Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: The Book of Life

Title: The Book of Life
Series: All Souls #3
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published by: Headline on 15th July 2014
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Check it out on Goodreads

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration, this in no way affects my opinion of the book.*

Goodreads Synopsis: 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 thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller 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.

My Thoughts: I found this an enjoyable and fitting, if somewhat strange, end to the trilogy.

I enjoyed all the characters in this book, even the ones I hated and was hoping that Matthew would rip their heads off. I cried at the re-introduction of a character from book two that I thought we would never see again.

As with the other two books, I enjoyed all the sciencey bits that sent me to google a few times. Also, as with the first two, I think that some of the description and academic talk could have been left out to slimline the plot a bit. Even though I understand why some of the academic stuff is in there, what with the two main characters being academics and all.

I found the reveal of the significance of Ashmole 782 or The Book of Life, to be anti-climactic and a little bit weird.I don't even know what happened in that particular scene, it was just too strange. It was a bit of a let down really, because since the first book I have been dying to know why the manuscript is so important and I expected more of a bombshell.

You make notice a theme with my feelings on these books - that despite their flaws, they are just jolly good fun and I enjoyed them regardless. Sometimes it's OK to judge books simply on their entertainment value, and these books are nothing if not entertaining.


  1. When a friend recommended A Discovery of Witches to me a few year ago, she said it was an "intellectual vampire story" and I was completely convinced by that! But I've got a fear of BIG BOOKS so I've been putting it on hold for a while. And then poof! The final book is out! So glad to hear that you enjoyed reading this despite its flaws, those sometimes make for the most memorable reads :))

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

    1. They may be big, but they read really quick and yeah they are quite memorable, I actually miss a couple of the characters ;-)

  2. Now that the final book is released, I'll be able to start the series :)


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