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The Book of Life: All Souls, Book 3 | [Deborah Harkness]

The Book of Life: All Souls, Book 3

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness's enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches - with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.
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Publisher's Summary

The highly anticipated finale to the number-one New York Times best-selling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches.

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness's enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches - with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy's final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in 38 foreign editions and translations, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major best seller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness's legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

©2014 Deborah Harkness (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (231 )
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4.6 (221 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Troy Brandon, FL, United States 07-19-14
    Troy Brandon, FL, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
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    "So worth the wait!"

    Unlike the other books that, although wonderful, are a little slow. This book cooks the entire way. A fantastic ending to an incredible journey.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Houston, TX, United States 07-18-14
    Carrie Houston, TX, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't wait to listen a second time!"
    Would you listen to The Book of Life again? Why?

    Absolutely! Have been fascinated with this trilogy since the first book came out.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The unbelievable amount of detail that was carried through the three books. The idea behind the story. The depth of detail of the characters that allows you to feel like you actually know them.

    Didn't, however, like that some prior characters had no, or greatly diminished, roles in this last book - of course, really really miss Emily, but Nathaniel was barely included, and although Sophie is mentioned a few times, she never speaks a single line.


    Have you listened to any of Jennifer Ikeda’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. She's great. Many narrators sound awful when voicing someone of the opposite sex, but this narrator can handle it all - accents, emotions, personalities, genders, ages - and make them all sound entirely authentic and easily differentiated from the other characters during the same conversation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I actually did - I took a day off of work, listened all day and until about three a.m. to finish it. Couldn't stop!


    Any additional comments?

    I was really disappointed with the way she voiced Gallowglass and Timothy in this book. Gallowglass is one of my favorite characters and in SON, he sounded real laid back and had no accent. In this book, he's suddenly a bit uptight and has a Scottish accent even though he's Celtic. It almost made it feel like a different character. Also, Timothy in DOW had such a dizzy and sweet personality, and in BOL, he's a completely different personality, the way she voices him. ... Also, did anyone notice that Sophie had a southern accent in DOW, but then had an Australian accent at the end of SON?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 07-22-14
    Patricia 07-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"
    What did you like best about The Book of Life? What did you like least?

    I was totally prepared to love this story, had been waiting as everyone for two years for it to come out, and now I agree with the readers/listeners who were disappointed by the story, as well as the narration.
    First, the narration...I don't know about anyone else, but I was annoyed in the first two books, and now so much more so in the third with how whiny Diana always sounds. I found it very hard to take her seriously as a strong independent professor, witch, or teacher. I thought Ms Ikeda did a fairly admirable job in the first two books with Matthew, and Hamish, but this third book had Hamish and Gallowglass sounding the same as each other, sometimes sounding female, and sometimes male, always sounding awful. Not to mention that awful screeching that is Sara...I wondered through the whole book if I would like the story any more if I was reading it instead of listening.
    The story as well felt like it had huge holes in the story, so many inconsistencies I could not even begin to count them, and the addition of Phillipes and Em's ghosts was just ridiculous...no point, except to be able to send out a preview of the "First Chapter!!!". I almost quit reading sometime during the interminable boorishness of Diana's pregnancy and Matthews "need" to be in New Orleans sorting things out...seemed a contrived reason to have them apart and bring them back together at the nick of time.


    Do you think The Book of Life needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I actually think it would benefit from a follow up book...but not sure I would read it at this point, or listen to it.. I liked the characters of Marcus, Miriam, and Gallowglass, that is until he revealed himself besotted with the whiny Diana


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Val Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA 07-22-14
    Val Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA 07-22-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Disappointing!"
    Any additional comments?

    What started as an interesting, compelling trilogy with the first two volumes has ended in a flat, dull, confusing, and disappointing read. I cannot get through it, so I'm done with it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen H. Gurney Tempe, AZ United States 07-19-14
    Karen H. Gurney Tempe, AZ United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb Story, Superb Performance"
    Where does The Book of Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. I have enjoyed all of the Deborah Harkness books. I truly enjoy listening to Jennifer Ikeda, who brings these characters to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Diana Bishop grows and develops throughout the trilogy. However, each of the principal characters is well developed, complex and interesting.


