Jen3n's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Aug 12, 12

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy, other

Oh, for f*cks sake.

The people who write "paranormal romance" should market themselves a little more honestly so those of us looking for urban fiction or literary fantasy know not to f*cking bother.

I am really tired of books with a female lead centering entirely on upon whose peni her life should rotate. So to speak. If the main character in this book had been a man, the story would have been mainly about a magic user from a long line of magic users who eschews his supernatural powers in order to make it in the human world using his mind, along the way discovering a secret and ancient book that describes the origins of all the supernatural creatures, giving them a source and a feeling of belonging in the world. Or whatever. But, because the character is female, we only get 18 pages in the book before she is throbbing with the power of some hot, ancient, broody man who will be rude and possessive and sexually magnetic for the next 600 pages.

Christ on a pogo stick: it IS possible to write a modern fantasy without weird love triangles and vampire sex. I swear. I wouldn't lie about this. Please try the works of Neil Gaiman or China Mieville. You can even have a fantasy book staring a woman in a modern setting who can use magic without it being about sex. I recommend as an example Practical Magic. Not the movie, though that's okay, but the book.

I don't think this would have bothered me so much except the author then takes us down the rest of the god-awful "paranormal romance" tropes. Or maybe it's "traps" because I can't imagine they all chose to do these things on purpose: the main character is constantly self-describing as independent and strong, but all she can do under pressure is cry and be rescued. And then somewhere along the way she discovers that she is TEH GREATEST WITCH E-VAR!!!1!!!1!!!OMG.

Also: I'm really tired of being disappointed in books. I really should stop having expectations. Is this book really a one star book? No. It's maybe a two star. Three, even if this is what I wanted to read. And sometimes, you know, I really do need something where I can just turn my brain off and go with. But I guess I was mislead into thinking this was slightly more literary and slightly less "Twilight for people who pretended to hate Twilight." Or whatever.

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