A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1) A Discovery of Witches discussion


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Just started - not sure if I can keep going...

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Readingmom Hello, fellow readers! I'm a few pages into this novel. I was so excited to read it; I have heard great things, and I tend to like supernatural witchy stories. But I am just not feeling it; I think I don't like D. Harkness's writing style.

Should I keep going? Is the story REALLY amazing, possibly allowing me to soon see past the writing that I don't like? Or should I give this book a pass?

I appreciate any help! Thank you for taking the time to read my question. :)


Alina Hello. I know what you mean. I started this book back in Feb., and so far only made it to page 185. I'm determined to read it though, hoping it will grab me more than it has so far. I found I kept putting it aside to do/read something more interesting.


Priscilla Herrington Hmmmm - I loved this book but I encountered it as an audio book. It seemed fast paced over all, but there were certainly times where I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. For me, that did not detract from the book - rather, I felt that I, like the characters, was waiting...and the suspense was building!

I haven't yet read the sequels so I don't know whether there is something off-putting about Harkess' writing style. I do know that most of my friends who enjoyed the book particularly enjoyed the academic details - and those who didn't found they did not care that much about university libraries!


Covingtoncat73 For what it is worth, I enjoyed the book at lot but could see how you might be waiting for something to happen at times. I agree with Priscilla.

Also, if you can manage it, I thought the second book, Shadow of Night, was even better. I liked "Discovery" but I loved "Shadow."

That being said, different people like different writing styles and subjects. There is no reason to slog on with something you really aren't liking and no shame in not liking a book or not finishing a book you don't like.


Readingmom Okay, thanks you guys! All of your comments have been extremely helpful. I think this book just isn't for me, and I'm going to give it a pass, but I really appreciate all of the input.


Tarri I have read both books twice (preparing for the third installment). I love the series.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I am anxiously waiting for the 3rd installment! This is really an outstanding series.
But I do find that when starting to read a new author hard on the heels of the book I just finished it takes me some time to get used to them.
I'm an avid read with a wide interest so this happens to me a lot.
I always give my self a chance to adjust before dropping a book.


Cynthia W Oh my gosh! I LOVED this book & the sequel. Am waiting very impatiently for the last book of the trilogy.


Myla Delappe I think the 1st book is a little slow, but it did take me a little while to get into. Hang in there, book 2 is better!


SpookySoto It's Boring, slow paced and nothing really happens. I finished it because I'm in a book club, but otherwise I wouldn't have. I won't be reading the others.


Brizo I don't think it's slow at all. I got the audio book and couldn't stop playing it. It had me totally captivated. Although I thought the ending was a bit weak; I realize it was a lead in to book 2 but it left book one without a concrete conclusion. Luckily I had the next book too in audio book format and that one really was great. I think if I was reading them (vs. someone reading it to me) it might of gone slower. But I find this so interesting I can't stop listening.


Dusty Bibliophile I find that listening to a dull read on an audiobook will sometimes do the trick to make it better. A performer can take text that is a slog to read something at least worthwhile to listen to. Still, I find this [audio]book a bit of a slog to listen to. I'm currently on disk eight (Diana and Matthew have had their first full day in France) and had to turn the radio on to find some excitement.

If the book is a burden to read, then stop. Spend your time on a book you find enjoyable. There are millions of books out there and you will only have the chance/time to read a miniscule fraction. Spend your time for your own benefit.


message 13: by Sosa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sosa Finish reading it, it's worth it.


message 14: by Angel (new) - rated it 1 star

Angel S I had to put it down as well, I made it 1/3 of the way through. I may try it again at some point, but I have so much on my to be read list that I just couldn't waste any more time on something that I just wasn't enjoying


message 15: by G.E. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.E. Beyers I totally enjoyed both A discovery of witches and Shadow of night. I love the authors writing style but I have always enjoyed historical fiction. Mixing fact with fiction is an art in itself. Deborah Harkness obviously calls on her experience as a historian and as an academic who very obviously knows her stuff. This can seem a little heavy for readers who enjoy a lighter read and not something so intense. I found the 1st chapter a little deep but I persevered and once I got used to the style of writing I was thoroughly hooked. Now waiting on book 3 and I hope there are many more books to come. I'm a big Ann Rice fan but now Deborah Harkness has become my new obsession. Give her a chance.


message 16: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary This book was very hard to get through for me.


