A short, entertaining read, especially if you like the urban fantasy mystery crime whatever subgenre. But I did feel like I was getting hit over the hA short, entertaining read, especially if you like the urban fantasy mystery crime whatever subgenre. But I did feel like I was getting hit over the head a little too hard with the nerd/geek culture references. Too many names dropped too many times; it got distracting....more
A friend pitched this on Facebook thusly: "If you're looking for fun, well written wish fulfillment for women who love academia, let me recommend A DiA friend pitched this on Facebook thusly: "If you're looking for fun, well written wish fulfillment for women who love academia, let me recommend A Discovery of Witches." She later added: "This book is quite literally what happened when a historian who has read Eco read Twilight on a dare and said, 'Hey, what if, instead of being an insecure teenager, Bella had been an adult woman with a real education and her own chops, and when Edward started being a freak she smacked him upside the head? Oh and also let's add a plot.'"
Which was more than enough to prompt me to run off and read it. I was not disappointed. The Twilight reference was apt; there are many elements that the series share. That said--everything changes with context.
Diana Bishop (descended from Bridget Bishop of the Salem trials) is doing post-doctorate research on the history of alchemy at Oxford's Bodleian Library in preparation for a keynote speech she's supposed to give, rather than being a teenage girl who likes to tote around a copy of Wuthering Heights. She's also a witch, well aware of the existence of vampires and able to distinguish them from humans.
Matthew de Clairmont is certainly not a broody teenager trapped in a 100-year-old vampire's body. He's somewhere around 1500 years old and has put all those years to very good use. He doesn't skulk around in an infinite loop of high school (admittedly partly because he was older when he was made, but still); he's a highly-respected researcher in multiple fields, besides having managed to make friends with many of the best minds of Europe's history and get involved with a surprising number of world events.
There is no evidence of werewolves as yet, and thus no Jacob-analogue either. The author is pretty clear that there are only three kinds of "creature" (i.e. supernatural being): witches, vampires, and daemons. Wolf pack behavior does get highlighted quite a bit, but it's rolled into the vampire mythos--which is really interesting in and of itself. In fact, Matthew's got some dominance and protection issues, and these get explained in part by the way vampire clan behavior mirrors wolf pack behavior.
And while Diana does need the occasional rescue and will go along with Matthew's directives, she's also not shy about telling him when he's being creepy or overstepping. Which doesn't always go over well, but since she's pushing back the effect is more of tension between people and less of him just being controlling. They're a couple who came together rather quickly finding the balance of their relationship. It makes sense.
I could go on, but I hope by now you get the idea. I'm not going to say this was the best thing ever or that it's my new favorite book, but it was certainly a fun read. Definitely recommended....more