Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review of: A Discovery of Witches, By: Deborah Harkness

Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking, By Penguin Group
Released: 2011
Summary: Diana Bishop is a scholar whose expertise lies in the understanding and study of old alchemy texts. She is in Oxford doing research for a speech that she will give in a few months time. One day, while in the library, an extra book has been added to her study stack, the Ashmole 782 which has been lost for centuries. Not only does Diana have her doctorate, she is also a witch who doesn't use her magic. Ashmole 782 is filled with magic, it's essentially a bewitched book. Diana has broken the spell of Ashmole 782 and this surge of power has called all the creatures to Oxford to discover the secret of the book that has been hidden for so long. Matthew, a vampire, answers the call of the book and meets Diana and feels an instant attraction to her. Diana and Matthew band together making a forbidden pairing of witch and vampire. They must protect themselves, discover the secrets of Ashmole 782, and protect the book from falling into the wrong hands. Diana also must learn to control her awakening power that has lain dormant for so long. As Diana and Matthew's bond strengthens, so too does the danger that surrounds them. They must protect each other and figure out the secrets hidden within Ashmole 782 before it's too late.
My Thoughts: I felt a tremendous amount of bookcitement for A Discovery of Witches, and found the first few chapters promising, but then everything went to crap. This story proved to be a major disappointment and didn't live up to the hype that surrounded it.
One major problem I had with the book was there wasn't enough action in it. The pacing was soooo slow. There would be pages and pages consisting of nothing but Diana sitting and studying in the library, being sleepy or hungry, and once she started being with Matthew a lot, endless passages about the taste and texture of wine. Those sections got repetitive and boring. The book had too many sections where nothing of importance was happening and I think a lot of those scenes should have been removed before the final printing. That might sound harsh, but the novel was 579 pages! If a book is that long, it has to be filled with enough action and suspense to keep the reader reading and this just wasn't. There were many times when I was tempted to just stop reading. The only reason I stuck with it is because once I start a book, I feel I have to finish it. 
I didn't feel a great likeness for the main characters of Diana and Matthew. They were both horrible in controlling their emotions, almost bipolar sometimes. Their love story at times made me gag with the stupid things they said to each other. Calling each other husband and wife when they never married and the only real commitment was exchanging words of love was cheesy and gagworthy.
The ending of the book was also a disappointment in that there was no ending, only a setup for the next book. I have no intention of reading the next book. I don't care what happens to Diana and Matthew as they go [Spoiler Alert] timewalking in the 1500s. Overall, I expected something much better and more magical from this book and was extremely disappointed. If you really want to read it, I would suggest borrowing it from a library instead of buying it.
Also, this book ate up my reading time for the month of March, taking me a couple of weeks at least. So be warned, this book is a boring mammoth of a read and won't be finished quickly.
A waste of time.

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