Jenn's Reviews > Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Aug 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, highlyrecommend, vampiresupernatural, romance
Read in August, 2012

I loved nearly every minute of this novel! I loved the first book in the series and this one did not disappoint. The vivid detail put me right into the time period - most of the time it takes place in the 16th century - and the characters - both real and fictional - really came to life. Much of the plot takes place in my favorite city - London - and I reveled in it! The details of Diana learning to use her magic were also intriguing and that part of the novel - meeting the London witches and working with those delightful characters - as well as her and Matthew's interactions with people from his past (I really, really loved Gallowglass and Henry Percy, in particular) - were what riveted me the most. The humor and light touches were fun - I especially enjoyed their exasperation over integrating the young scamp, Jack, into their household, and chortled with delight over Diana's explanation of 21st century vampire literature to Matthew - some fun parody moments! So, why not five stars? Well, this is a looooong novel, and while I happily immersed myself in the carefully researched detail, some sections I felt were unnecessarily long. I also felt there were some annoying, repetitive issues in Matthew and Diana's relationship. Also, I was extremely frustrated that one of the major traumatic events (no spoilers here, just a hint) that had happened in the 21st century was only barely mentioned. I assume that it will be touched on more in the next novel, but with so much detail given to other, less emotionally signficant flash-forward? chapters, I was disappointed to only have a teaser. But, the biggest difficulty I had was Matthew and Diana's lack of a sense of urgency with accomplishing their goals in the past - I know that part of the reason they are there is to regroup with all the dangers facing them in the 21st century, so it's a good place to hide, yet the longer they stay in the past, the greater the chance for creating dangerous problems changing or impacting the future. I appreciated that towards the end of their stay, this was pointed out to them and hastened their return, but it caused me a lot of stress that for a historian, Diana seemed less concerned than I felt she should be over creating lasting historical impacts. Overall, though, I did NOT want the novel to end and I can't wait for the next one!
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