A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries - and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series - with an extra serving of historical realism.
©2011 Deborah Harkness (P)2011 Penguin
I was dissapointed and felt ripped off. The book starts with an interesting premise but then deteriorates into a long, tedious cheezy romance. I would even forgive that this was more romance than fantasy but the romance scenes were SO dorky ~ I can't even think of a better word for it. Don't be fooled by the comparisons to Rice's books. Other than the vampires and witches it doesn't come close. And then, to rub salt in the wound, it didn't even end. It turned out to be just a set-up to get more of my $$. Each book in a good series should stand on its own. This book didn't. It is hard for me to imagine that all the 5-star reviews are authentic.
Any self-respecting man will not listen to this dribble. The chick meets a vampire in the library then spends an entire hour talking about the attraction they felt and what it means to her and possibly him psychologically, spiritually, intellectually and politically. Then, just to beat a dead horse more, she calls her friends and they talk about it at even greater length.
This book illustrates clearly why men and women are not from the same planet.
While the audio reading is quite good. The book itself loses the original story line and turns into a vampire/witch romance. There is so much detail that even that story line gets hard to focus on. For instance, I really don't need to know about the heroine's period. That was totally unnecessary and did not add to the story or the atmosphere at all. Plus it's written in a way that the reader knows certain points in the book long before the heroine does. Which makes the heroine come across as stupid. It was really annoying and if it weren't for the fact that I was on a boring drive across the country, I would have never listened to the end. Which was not really the end. The end was horrible.
The author is intelligent, imaginative and tells a compelling story. She sets you up for a real scholarly mystery that spans the ages. And she was doing great for the first 1/4 of the book and then she introduced us to "Matthew" who is the protagonist's Night in Shining Armor and after that the story got mired down into something I would describe as a Smacked up Twilight. Every once in a while the story would start getting back on track for mystery and intrigue and as soon as she gave me some hope she went back to dwelling on his Broad Shoulders and dreamy eyes (Ugh).
This is probably a good story for women but it should come with a warning for men (which is why I'm writing this review) that says "Girly Book - Stay away".
Oh before I close this out - Kudos to the Narator - She did a great job as well.
Before I get Slammed by other readers as being misogynistic or worse - please not that I rated this a 4 because I think Ms. Harkness is a brilliant author. I just wish I had been warned that it was a Romance novel and not a mystery novel.
Author needs to discover some witchcraft to help with the writing. Hope the next book is better but I won't know because I will not spend any money or credit on anything she writes EVER.
This was boring, pure and simple. I forced myself to listen to the end, skipping some sections in the last third. And for my effort I was rewarded with a conclusion that wasn't a conclusion. Terrible book.
OMGOSH READ IT if you like GREAT reads! This one kept me listening long after I should have turned off the lights in my craft room (which is where I listen most often). I also listen while I walk every day and this book had me doing extra blocks in the walk so I could keep listening! LOVE IT DEBORAH! GIVE US MORE!
This novel written in present day England spans into the past and includes the lives of witches, deamons, and vampires. The three races of creatures are part of the natural world, but are facing extinction in the face of human and other changes in the world. This story is really fascinating and the characters are superb. The reader does a great job bringing them all to life. Great new vampire love story that tops the others presently available. Can't wait for the next two parts of the trilogy.
Dear Ms. Harkness: thank you for writing this fabulous book. Now, hurry up and turn out another!
this book took forever to step off the starting line. And, when it finally did, it was so predictable and trite that it had no appeal. Extremely predictable and, frankly, dumb.
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