoved awkwardly onto the shoulders of 30-something protagonists.
The arbitrary love story... The melodrama was annoying enough in Twilight, where at least it made sense for teenage characters. The suddenness of the love story, the complete abandonment of common sense by the heroine in many cases, and the boneheaded decisions made by the two main characters in the name of an unlikely romance don't fit in with the pedigree of the characters.
The book began so promisingly, with glimpses of a shadow world of magic and vampires. That is a huge part of the hook of the Twilight books as well. But when the listener thinks she is going to get a good supernatural mystery, with maybe a resolution and bridge to the next book a la Harry Potter (if it must be a trilogy), there is a diversion to a love story that doesn't make a lot of sense and takes up the bulk of the book. The love connection is so sudden as to be implausible, and the trials of the two forbidden lovers are more ponderous than exciting, mostly because the author doesn't deliver on her hints of histories and explanations.
Instead of wrapping up even one of the threads opened up in the first act, the author gets swept up in the adolescent puppy love of the protagonists, and ends the novel with all of the situations unresolved (except whether the couple will pair up, which was never really in question).
Most of the characters were fairly solid. The narrator did a mostly terrific job. The author gave most of her characters distinct accents, which helped in identifying who was who, and Ikeda did a passable-to-good job making them all distinct.
Most of the middle/end part where the protagonists are needlessly declaring their love for one another. I'd replace it with more exposition and back story of the parallel world and the histories of the interesting vampires.
I usually like to finish stories and trilogies, even if I'm only mildly interested in them, but I doubt I'll pay $20 to continue with this one.
I found this book fascinating and very well written. It appealed to the historian, the romantic, the suspense-lover, the pagan and the scholar in me. The author really takes the time to set the stage for everything that is happening and will happen. I appreciate that she did not try to rush through a very convoluted plot and cram it into one book. The second (and third) book is necessary and I believe will be given the same love and attention to detail that this one had.
The many characters were compelling and believable. The diversity in their backgrounds was also very refreshing, especially Sarah and Em.
It was funny, heartbreaking and oh so very intriguing. I really did enjoy this read.
If you are an audiobook reader, the narrator is excellent! She really does put a full personality behind each and every character. The range of accents she uses is incredible. She really does enhance the experience.
It's an unabridged audio book, it doesn't get any better. We don't have the book in our public library.
Witches of Eastwick
Quality of narration, timing.
Everything...moved very well. Not overly wordy but rich. Difficult combination to find sometimes. Original storyline - love fantasy but sick of the Twilight-type novels.
Moved very well. I didn't get bored with overdone characterizations. We learned about the characters as naturally as one would in real life. The reader was very good as well. Her tone of voice was pleasing entertaining and easy to follow.
Her natural flow was perfect to me. In general I prefer to read but a work friend got me started with audiobooks to entertain when unable to read. It soon became obvious that the reader's performance was instrumental in my ability to "hear" a book successfully. Ms. Ikeda performed beautifully. I wiil NOT hesitate to listen to works she reads for us.
Even Diana was clueless about who she was until she met her vamp romeo and just as forbidden.
Wont hesitate to give this work by the author and the reader a high five! Waiting anxiously for the sequel.
Tantalizing, intriguing and riveting.
I loved that story is dynamic and constantly changing. I also like that the main character is intelligent and learned and yet has many things about themselves of which they are unaware. The story was referred to me by a friend, and I have to say it went way beyong my expectations. The story is interwoven and fast paced. It is certainly a page turner and will not disappoint you.
This is a book that I could live in and at the end I was disappointed that I could not hear more- so I started it over again, and again and again. The characters are well developed and enduring. I hear something new each time I listen.
A must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy romance!
The first thing I did when the book ended was check on a sequel. I was captured by the characters and the places described.
the french accent used by the narrator for Isabell was beautiful.
I am a sucker for anything supernatural mixed with the historical. Although I may have thought "Twilight for Adults" toward the middle of the novel like another reviewer, I would urge readers to keep listening. The plot thickens and the reader learns much more about the past of the protagonist, Diana Bishop. The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, does a good job of differentiating the characters voices, lending the novel another captivating dimension. As an English teacher, I find the literary allusions endlessly appealing, and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel!
I completely enjoyed this book, which I listened to on my Kindle. The storyline and characters are wonderful, and this completely removes the bad taste left by The Magicians. The narrator is really, really excellent. Although I'm usually stingy with 5-star ratings, I've given other light fiction 5 stars and can't really mark this one down. This is most likely to appeal to women who enjoyed Harry Potter, the Twilight series, and other chick-lit fantasy. For readers, I think the written word would be equally enjoyable (as the audible version).
In addition to the witches and vampires, the author introduces a new "creature" called a daemon. Just see if you don't know any!
The next installment of the trilogy is due out in July; I can hardly wait!
Enthralling. Magical. Romantic.
Twists & turns. Relationships amongst characters & readers realistic portrayal of each. You forget it's one reader!
All of them..
Loved, loved the relationship between Diana & Matthew. Rekindles your belief in true love & magic..