    What does Jennifer Ikeda bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jennifer Ikeda somehow manages to make each character unique and to impart a sense of each one's personality and heir feeling in response to the events in the novel. I can hear that Sarah is acerbic, that Emily is motherly, and so on. Jennifer Ikeda truly brings these characters to life and gives the listener a sense of their unique personalities.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandy Lebanon, CT, United States 07-18-14
    sandy Lebanon, CT, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderful."

    I read this book in 3 days, I couldn't put it down, the narrator did a good job and the story had everything, romance, suspense, excitement and lots of MAGIC. I hope there is another one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn WATERFORD, MI, United States 07-18-14
    Kathryn WATERFORD, MI, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2008
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    "So little magic, so much dull soap opery."
    What would have made The Book of Life better?

    If the main character did magic more then once every few months the story would have been much better. She is so whiney and weak, I found myself rolling my eyes over and over. I enjoyed the first book, patiently waited out the second but this one…so much minutiae about the different ways different vampires might think about what someone else might do. If you are interested in fantasy stories about magical creatures this isn't a good choice. It's more of a drawn out soap opera that happens to have some magical creatures in it.


    Has The Book of Life turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not really, I hoped it would be a fantasy book but it isn't.


    Did Jennifer Ikeda do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, the narrator was good.


    What character would you cut from The Book of Life?

    Honestly, Diana. She spends so much time dreading, thinking, whining, and then more dreading. She is supposed to be this incredibly powerful witch but almost never does magic. Is it so much to ask that we have a story with a strong confident female character who doesn't spend all her time worrying and doubting herself?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherese Garland, TX, United States 07-17-14
    Sherese Garland, TX, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy mysteries, wrapped with violence and sprinkled with romance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GOOD but NOT GREAT........Story 80% Complete"
    What made the experience of listening to The Book of Life the most enjoyable?

    This is a GOOD book, but not a GREAT ONE!


    Harkness tied up all of the major lose ends in the story (80%) and added a few additional twists that was a pleasant surprise (re-introducing an old character), but the last couple of chapters left some unfinished business.

    This is supposed to be a trilogy but the questions concerning GALLOWGLASS, JEBARE/DeMINOCO, and whether Mathew and Diana will have a human or vampire death are left unanswered. If this is a trilogy only and Harkness does not plan to write in this universe again, then my rating of the story will be lowered to 2 STARS because she has failed to complete the story.

    REGARDLESS, HARKNESS' SUPERB WRITING FINESS WAS NOT APPARENT IN THIS BOOK!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the integration of an old character from Book 2 into the modern day family. I want to elaborate more but then I would ruin the one surprise that made me "happy" to see.

    I also liked how Harkness wove Benjamin's story into the snippets of problems that popped up in Books 1 & 2.


    Which character – as performed by Jennifer Ikeda – was your favorite?

    Can't pick just one but I choose Diana, Baldwin and Isabeau.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, The first third of the book is really slow and it picks up in the second third, and then the action takes off towards the end.

    The first part of the story is necessary for the plot build-up so you have bear through it to get to the meatier parts. It is enjoyable enough for the first round of reading, but I doubt I will listen to it again with the same eagerness.


    Any additional comments?


    The narration brings the people to life for me even though some reviewers are complaining about INCONSISTENCIES IN SOME VOICES.

    THESE ARE MINOR PROBLEMS for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Silverstone Washington, DC 07-15-14
    Sarah Silverstone Washington, DC 07-15-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    "Disappointing, Inconsistent, & Irritating So Far"
    What would have made The Book of Life better?

    Such a let down. So so disappointed.


    What was most disappointing about Deborah Harkness’s story?

    Like anyone else currently listening to this audiobook, I've been VERY eagerly and anxiously awaiting its arrival. I'm only about an hour and 40 minutes into it, but I had to stop and take a break because I was getting too irritated. I REALLY want to know what happens with everyone, but I don't know if I am going to be able to get through the book.

    In the first two books, I'd noticed lots of little continuity issues when things didn't match up, either within one book or across the two books. It bothered me, but mostly it didn't interfere with the story or my LOVE of the characters and books. So far, in book 3, I'm having a hard time getting past them.

