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A Discovery of Witches | [Deborah Harkness]

A Discovery of Witches

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Christie 04-19-11
    Christie 04-19-11 Member Since 2010

    Creator of www.nippyfish.net

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally, a Vampire Romance Novel for Grown-ups!"

    This book was a wonderful surprise. I stumbled upon it had no idea of the treat I was in for. A Discovery of Witches has the heart fluttering paranormal romance that I love in a vampire novel but is written for more sophisticated reader. Harkness writes beautifully. The plot slows quite a bit in the middle, as Harkness develops the relationship between the main characters. While some may find this to drag, it does give the reader the sense that this is a real relationship. Similar Vampire books leave the reader hardly able to believe the intensity of the relationship, but not so here. I felt completely invested in all the characters, even the secondary and supporting characters. Harkness really understands the intricacies of the world she created.
    The narration was right on. I believed the narrator was Diana every second. When she did the voice of 500+ year old French vampire, I believed it. A vary tallented narrator. If you like vampire/witch novels as much as I do, you'll be thrilled to discover A Discovery of Witches.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Crazy Heart of the South 04-19-11
    Book Crazy Heart of the South 04-19-11
    ratings
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    271
    3
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    Story
    "Loved this!"

    I confess that as a lover of witches, vampires and all things magical I may be biased. Great escape … just the right amount of history and suspense and mystery. Left me wanting more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Brown 04-18-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You just stop caring"

    Yes it is Twilight for Adults, and yes parts are typical Paranormal Romance. But thats not the problem, the problem is that you just stop caring about the characters pretty quickly. And the lead character is annoying in an almost pre-teen way. And the lack of closure or even an attemp to move towards it is just rude. I want every one of my 24hrs and 2min back.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    culinarygirl13 South Florida 04-17-11
    culinarygirl13 South Florida 04-17-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Awesome Book! A must read!"

    This book is like a history lesson, Twilight and Harry Potter all wrapped up into one! Full of true history references, this has an adult story that is going to be made into a trilogy! This is written by an actual history professor at USC.
    I have listened 3 times to this book and it does not get old. Can't wait until the next one comes out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverley Fall River, MA, United States 04-16-11
    Beverley Fall River, MA, United States 04-16-11 Member Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "More please..."

    This read is my box of chocolates, my guilty pleasure and after four listens I only want more. It is intimate, intellectual and satisfying. Thank you and hopefully the next book is shortly forthcoming!!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lunsford 04-13-11
    J. Lunsford 04-13-11 Member Since 2010

    28gritsNga

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding - very creative and well written"

    Deborah Harkness invites you into a new and exciting world of vampires, witches and demons. The writing flows smoothly and every phrase pulls you deeper into this world and captures your heart and imagination. The only problem is the fact that this is the first of three books, and you hunger for the next one as soon as you read (or listen to) the last word.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. G. Robinson Los Angeles, CA 04-11-11
    P. G. Robinson Los Angeles, CA 04-11-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cliche'd Vampire Love Story"

    I'll admit, I'm only a third of the way through this book, but they pitch it as a "horde of vampires, witches and demons descend on the library." What they should really say is that it's another of those stories about incredibly old and powerful, sophisticated, charming, handsome and sensitive vampire decides that out of all the women he's ever met, THIS woman is the one for him, but his hunger for her makes it so he can barely restrain himself at any time around her, so he sits looking longingly at her from across the room (when he's not protecting her). So far, they've had dinner a couple of times, opened a dozen bottles of wine, all of which they go into extensive descriptions of the scents of lavender, and other flavors... blah, blah, blah. Basically, most of this story so far is one long, extended date, at one table or another, eating one food or another, and drinking one wine or another.

    Oh, and in this story, vampires can walk in the daylight, eat regular food, and live just fine off hunting deer, or any other animal, as long as they drink, or eat it raw. So basically, it's the vampire version of being a vegetarian - all the powers, none of the stakes or downsides.

    So far this is a romance novel mismarketed as a fantasy book. It's not **quite** bad enough to put down so far, and I'm desperately hoping that it will improve.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanna Tooele, UT, United States 04-07-11
    Leanna Tooele, UT, United States 04-07-11 Member Since 2008

    Like many of you, I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audiobooks allow me to keep up with my favorite authors. I am currently listening to 'Undead and Unstable' by MaryJanice Davidson, because 'Yours, Mine and Ours' is still not available. Grrr.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as the hype"

    A Discovery of Witches starts out really strong. The academic world populated by extremely, stubborn know-it-alls created by Deborah Harkness is an accurate one, which does make this book stand out. Unfortunately, it finishes weakly and the sterling female character at the beginning of the story becomes just one of the large number of two-dimensional characters in this genre by the end. The main male character is never fully realized. All of these aspects culminate in a story that closes without any resolution. Normally, I would find this frustrating, but this story wasn’t intriguing enough for me to get frustrated or really even care if there is a follow-up. The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, is fantastic.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Charleston, TN, United States 04-06-11
    Jessica Charleston, TN, United States 04-06-11
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    "Ready for the next book."

    I just finished A Discovery of Witches and I have to say I really enjoyed the book. I am on the edge on how to describe this book. It was very long and seemed to go into a lot of detail’s that confused me about things that might or might not have been or will be important. Also I liked the narrator but in the first few hours I got confused at who was talking, the voices all sounded very similar to me but as the book went on either I got use to it and was able to pick out who was who easier or the narrator started to differentiate between the voices more. Either way by 5 hours into the book it was easier to know who was who and I liked the voices she did for each character. And even though there was not a lot of action until towards the end of the book it was not boring to me it was like being let in on the everyday life of close friends (the good, the bad, the exciting, and the mundane). I broke my rule about reading the first book in a series when they first come out for this book, normally I like there to be at least two books out so I can go right into the next one if I am hooked. I have to say even though I really enjoyed this book I wish I had waited until the next book was out because now I really want to read more of the story and find out what happens. Even though the book was 24 hours long I felt like we were just getting started when it ended. I enjoyed the characters and the narrator and cannot wait to listen to the next book in the series, I hope it releases fast.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristina Rio Piedras, PR, United States 04-01-11
    Cristina Rio Piedras, PR, United States 04-01-11

    CM

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glorified Twilight"

    I bought this audiobook because the reviews were positive. However, let me warn you, if you are trying to find a book that is not similar to the twilight series, prepare to be disappointed. The book is beautifully written, the author gives detailed descriptions of well...everything, metaphors galore, but, its just much to much...at some point you get bored and want to skip till the good part...but the good part never comes, or maybe it will come in the next book...which i will not buy so ill never know. If you already watched or read anything twilight related this will be more like "been there done that" but if you haven't and want to waste your precious time in a vampire fairy tale, go for it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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