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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  65,078 Ratings  ·  6,770 Reviews
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’ 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 except ...more
Hardcover, 561 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Viking Adult (first published July 1st 2014)
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Cam A feminist? Hardly. It's yet another book where the male romantic lead exhibits controlling behaviors reminiscent of abusers that are written off as…moreA feminist? Hardly. It's yet another book where the male romantic lead exhibits controlling behaviors reminiscent of abusers that are written off as "protective," or otherwise explained away ("he's centuries old! he's old fashioned!"). Ugh. So sick of this crap. (Note: I'm not saying I hate the books. I've read all three and I love the witchy parts. I just can't stand controlling, in-the-real-world-he'd-be-an-abuser asshole Matthew.)(less)
Shakya Kayne Just as a tree can be grafted with another tree to make a new species, so can human DNA. Also if you think of our junk DNA as sleepers cells that can…moreJust as a tree can be grafted with another tree to make a new species, so can human DNA. Also if you think of our junk DNA as sleepers cells that can be woken at any time under the right circumstances then you start to get the idea. When a Witch made a child with a Daemon they produce a new species or one with subtle differences and as such new or different abilities. Matthew's human DNA had a sleeper cell that produced blood rage when it was woken by the introduction of Vampire DNA. Hope this helps.(less)
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareThe Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanThe One by Kiera CassCress by Marissa MeyerDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Can't Wait Books of 2014
22nd out of 2,667 books — 15,923 voters
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareThe Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanThe One by Kiera CassCress by Marissa MeyerDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
The "Can't Wait" Books of 2014
18th out of 2,002 books — 5,330 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
What a huge let down this book was. I'm talking EPIC proportion let down.

First of all, I am shocked at all the positive reviews I'm seeing. I feel like we didn't read the same book.

A Discovery of Witches was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I wasn't as much into reading then, and I stumbled across this one while randomly perusing my library for books. I fell in love with the story, the characters, and the magic of it all. I felt like the story was building up for something important, somethi
Feb 15, 2015 Lyndi added it
I'm disappointed that so many people are refusing to read this book because it's taken so long to come out. Shit happens that pushes publication dates back. Lots of shit happens. And some of you guys are acting like it's a personal affront and the author is just trying to piss you off. You're acting like children. No wonder authors hate reviewers. The book hasn't even come out yet and you're already talking trash.
Jul 16, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I am looking forward to this novel with much anticipation and joy.

To all the naysayers and fair weather fans out there, I have a few things to say to you.
1) D.H. is a novelist. While she may blog and update frequently, she must not be treated as an on demand writer. As a reader, it is hard to wait but novelists should be regarded for what they do so well. Let's not treat our dear author as a blogger or fan fictionist.

2) Waiting is part of being a reader. JK Rowling also made readers wait and H
Jul 17, 2014 Dianna rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2015 Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If you truly love someone, you will cherish what they despise most about themselves."

My Diana and Matthew:

Similarly as its predecessors, The Book of Life is another thoughtful and thrilling page-turner. In this final instalment, author will take you on a thought-provoking journey woven into a beautiful paranormal tale that will awaken your imagination and appease even the most demanding readers.

All The de Clermonts (and Bishops) are back in present time, together with their never-ending web o
Jul 18, 2014 Emily rated it it was ok
I'm truly shocked that this book recieved such great reviews. Ms. Harkness still spins a great tale, but I thought the whole of this novel was poorly constructed and lacking substance. The conclusions were tenuous stretches at best and she had a lot of trouble tying everything up at the end given the complexities she'd introduced. As a result of her difficulties (and profitability), it's quite clear from this book that there will be additional novels to join what was to be a 3-book series. This ...more
I guess the good news about Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life is I didn’t throw it across the room in disgust. I couldn't—it's too damn dumb to make me angry. Mostly I shook my head in bewilderment at the overwhelming idiocy. This last book in the trilogy is pretty much the same as the first two: excessive details, wandering plot lines, horrible pacing, paper-thin characters, and fang-less boring vampires. When I finished reading all 561 pages, I thought: what the fuck. How can something this ...more
Feb 28, 2015 Jessica rated it did not like it
What just happened?

I threw this book across the room when I finished reading it. I was so disappointed. I adored A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, but I feel like this book did not tie up any loose ends, answer any questions, or really provide any satisfaction for the build-up of the previous two novels.