    Warning, very minor spoilers ahead. They aren't important or anything, since I'm less than 2 hours into a 23 hour book.

    In book 2, we were told that Baldwin even stopped in at the family home while Diana and Matthew were away. Now, suddenly, in book 3, we are supposed to believe that A) Baldwin had NO clue Diana was a time walker, and B) He had NO clue that they had gone back in time, despite the fact that he was hanging out at the house with everyone else who knew. Plus, since he's one of the knights, of course he would know what they had decided to do. Ugh.

    Also, in book 1, Baldwin accepted her as his sister and even called her sister when they said goodbye at the airport. (Don't get me started on the inconsistencies in the "we're mated/we're not mated issue in book 1 and 2.) Yet he's furious that they are married etc?

    That's not the worst though.

    Suddenly, we are told that there's this loud call that all vampires can hear as a result of Felipe's mark on Diana/his adoption of her. Yet, in book 2, Father Hubbard had NO idea she was claimed by a vampire until she told him, and he said he would just take her word for it because no one would lie in a house of God. Also, Louisa didn't believe Diana that Felipe had adopted her in a blood ritual. How is that possible, since this call should have been screaming at her loudly enough to annoy her? The blood rage and opiates can't explain that away.

    Then there are the little things, like randomly Diana is back in her linen shift from 1590, even though they changed into their modern clothes back at her house in Madison. Also, suddenly Matthew is moody and angry and even more unstable than ever, even though at the end of book 2 he was all happy and well-balanced, having healed his wounds with his father, connected fully with Diana with the ritual of taking her blood and so on. The story briefly mentions that having seen Felipe so recently now makes him mourn his loss again. Also, in book 1, it was specifically mentioned that Baldwin has "never set foot in the tower" since Matthew built it, but now in book 3 there's a sword mark on one of the stairs from when he and Matthew fought, and Baldwin charges right in and grabs Diana?

    In book 2, Matthew's unpredictability was partly explained away by the fact that he wasn't drinking from Diana. Once he started doing that, supposedly things were so much better and he "knew" her. Now, he's back to acting like a clueless idiot, needing others to tell him things that he obviously should know. In London, he heard and recognized the steps of two vampires who he hadn't seen in centuries, while they were still outside on the stairs, when Father Hubbard's messengers came to their house. Yet, he had no clue Baldwin was there until he grabbed Diana? Please.

    It also makes no sense that Matthew is so mad at Marcus for mating and getting engaged to Phoebe. No sense at all. And somehow it's supposed to be Marcus' fault that Emily was killed? It's like there's all this contrived drama for the sake of drama.

    Aside from all the issues, the first hour and 40 minutes are just boring. It was too boring and unessential for the start of a book when we should be getting hooked. Like, Mart and Fernando in the kitchen... Normally I love her detailed scenes that take you into their lives, but it was just so unimportant and blah. The story focuses on so many different people, instead of telling it mostly from Diana's perspective. Even when she's in the scene, it was often in 3rd person narrator style. Then, randomly, it went back to "I..." from Diana's perspective.

    And what's up with Cora? Diana had her under control before they left London, and suddenly she's out of control? You could argue that coming back to this time changed things, but Cora was in this time from the beginning since she's been around all of Diana's life. Plus, Gallowglass (sp?) acts like this is typical behavior.


    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HYLA 7 07-15-14
    HYLA 7 07-15-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Had to stop listening and go get the book. :-("
    Any additional comments?

    How Jennifer Ikeda could have forgotten how she did GALLOWGLASS from SHADOW OF NIGHT is a terrible distraction from the start. She interchanges GALLOWGLASS and HAMISH and it is already so confusing to figure out just who is talking that i need to stop listening and go get the book. 2 very DIFFERENT and excellent voices that she created, beautifully, are being squashed together at a time when so much is happening but it's so distracting that it's near impossible to pay attention. Be forewarned...if you LOVE this series and LOVE how Ikeda created these amazing characters, this WILL trip you up in the first 10 minutes of reading. I'll read the book first this time...the audio can wait.

    15 of 24 people found this review helpful
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