A Discovery of Witches Online by Deborah Harkness Click Here to Download the Book 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.
Reviews A Discovery of Witches seems to be one of those books that you either love or hate. And the many of the haters accuse it of being a "Twilight" knock-off. In my opinion, it takes more that the male main character being a vampire to be like Twilight. So this isn't really like Twilight at all. Harkness reveals an alternate reality that contains witches, vampires and demons. And while these species are united in wanting to remain hidden to the humans, they are separate species and want to maintain their separateness. The thought is that if two or more different "creatures" spend time together, the humans will have to notice the 3 kinds of creatures. But the excitement and interesting-ness and mystery begin when a witch who is in denial of her powers, ends up trying to solve a mystery with a vampire--who also becomes a love interest. I hate giving any plot details away in a review. But this was all stuff I knew before I read a word of the book. This is the first of a trilogy, I believe. And the end of this book isn't a tidy little chapter end. You know who some multi volume books will end with some details all wrapped up and a few loose strings that make you want to read the next book? Not this one. I had originally thought I'd wait until the next book came out to start this one. But I didn't. And in the long run, I'm okay with that. There are enough unique and interesting details in this alternative universe that I feel this in an original work. And all the characters, minor characters, good guys, bad guys, etc, are 3 dimensional. The ever more complex plot is revealed in layers, keeping the reader interested and curious. I can't wait for the next installment. July 2012: I re-read this book in preparation for the second book. I have to confess, I have become sick and tired of books with vampires. It's like some "Write Books on This Topic and Make a Lot of Money" list put vampires at the top of the list. And I have become so burnt out on vamps. So I wasn't sure how I would feel reading this one again. But, Harkness has, in my opinion, made a more grown up vampire book. Not grown up like 50 shades of Grey. And certainly not young adult like Twilight. I think it is the academic research that continued to be a focus in this book that kept me interested. Being so long, it occasionally dragged, but as the plot continued to circle back to solving the mystery that is Diana, it kept my interest and felt different and completely unique from the vast morass that is popular vampire fiction today.
So before you take this review as 100% fact you need to know that I like any book that has witches in it. If a book has witches in it, it usually bumps it up at least one full star in my book. That being said, I quite enjoyed this book. I didn’t realized until after I finished it that there is a lot of hype surrounding it and had I known that going into it I might not have thought so highly of it. I had just noticed the book on a lot of my friends read or to read lists and I saw the word “Witches” and that is about all it took. I liked all the characters, Especially Dianna, and her aunts were great too. Every single one of the characters had depth to them and an individual voice. There were parts of the book that dragged. But because of my insatiable curiosity about witch lore, even some of the dull parts I found fascinating. I liked the historical aspect of the book. I will definitely be looking for the next one when it is released. If you are like me and have an affinity for everything witch, then you don’t want to miss this book. If not, well, it’s not bad, but you might be really bored in parts of it. I would say it is definitely worth a consideration either way though.
What I can say about it? I finished reading it less than an hour and at the moment I want to read book two ASAP. I read it in less that 24 hours! It is true that if you start reading it you cannot put it down. Deborah Harkness is a very skilled writer. The fact that she is a historian is a bonus since she knows her field in an excellent way. Throughtout the pages you can fully see that Mrs Harkness is someone who did A LOT of research. I was not familiar with a lot of things but the way she handle all this information and the way she explained things, it was easy for the reader to follow the plot. I don't like to give spoilers away but the book is amazingly woven together.You will enjoy reading it. Just a warning! Don't start reading it during a weekday...It is impossible to put it down and do something else...
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