Sunday, October 23, 2011

Audiobook Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Intelligent heroine, library intrigue and vampires. Why is this not my favorite book?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Genre: Paranormal romance
Length: 24h 02m
Audio Publisher: Penguin Audio, 2011
Read by: Jennifer Ikeda
From: Audible

Story: Diana Bishop is a professor on sabbatical at Oxford researching alchemical texts. During her study, she comes across Ashmole 782. She returns it to the stacks, but soon finds every witch, demon and vampire in England wants to get their hands on that manuscript, especially Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist who has been looking for the Ashmole for 150 years. He needs Diana to get it.

Thoughts: Intelligent heroine, library intrigue, and vampires are exactly what I want in a book. I love the thought of vampires working in research labs. They're perfect for it! The late-night hours, antisocial behavior, and decade-long projects fit right in with immortal night owls. Thought somehow the laboratorians I know are not as amazingly handsome or snappily dressed as the ones in A Discovery of Witches. It seems everyone in this book is perfect, especially the heroine Diana. She has a photographic memory, teaches at Yale, and is a witch. Only she doesn't use her witch powers because that would somehow be cheating on her massive intellect.

This is the first book in a series, so after setting up the search for Ashmole 782, the book completely abandons that plot to concentrate on the vampire romance. I don't care for paternalistic love interests, and it was too bad Diana stopped being an intelligent professional as soon as a hot guy entered the room. It was also weird how much the hot guy loves yoga.

Reading: I hadn't listened to Jennifer Ikeda before, but did a great job on the reading. She puts in just the right amount of elitism into her reading of Diana, and I really liked her elitist male voices, too.

Final thoughts: A Discovery of Witches is less Da Vinci Code and more Twilight: The College Years, but there are indications the next book will be Outlander with vampires.

Grade: 3 out of 5

The Oddiophile has a fantastic flow chart to help you decide if you should read Discovery of Witches. I wish I had seen it before I started!

Murder, monsters and mayhem is the darling of the fabulous Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelves while Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings is the mastermind behind RIP VI.

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