A few of my main concerns:

Ashmole 782? (view spoiler)
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

You can win The Book of Life's paperback, All Souls trilogy swags and Diana's commonplace book in Young Adult Hollywood.

In this final conclusion of All Souls trilogy, Diana and Matthew returns to the present time. In Sept-Tours, they reunite with their family, and together, they’ll face the threat of danger, and search for the missing last pages of Ashmole 782.

It’s always a sob-fest to see one of your favorite series come to an end. I’ve read A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night countless
Jan 09, 2014 Kari marked it as to-read
*****************UPDATE 01/09/2014*****************
We have a cover & excerpt!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeeeeek, I’m so freaking excited!!!!!!
Just read the excerpt & it gave me chills, CANNOT FREAKING WAIT!!!!!

*************Update 11/26/2013***********************
Some pre-order updates for THE BOOK OF LIFE. The Nook edition of THE BOOK OF LIFE is now up for pre-order in the US on Barnes & Noble. You can find it by searching under my name and the title. B&am
Jul 19, 2014 Nathan rated it it was ok
This book was flat out boring and a disappointing end to the series. I realized that the series lost it's charm when I was mid way through the book and basically nothing had happened to further the overall story from the previous two books.

The book is written in a mix of first person from Diana's POV and will randomly jump to third person, gets annoying rather quickly.

The menagerie of forgettable characters gets in the way of the overall story. This book felt like Twilight for adults, smotheri
Aug 03, 2014 Phrynne rated it liked it
I had a moment's panic when I started this book because there were so many characters everywhere and I didn't remember any of them! But I persevered and many of them disappeared never to be seen again. The rest fell into place and their identities became apparent. Matthew and Diana however seem to have had character transplants. Overnight they have changed from young lovers to old fuddy duddies and I barely knew them any more. They also spent the entire book overreacting to every event and rushi ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Winnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: waiting-for, 2014
WOW... The wait was worth it!!!!
This was a captivating book...
I think... The end is only the beginning because...
I need this book Like today!!!!...
omg omg faints!
Jul 27, 2014 Liz rated it it was ok
Ok. Ugh. Sigh. Ok. Here's my issue: the first book in this trilogy was SO GREAT, in no small part because I felt like I KNEW Matthew and Diana. There were goings on, and plot , but those things served to further tell me about the characters. In Shadow of Night, and even more so in The Book of Life, the characters exist solely as pawns to move the plot points along. It wasn't until the end of this book that I really felt like we got back to Diana's voice, that this was her story.

Also, I feel lik
Jul 20, 2014 Joeanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A Discovery of Witches, Book I in the All Soul's Trilogy was fresh and creative, a great story. It had some flaws but all in all it was a well built world, an addition to the fictional realm of witch folklore for adults.

Book II Shadow of Night was historical fiction, a name dropping time travel trip filled to the brim with characters from the Crusader states, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the House of Austria, along with a British monarch and her noblemen. It reeked of elitism, classism, intellectua
Darth J
Jul 23, 2014 Darth J rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

"It begins with A Discovery of Witches..."

Between the absinthe-green covers of this tome lies the final chapter of the All Souls Trilogy, where we find Diana and Matthew still on their search for the elusive Book of Life.

Bound in the blood, skin, and hair of daemons, witches, and vampires, the Book of Life is an allegorical alchemical text detailing the history of the three races (henceforth collectively known as the "Bright Born"). Also known as "Ashmole 782" (which sounds like a nigh
Jul 28, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok
I mean, let's face it, this is "Twilight" written by a college professor. The love scenes are embarrassing and clunky, but the archive scenes are hot. All those old books with their archival boxes slowly being removed and their parchment being stroked. The two main characters are tedious and unlikable, but since there are thousands of pages at our disposal, some of them have been filled with other characters you can like. At the end of the day, the plot didn't make a lot of damn sense, but who c ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Andie rated it it was amazing
I finished “The Book of Life.” I held it for a moment longer (book-hugger admission), and then dear friends, I moved on.

It’s not that I’m not still reeling – I am.

Not from the supposed shocking finale, or the usual disappointment that follows a series’ conclusion. This time it was due to my gentle removal from novel-nirvana.

I found no faults here. This fitting end to the trilogy was perfection. I loved every minute of it.