Andrea One of my favorites! Loved all the historical background and creature backstory----very well written!


message 18: by Tash (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tash Dahling I pushed through the first, only to realise it's really just a set up for the second. Very disappointed. I did start to read the second but I found the characters mostly unlikeable.


Kristin *
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STOP NOW.
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Put the book down as soon as there is mention of yoga. It devolves into YA dribble quickly. Shame. I had so much hope when I started it.


Denise I read great reviews of this but just couldn't finish it.... Far too much I'm such a silly girlie stuff.Went back to it recently as I thought I should know what happened as I heard the second book is so much better than the first but still ended up skipping pages. Don't think I'll bother with the second.


Susan I listened to the audio version of this novel and went on to listen to the sequel as well. I found the story compelling enough to finish but felt that the author didn't create a main character that was consistent--that bothered me. However, I liked historical references and ignored the sections that were annoying like what they ate for dinner. I will definitely listen to the third installment. Sometimes the plot itself is enough to keep listening/reading for me. However, if a book is not enjoyable--find another.


Andrew Michael Schwarz So...I too was handed this book by book store clerks and told it "had it all." I set out to imbibe its wonder. And for the first half I was enamored. Until the vampire romance showed up. I found myself increasing the speed on Audible until I was taking it all on 3X the norm. And when I finished, I decided I liked the first book well enough, but would not sign up for the second. Ever since then, I have been on the fence about delving into the second. I guess, I would say, if you want something profound, this won't deliver like you think it should. Then again, a book doesn't need to be profound to be entertaining. Of course, sophomoric romances get old pretty quick.

All in all, I think the first book should be read and is worth it.


Michelle I finished book one and never went on to any of the others in the series. I love series books, so that wasn't it. And I love to read (read about 300 books a year). I love fantasy and paranormal and romance - so that's not it either. It just DIDN'T HOLD MY INTEREST. I figured out that it was just too self indulgent. The author put too much of herself into it. All the yoga and wine and crap!!! She needed to know that we know that she knows about all of this FLIUFF and it took away from what could have been an enjoyable series.


Denoramae I have read all 3 and find them enjoyable but then again I read fast and can get thru almost anything if I am in the mood for it or seriously bored (yes, I do read directions). Book 3 tied up loose ends but the biggest difficulty I had was there was such a gap between each book that you either had to re-read the first 2 books which I did when 2 came out or you have to dive in and hope for the best. I don't own the books and the library didn't have them in, so I dove. D. Harkness is not as bad as some authors in adding in all that they know. I find many authors just cannot give up on all their research time and just jam in every last fact possible. I like some tasty details and ones that bog down the story I simply gloss over. Sorry all authors out there but I mentally edit as I go.


message 25: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike I don't know too many people who say "meh, it was OK" after reading this one - it seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of story.

I really liked it. But I will say, I really liked it in spite of the romance, not because of it. The tired old alpha-male vampire thing almost made me put it down...but I'm glad I didn't. Underneath all that was a pretty great tale, IMO.


Andrea I am also a quick reader. I LOVED the first book---liked the second and enjoyed how the third book wrapped it all up. I wish the third book had a bit of the first book's mystery and exploration . It was anticlimactic and Daniel seemed to become a secondary character. All in all, a nice trilogy. I hope the author continues to write about this world in future books.


Paula it's gets much better, give it a little more time...I flew threw both of these, but I agree the start is a little slow


Steph Corby I am a couple hundred pages in and I feellike its going nowhere. I haven't read fiction in avery long time and figured id I'd. Hive gbe audible version a shot. As soon as the romance started to develop between the witch and the vampire I got bored to tears... I don't think I can go much further.its so pedantic and boring. And wtf happened with the ...mystery book?¿ it just disappears from the story and that was the only thing that was remotely interesting


Andrew Michael Schwarz Steph wrote: "I am a couple hundred pages in and I feellike its going nowhere. I haven't read fiction in avery long time and figured id I'd. Hive gbe audible version a shot. As soon as the romance started to dev..."

