"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown." (From the thrilling sequel to the New York Times best seller A Discovery of Witches)
Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.
©2012 Deborah Harkness (P)2012 Penguin Audio
The woman who reads these books for the audio rocks, I love the way she does the guys. I would go as far as saying that after the last two audio books I will most likely skip the hard back on the next book and just go right to audio.
Im some guy in Oshkosh, WI that walks to work and has found the joy of listening to good books and values good narrators :).
Its difficult for me to like this series. The narrator is top notch and I like listening for the hunt for "Ashmole 782". The series has a lot in common with "The Twilight Series" (I didn't like Twilight it at all, the "hole in my heart" made me stop listening). The Witch sometimes feels like Bella "whiny" and the vampire is dark and gloomy like Edward. It feels like a romance novel and the romance between the vampire and the witch plows over the more interesting story of Ashmole 782. Unlike Twilight I havent given up on the series yet thou. Im hopeful that now shes finally married and the endless courtship is about over the focus will be on the adventure. I do like listening to her struggle with living in the 16th century and trying to blend in. The history you pick up is fun and informative too. There are characters she references that makes me want to look them up and see what they were all about historically.
I found this book very tedious. While I am easy to entertain - I do require the plot to move forward and this book simply does not move quickly enough to keep my interest.
no. the problem is not the genre it is this author
Author masterfully introduces multiple new characters throughout the book. No character map needed. Many authors haven't figured this out. Great character development as time and events changed the two protagonists. Enjoyed loads of unexpected twists and turns. Wouldn't typically have chosen a book about vampires and witches but it was strongly recommended by co-worker who is an avid reader. Not disappointed at all! I enjoyed the historically based aspect although the author added tidbits that aren't truly accurate. Many of the minor but famous characters are from 1500's and one would not run into them all in one room. Didn't mind because that gave me a taste of the true-life people of the time.
The first book in the series, Discovery of Witches. Excellent prequal.
Excellent. My # 2 reader. (Humphey Bower is #1.)
The tenderness between two main characters throughout the book.
There is so much information this book is great audio!
I love this book.
I have not. But will again
Only two comments:
1. You need to read the first book in this series, 'A Discovery of Witches', in order to really follow this book.
2. My only complain is that I fell behind in my other chores for the day as I couldn't put the book aside.
2nd book after A Discovery of Witches - Awesome - couldn't wait to start this one!
I just want to be entertained!
A quick preface:
I read the first few pages of "A Discovery of Witches" and was hooked; snagging any free moment I could to sit down and delve further into the story. However, halfway through, that enthusiasm started to quickly fade and by the end I was questioning whether of not I cared enough to even bother reading the next book.
But I'll cut to the chase!
If you're wondering whether or not you should continue this series or (for you first timers) start this series, here's my advice:
If you enjoy the sort of sci-fi, vampire-human, "epic", romantic, adventure stories similar to book and/or movie series like Twilight, then you may very well enjoy this book. Deborah Harkness' attention to detail and expertise on the subject of science and history does add a much needed and enjoyable touch of sophistication to the writing that is absent in the Twilight novels.
But there were a few things about this book that just weren't my cup of tea. It may be my own nit-picky preference, but one of my worst pet peeves is useless female protagonists! No matter how many times the narration insists that Diana is a tough cookie or how many times Matthew calls her "ma lionne," a witch that can't use magic is the utter epitome of uselessness, especially in a world where you are surrounded by danger on all sides! And Matthew's constant, overbearing, possessive protectiveness and need to be in control isn't any better. Not to mention how he consistently chooses to sabotage his and Diana's plans by keeping Diana in the dark and at a distance so he can indulge his annoying tendency towards bouts of self-loathing.
However, I must say the most disappointing part of this story is how long it takes to get absolutely no where. I love Deborah's intense, detail-oriented descriptions but her dialogue and pacing lets the story drag on. I am already a third of the way through the book and am still waiting for Diana to learn how to be a witch! At this point, I have to put the book down and step away, before I throw it at someone (figuratively speaking since its an audiobook). I guess it's just not my sort of story...
Great Narration Though!
As for the narration, I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer Ikeda. Her ability to fluently read through the prose with animated accents - perfectly embodying each widely varying character in this extensive tale - is quite amazing. Also her perfect recital of French, Occitan and the other languages featured in these books must be applauded.
That's my two cents.
I struggle with this series as a male reader. The series feels like a mix between Indiana Jones and Harry Potter...wonderful! The Twilighty romance is tolerable, but at times it just makes me wonder if I'm reading a book I like.
This installment of the series was as enjoyable as the first, but the action and scholar as hero themes were displaced too much for my taste. Itfelt like it tookforever for any real danger to show up. An emotionally charged moment in the narrative felt entirely glossed over to me (no spoilers from this guy!), and it took me out of the story.
I thought the second installment in the All Souls Trilogy was wonderful. One reader said there were too many new characters introduced, but I thought each character had their own role to play within the storyline. I think Deborah Harkness does a wonderful job of laying out the continued storyline, while also giving us further insight into the characters. I thought it was a wonderfully delicious read. It's one of those stories that you just curl up with and listen to. I love listening when it's quiet - so I have the opportunityt to sit still while listening.
I am hoping that the third and final books gives us everything that we have come to expect, and finally a "happily ever after' for our beautiful couple.
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