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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1)
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Buddy Reads Archive > A Discovery of Witches - 9/22 - **SPOILERS**

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message 1: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish (last edited Sep 19, 2012 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Nomad and I will be reading A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES beginning on Saturday, 9/22.

Any and all are welcome to join us!


Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new) - added it

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
They have this on audio at my library. I'll peek in to see what you all think!

message 3: by Kayla (new) - added it

Kayla (kaylasplace) Oooh I think I'll be adding this to my TBR list!

PepperP0t i need an excuse to read this it has been on my reader forever, I keep putting it off. count me in!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Pat wrote: "i need an excuse to read this it has been on my reader forever, I keep putting it off. count me in!"


Tammy | 395 comments I'd like to join in, I've heard good things :)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Awesome, Tammy! Glad to have you!!!

message 8: by Nomad (last edited Sep 20, 2012 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nomad I was offline for Rosh Hoshannah and come back to this pretty thread. And is it just me, or does this book cover make anyone else want to go buy an antique grandfather clock?

It's probabally just me.

Anyone who wants to join us is welcome and the more the merrier as I like to say when I entertain.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish When I look at that cover I want to go out back, spread a blanket on the lawn and look at the stars.

message 10: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Loves 'Em Lethal (new) - added it

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 9732 comments Mod
It makes me think of constellations too, D.

Nomad Discovery of Witches is downloaded onto my nook and I start tonight after the kidlets have gone to bed. I've been really looking forward to this!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I was just coming here to say....... I have officially started!

Tammy | 395 comments I'm starting tonight too

PepperP0t I'll start this later tonight as well.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I didn't get too far in and we're leaving for my grandson's birthday party, but I'm looking forward to reading more tonight.

PepperP0t ok, is it just me not loving this? it took forever to get out of the library

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Honestly, Pat, I had a busy day yesterday and when I laid down to read it, I fell asleep. Not sure it was the book or me, though. Today I'll get more done.

It's a long book... 500+ pages, right?

Tammy | 395 comments Several people have told me that it starts off really slow

PepperP0t yup its long, but some books don't seem long after you "connect" with the story and/or characters.

PepperP0t Tammy wrote: "Several people have told me that it starts off really slow"

it does!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I see what you mean about 'still in the library' and I'm hoping all this world building will be done soon so we can get on with the story.

~Megan~ (megadee) | 1084 comments Mod
It starts off extremely slow....stick with it, though, cause it gets really good about a third of the way in!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish It seems like it will be a great story once it gets going.

Heather (heathermb) | 21 comments I started it on audio a couple days myself and am about 3/4 done. I'm loving it but have to agree that it's a slow start. Once you get in to the cadence of the story though, the world building is extremely detailed and believable.

The author blends historical and scientific fact with fantasy so well it's hard to distinguish the difference sometimes and even what should be the driest of explanations about details within DNA or alchemy aren't dry at all and instead hold our attention with a magical, dream-like quality.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm intrigued by the vampire in the library.

Nomad Can I move into that library? I'm one of those people who can really get into what I call setting porn. And this library makes me drool.

PepperP0t i actually finished yesterday. I confess it was moving so slowly I wanted to give up but I'm glad I didn't. I did like Matthew.

Tammy | 395 comments UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "I'm intrigued by the vampire in the library."

Me too!!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm finally at 11%. Normally I would have finished a book by now, if I liked it, but this is taking forever. I will keep going at it, though.

Can someone tell me when I can expect it to pick up?

Nomad You can finish a book that fast? Wow. I usually take a week to get through one. I yearn for the days of uninterrupted reading time

PepperP0t once you get out of the library it does speed up, but it took me two days which was long - it was the only book i was reading.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Yeah, this is the only book I'm reading, too. I can read three books simultaneously, as long as they are different genres and good, in a week's time.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Okay, how are the rest of you doing?