Here's what I did with the first book: Audible Speed 3X. I almost never listen at 3X since it makes the reader sound like a chipmunk, but as you say, once that old romance got a-goin' I knew I needed a strategy to get through.

I was very happy investigating old Ashmole 782 manuscripts and watching vampires do yoga. I was very happy resisting witch heritage and learning how demons and witches and vampires came into the world.

But then came the caramel and how does one smell like caramel? No, no, no. Please, please, please don't do that to me.

Cloves anyone?

Ahhhhhhh!

Well, you get the idea. I still think it was a good book and despite everything I still want to listen to #2, but I simply don't know if I can take that romance.


Sarah To Steph and Andrew: I'm not sure that it's fair or accurate to judge a book by it's audio version. The written word is so beautiful on it's own, and plot devices that just sound trite or boring when read aloud work as they are meant when read from the page, as do the descriptive passages. For me, these books are experiences to be dived into - I can't imagine that listening to someone else rendering the voices and action for me could possibly be as wonderful as having it all unfold in my head. Not putting down audio - this is just my opinion.


Andrew Michael Schwarz Sarah wrote: "To Steph and Andrew: I'm not sure that it's fair or accurate to judge a book by it's audio version. The written word is so beautiful on it's own, and plot devices that just sound trite or boring ..."

To be fair, you may have a point. I've had it go both ways. Sometime I think the reader really makes the book shine. And when its a bad reader, just forget it. In this case I liked the reader and thought her voice well suited for the characters and voice of the piece. Probably a fair test would be to read #2 and see. I've considered that too.


SpookySoto Andrew Michael wrote: "Sarah wrote: "To Steph and Andrew: I'm not sure that it's fair or accurate to judge a book by it's audio version. The written word is so beautiful on it's own, and plot devices that just sound tr..."
Hi, I read it and I hated it. But in this case I found it so boring and basically plotless that I think the audio version may be better.


Flora Ok so I'd read lots of raving reviews about this book. As Book 3 in this trilogy has being released I bought books 1 & 2 for 77p on Kindle. We are all individuals, with our own likes & dislikes and luckily there are a plethora of talented souls out there creating fiction to keep us entertained with a myriad of writing styles in a cornucopia of genres ;-)

I like the fact that Deborah Harkness is a historian. I love history and enjoyed the complex history of witches vampires & daemons that she created.

I think it is a very engaging story, with good world and character building. I found it to be an intelligent story with a great mix of mystery, tension, romance and violence.

Obviously a big cliff hanger at the end but not desperate enough that you have to read book 2 immediately which I like.


message 34: by B (new) - rated it 1 star

B Moignard I did not manage to finish it. I wouldn't bother with another.


Brandy Waste of time. Life is too short to read books you do not enjoy.


Felix I finished all three - I feel the Author & publisher need to refund my time back!


message 37: by Leah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leah Speller I have actually read all three of these and enjoyed each and everyone of them. I found the paranormal was different from any that I had read yet still made me feel the urban fantasy was there.

Now there is one thing that I have been noticing from the different experiences and it seems to me that it is a love it or hate it.

My suggestion is to those with kindles get the first chapter for free....yes free if you find you are uncomfortable with the writing style then don't worry...the author is just not for you.

The same could be done at Barnes and Nobles that you could sit down a read a bit of it to see if you really want to read it.

As for me it was a great read and just also shows every choice you make has a spider web never knowing exactly how your decisions will be felt in years to others.


Melissa Lindhurst I felt the same way when I first read it, I was like omg I wasted my money! But in the end I was dying to buy the 2nd book and then read it so slow because the 3rd wasn't going to be out till now... Its a rough start, I do believe it was her first book... But it will be worth it... I promise!


Melissa Lindhurst I agree, it wasn't cliche like I first expected, it was a nice twist and I love the way they played with what were raised to think we know about the super natural... And I love the fact that it dances on the line of historical fiction bringing in the names of real people...


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