Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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Jan 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audible, urban-fantasy

While Harkness has weaknesses as a writer (most notably a tendency for dense exposition), the story and characters are engaging and the world is interesting with a refreshing take on what could have been a rather pedestrian mythos. Diana, our heroine, is naive for her age and academic position, but her naivety is reasonable aspect of her history and circumstances. Matthew is very assertive, but that, too, is natural and unlike many in this genre it is visibly motivated by his attachment to his family and friends—and, he’s both teachable and fundamentally kind.

Even better, however, is that narrator Jennifer Ikeda is truly talented with both accents and emotions. With characters ranging from France to Australia, Scotland to India, it was rewarding to find that Ikeda handled the rich variety with professional aplomb. Each character and accent remained distinct even during emotional exchanges and so naturally that it was only after the fact that I realized how difficult the performance had to have been. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for her participation in other works.
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2011 – Started Reading
March 11, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 5, 2012 – Shelved
February 2, 2012 – Shelved as: audible
February 2, 2012 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Jessica Before I commented on your review, I put on some workout clothes and then went rowing for a while, to clear my head. Then I made a cup of tea, put on some black leggings and a black sweater, and sat on the sofa for a while, thinking about books. Then I drank the tea, slowly, and thought about doing some yoga....


Jacob Proffitt Jessica wrote: "Before I commented on your review, I put on some workout clothes and then went rowing for a while, to clear my head. Then I made a cup of tea, put on some black leggings and a black sweater, and sat on the sofa for a while, thinking about books. Then I drank the tea, slowly, and thought about doing some yoga.... "

Wow. That was elaborate. Feel free to blast away if it'll make you feel better. This is mostly from three years ago and probably showed up now because I added the narrator info from my Audible review to the bottom. I stand by the opinion, but I know a lot of people can't stand it. It's one of those divisive books where some people are distracted by things they like and miss the bad stuff and others are distracted by the things they hate and miss the good stuff.


Jessica I actually loved the lushness of the writing, and the story, but felt like her editor should have stepped in at one point and said, save the wine tasting for the blog, and let's all just assume she's wearing black leggings, since you've already said that's all she owns three times. I really want to read the others, but at the same time, I feel like I need to gear up, clear a chunk of time on my schedule, since I've heard the other two move even slower.


Jacob Proffitt Jessica wrote: "since I've heard the other two move even slower."

Ouch. Just. Ouch.


Jessica What? Everyone's saying that!


Jacob Proffitt Jessica wrote: "What? Everyone's saying that!"

Ah. That wasn't aimed at you or any kind of condemnation. I understood that as a comment with diffused responsibility. The ouch was a generalized one...


Jessica Generalized ouching . . . a sort of overall malaise if you will...


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