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
That it is more than just a fantasy witches/vampires/daemons story. It's about history, science, and art. It's about love, desire, power, fear, anger, and trust. It's a great story that leaves you with a lot to think about.
What wasn't a memorable moment is a better question! When I finished listening I decided to go back and listen to the last few chapters again to try and catch more details... but I couldn't figure out how far back to go so I just started over and am listening to it again. That's how much I enjoyed it!
She gives this sheltered American a better idea of what the accents are suppose to sound like and how the foreign words should be pronounced. I love hearing the occasional foreign passages read, so beautiful that I could get an idea of what it was trying to communicate even though I don't understand the language. But since I don't know the language, I would have just past over those parts had I been reading it and that would have detracted from the experience. But overall Ms. Ikeda is just simply a great narrator, one of the best that I've come across,
Absolutely! I listen to audio books on my drive to and from work and I found myself trying to lengthen my commute so that I could keep listening!
When I first started reading it I thought it might just be a Twilight knock-off but it actually reminded me more of a Dan Brown novel. There's so much history and detail in it that it doesn't just stimulate your imagination, but also your intellect.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
I waffled back and forth between 3 stars and 4 stars and settled ultimately on 3 stars. I prefer the Anne Rice world of witches and vampires to the Stephenie Meyer or Charlaine Harris worlds. I like my paranormal universes to be dark and I don't mind a story steeped in history - even history of science. With that said, I found the Deborah Harkness world of witches and vampires to be closer to Anne Rice albeit much lighter but pleasantly heavy on the history. I suspect I may enjoy All Souls Trilogy #2, Shadow of Night, even better as it looks like it will be even heavier on the history. After having become convinced that all contemporary paranormal fiction was a lost cause, I'm happy to have discovered Matthew, Diana and the work of Deborah Harkness.
Audiobooks keep me sane- great actors are much better voices in my head than my own. I prefer sf&f, but occasionally fall back on high lit.
Narrator is consistent with voices and inflection. Nothing is more jarring from a story than not knowing who is "talking".
Hard to say, actually. The overarching story is good, but some of the subplots are really great. I suppose the house that prepares itself for guests stood out the most to me- it's an interesting twist that I'd never run across before.
I'm such a girl... but the moment when Diana and Matthew finally admit to their love for one another was really well done.
Although this novel probably belongs on the shelf next to "Twilight", it's definitely much more adult in nature, deeper in scope, and somehow actually believable. There are some great plot points, and some really unique and imaginative moments. I liked it, and will follow up with the next book in the series.
This story really drags with too much irrelevant information that didn't seem to contribute much to character development or plot. The heroine irritated me with her early irrational stubbornness towards, and then with her later complete devotion and trust of the "hero" after knowing him so few days. I get that it's fiction, but really - who acts that way? Too much day-to-day detail. Now realizing this is a multi-part book, I understand more why the story was dragged out. Just feels like this book was written more to "sell" instead of "to entertain". Several times during the listen, I caught myself thinking of "Bella" and "Edward" from the Twilight books. I don't really understand why it was so popular, unless people simply want more vampires and witches.
Diana Bishop is a witch who has spent most of her life trying to avoid using her magic. When she travels to Oxford in order to research original manuscripts of alchemy, Diana discovers that other creatures (vampires and daemons) are as interested in her as she is the old manuscripts. They know more about her than she knows herself. After spending years fighting her magic and denying her rich magical heritage, she must learn to use her magic in order to save her family, herself, and the vampire that stepped into her life.
The plot of this book was interesting, but moved along at a slow pace. I almost stopped listening a couple of times. I am glad that I stuck it out. While I did enjoy the book overall, it seems to me that the same story could have been told in much fewer pages. The first half rehashed the same themes over and over: vampires and witches do not befriend one another, vampires are dangerous, the three creatures (vampires, witches, and daemons) are not to mix company. As I passed the halfway mark, the plot moved quickly and the previously established rules were broken on every page out of necessity. The more I listened, the more I liked the book and the characters.
This book has a definite cliffhanger!
The story had me hooked and looking forward to the next chapter each day. If you enjoyed The Mayfair Witches, Twilight, etc... this will be an enjoyable read. The reader was easy to listen to and kept my interest the entire time. This is definitely NOT a waste of a credit.
The love story and the "discovery" (not going to say more...it would be a spoiler)
The sisterhood of the witches.
I liked all of them...don't make me choose!
Yes, but I could not. So, I listened more than once.
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. It has surprising twists and turns. It's jam-packed with romance, and well-written. Oh, and long enough to satisfy me.
My favorite character was Diana, because she comes to know herself and who she is throughout the events that take place in the story.
The narrator has a great voice, she makes the characters easily discernible.
Listened to this straight through. I enjoyed every bit of this novel and look forward to more by this author.
Yes, yes, yes! What a great story. The word pictures and the characters leap off the page. I first read the book, then listened to the audiobook, and it was an entirely different and enjoyable experience.
Diana Bishop. She is mysterious, intellectual, smart, courageous and witty.
No, this is my first, but I find her style and her grasp of accents and dialects excellent. Her voice is almost hypnotic and a pleasure to listen to. She is now my other favorite narrator, along with Lorelei King, the best of the best.
Not really. It is a very long book, and I listened for several consecutive days of my daily three-hour round trip commute.
I understand this is part one of a trilogy. I want to be on the waiting list for the next two--and please don't change narrators. Well done.
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