I'm at 20+% and so glad I stayed with it. I'm loving the world that the author created, the way the different species view each other and how they all dislike each other... a PNR version of racism.

I'm looking forward to learning more about their origins!

Nomad Alright, the High Holy Days are over and I stayed up till right now, 1:37am reading my butt off. I'm hooked!

1. Oh yeah Dhes, the PNR version of racism is a really intruging way to look at racism in a fresh way. I have to give her credit for the new approach.

2. I love this quote: "There is no force greater than fear.". It's so very true and I had to put my nook down to think on it for a bit. Fear is really running the book right now, all the groups are afraid of something, and they're afraid that someone else might get to the holy grail of knowledge before they do. Fear truly is one the most powerful things out there... though I would have to say that I think that greed trumps fear.

3. The whole magic versus science theme is another way that the author has taken a real world concern and put a PNR/UF spin on it. This time it's the faith versus science debate. I like Matthew's approach, that the best scientists mix both.

4. I'm on page 261 currently and there are 2 certain baddies that I'm HATING. And I do love a book that gives me juicy villians to loathe.

5. Diane makes me laugh. I love how she reacts to Matthew. Yes there is distrust, but I fully understand why she's like that. The entire supernatural world in this book is operating on a system of distrust. But once she accepts him, I adore how she subtely keeps proving that she's no fainting damsel, she's untrained and vulnerable... but she's not letting that stop her. It's watching the hero actually decide to become the hero. And I use hero as in the heroic character usage, not male protaginist good guy usage. I hate the word heroine... it makes me think of the drug.

6. Matthew is more the type of heroic vampire I like to see. He's a predator and humans, witches, daemons and animals can all become food with little provication. But I also like how he's changed with the times, he was once a warrior and is now a scientist. Grant you, a scientist who can ruin your world, but still a man of science nevertheless. It's about time the scientists of the world got a kickass hero of their very own!

7. Lastly... I wanna live at Oxford and roam the library. And I firmly think it's unfair that I can't. *Insert image of me stomping my feet like a 3 year old.*

I'm going to stop gushing now. I blame this rambling post on staying up too late with my nose in a book.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Nomad, your points 2 & 3 are what I'm enjoying most about the story. The leaders of all three species have, through the centuries, used that fear, that lack of knowledge regarding their origins, to perpetuate that fear. "Well, we were born this way and you had to be changed to be what you are so that validates our existence, therefore the knowledge belongs to us!" (My words)

So far there's no doubt I'll be continuing the trilogy.

Nomad I'll be continuing it too, no doubts.

I'm also very intruiged by the daemons as well. I quite like Hamish and Agatha. It sounds like they have a very hard time when they come into their powers and it was a bit sad how Agatha emphasized so much in her conversation how lucky her son was to have been born to a daemon mother.

I know it's a play on how the myths on demons could have started without them actually being denizens of hell. However, they also seem very close to the stories of changelings. You know, the tales of fairie babies left with human families in place of the original child.

Nomad Alright, I'm at page 467 of 588. I'm nearing the finish line and thus far I'm VERY pleased with this book.

Tammy | 395 comments I haven't gotten very far, but I plan to catch up this weekend :)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Life is getting in the way of reading. I'm only 40% but I am loving the story! I really hope we get some romance between Di and Matthew

Teresa (teresatheduchessofread) | 91 comments Just finished this book a couple of weeks ago. I really liked it. It would have been up super love if it hadn't been such a slow start then it really picked up and then it got slow again and then it picked up and i think you get the point.

It was different then so many of the romance novels out there right not. The thing I liked most is that Matthew obviously has controlling tendencies but doesn't try to control Diane. Which I appreciate as a modern day independent woman. This whole theme in romance novels were the heroine lets the hero control her life in every way is total crap (Hello, Christian Grey)! Or when they let them pull stupid stuns like removing the spark plugs for their cars so they can't visit another friend who happens to be male (I'm talking to you Edward Cullen).