As the reviews trickle in, I will be in good company undoubtedly. In fact
Jul 08, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing
The third book of the trilogy, with a lot of threads to weave together, creatures to sort out, and battles to fight. Deborah Harkness does it all, and then some, with gasp-worthy moments on and off the battlefields that her vampires, witches, and daemons have to populate, and moments of sheer beauty. I am, simultaneously, well-satisfied, and sorry that the trilogy isn't (at least) a quartet.

Wonderful, wondrous, magical, and excellent.

I received an ARC from NetGalley. This is an honest review.
Aug 05, 2014 Allie rated it liked it

Bet you never thought you'd see Jay-Z in a review for "The Book of Life"! Anyway...

3.5 Stars. I liked it (overall...I am pretty sure), but I am going to apologize in advance because this review will most likely end up being a disorganized collection of my thoughts on this book and series, but after finishing it, I don't think I can write it any other way.

First off, I would definitely recommend reading a wiki page about Book 2 in the trilogy before starting the third book. Let me explain - I star

Jennifer Davis
Aug 09, 2013 Jennifer Davis marked it as to-read
Please update the Deborah Harkness website with some new info about the All Souls Trilogy! Ready to read Book 3!
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)

I enjoyed the further adventures of Matthew and Diana - and all the witches, vampires, daemons that are searching for the Book of Life. The trials they go through to figure out DNA of creatures and warmbloods kept me interested and going until the reveal.

I do hope the Bishop-Claimont scion story will continue as the babies grow and learn what and whom they are.

There is more to tell of past lives - so many other tales that need to be told!

Philippe and Ysabeau
May 25, 2015 anieva rated it it was ok
While this book was engrossing despite itself, it was a frustrating book, at least for me. I am not sure why I feel the need to discuss this book, since there are so many frustrating books out there, but here goes...

It read as if less attention had been given it by the author than the first two in her trilogy. So frustrating when that kind of thing happens. It was like, in some ways, an outline of what it could have been, despite its 560 or so pages. There were so many times when I had to try t
Dec 26, 2012 Ashley added it
This needs to come out NOW
Georgia ♥ Team Dex ♥
4 Please Don't Let it Be the End Stars

It began with a Discovery of Witches or a witch in particular...
Then a Shadow passed and it forever changed the Night...
Now the Book of Life opens and nothing will be the same.


"If you truly love someone, you will cherish what they despise most about themselves."


I am borrowing the words of Fernando to start putting into words my feelings as I turned the last page of The Book of Life and realised that my journey in this series that spanned eons and times, sp
A disappointment, I'm very sorry to say

2-1/2 stars, generously rounded to 3 in consideration of the previous 2 books

I was so looking forward to the publication of this, the final book in the All Souls trilogy. I reread books 1 & 2 this spring as I impatiently waited for Delivery Day. So I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when I finally got the chance to read The Book of Life.

Perhaps the kindest way of explaining my response is that I COULD put this book down. It took me a week to finis
Bookworm Sean
I was fortunate enough to get this book for free as a first reads winner. And what a conclusion it provides
Stephanie Swint
Jul 27, 2014 Stephanie Swint rated it it was amazing
(Release Date July 15, 2014)

Where to start, where to start, where to start....well, let's start at the beginning. This is the third and final installment of the 'All Souls Trilogy' by Deborah Harkness. If you have not read 'Discovery of Witches' that is where this beautiful group of books begins. If you have read it, you may have loved it, or possibly came away a little lukewarm due to the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed 's Discovery of Witches' and badgered quite a few like-minded people until t
Feb 11, 2015 Britany rated it liked it
The third and final installment in the All Souls Trilogy was my favorite (and that's stretching it!). I lost major interest in this series after trekking SLOWLY through the second book- too mired with extra characters, places, and themes to even make this series feel like it connected.

This book tied everything back together. I enjoyed finding out what happens to all of the characters, and how their lives have changed. The Book of Life itself had a neat ending, and while I found a few sections fa
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My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found mys ...more
More about Deborah Harkness...

Other Books in the Series

All Souls Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)
  • Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)

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“I see you, even when you hide from the rest of the world. I hear you, even when you're silent.” 25 likes
“It’s one thing to wander in the darkness because you know no different, but it’s quite another to enjoy the light only to have it taken from you,” 6 likes
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