Heather's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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's review
Sep 17, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read2011, grown-up-books, sciencefiction
Read in September, 2011

This book had such potential, but fell a little short. The premise was great--think a mash-up of Twilight and The Historian. Take the romance and vampire elements of Twilight, the cool historical part from the Historian without the slow pacing, and throw in some witches and you have this book.

I liked the mechanics of this world. The explanations for vampires, daemons, witches and where their power comes from were logical and unique (maybe not unique, but well put). The science and descriptions of the 'feel' of the different creatures was intriguing. I loved that Diana was so bookish (how can I not love someone who spends so much time in the library-bit of a connection for me).

The history parts were fun, but it was terribly convenient that a vampire who has lived for so long knew just about every famous philosopher, scientist, and world leader personally.

But...Diana was quite immature and annoying at times. Diana is a very powerful witch who has decided to ignore her powers and live a 'normal' life. When she discovers a magical manuscript the whole magical world is suddenly very interested. Dianna meets Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, and a myriad of other characters that would do anything to get their hands on the manuscript as well.

I got tired of reading the descriptions of Alchemy, Diana's spellcasting and connections to the elements. Also the descriptions of how things smell, and listing every wine Diana and Matthew tasted could have been parred down.

All this being said, I'll still probably read the next book.

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