I really liked that she is a strong independent woman. Who knows her own mind and body. Who falls in love but doesn't give up who she is because of it. Which seems to be another trend in romance novels that I don't like.

It also felt like a smart read. Like I felt like I was back in college in a class I loved with a super hot professor giving the lecture a few times. Who didn't have the hot professor fantasy? And heaven help me but Matthew would be one hell of a hot prof!

So overall I thought it was pretty darn good. So good in fact I actually bought the second book because I didn't want to wait 6 months to get it from the library.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Okay, 90% and I am truly enjoying this story. I love the very unique world and the characters. Their conflicts are also unique and I am honestly so, so drawn to Diana and Matthew!

I'm excited to see how this all plays out!!

Nomad I just realized that I forgot the hero was Matthew and not Micheal. Oops.

I finished the book and I'm trying to figure out if I can hold off on buying the sequel till the paperback comes out and thus the e-book will be less too. I'm not sure if I can though.

I love Ysabeau. I love that the hero's badass mother puts him in his place. Then she turns right around and put Diana in her's. Not a dynamic you see a lot.

I was afraid there would be no more Hamish and Agatha, and then Hamish shows up and Agatha is sort of like their inside man, woman.... whatever.

I rarely find a book that has an entire cast of characters that I enjoy, but this one did. Even when one would annoy me, they would make up for it later. There was something to love AND dislike about each of them, including Matthew and Diana. Nobody was too perfect and nobody was a prat.

Lastly, this writer has a way with describing her settings that's fabulous! The Bodlien library, the residence halls, Marcus and Miriam's lab, Sarah and Emily's house, Ysabeau's castle in France, Matthew's home. It's like I could smell them.

Did anyone else love the idea of witches, daemons and vampires doing yoga? I did!

Teresa (teresatheduchessofread) | 91 comments Nomad wrote: "Did anyone else love the idea of witches, daemons and vampires doing yoga? I did!"

I did, I did! It was one of my favorite parts. And I had the most interesting mental images going through my mind during that part. Mostly because I was thinking of all the characters in old movie garb. Like Matthew had a cape, the lady vamps looked like Elvira, the daemons had horns and were a bad shade of red, and the witches had on black dresses and pointy hats.

Nomad Some people hated the yoga thing, but I just lurved it! One thing that this novel had that many UF books don't is normal, everyday life. Just because someone is a vampire or a witch or what-have-you, doesn't mean every moment of their day is all gothy and dramatic. Sometimes you do yoga, sometimes you hand out candy at Halloween, sometimes you get irritated and snap at someone for no good reason.

I liked that this was in there.

Tammy | 395 comments Nomad wrote: "Some people hated the yoga thing, but I just lurved it! One thing that this novel had that many UF books don't is normal, everyday life. Just because someone is a vampire or a witch or what-have-yo..."

I agree...it does seem that the characters in UF usually have pretty dramatic days full of fighting the baddies in the supernatural community.

I'm at 47% and I'm really enjoying this...I haven't had as much time to read as I'd like because of stupid work :(

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm glad you're enjoying it, Tammy!

I loved it for all the same reasons Nomad did. Such a great story!

Nomad How much more do you have left Dhes? And did you put in for the a inter-library loan for the sequel?

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I finished it the other day! I PMd you and told you when I did! :)

message 49: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish (last edited Oct 04, 2012 03:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish And yes, I'm trying to get it from the library.

Here in So Cal the libraries won't loan outside of the county you're in. Did you know that?

Nomad No, I didn't. That's really strange. The three libraries that I live near are huge, so I rarely need to do an inter-library loan. I wish you had a nook, I'd just loan you my version once I get it and read it. I got an early birthday gift from my step-father. Can you say Barnes and Noble gift card??!!

I think I may have accidentally deleted your pm without reading it. One of the groups I belong to sent out their newsletter and I got 15 copies of the pm. So I did a mass delete.

Sorry mi amiga!

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