Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (audiobook)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls, Book 1
Publisher: Penguin Audio (February 8, 2011)
Length: 24 hrs. & 2 mins.
Description from Audible
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
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.
One of my friends read this and I had heard so thought I would once again join the literary bandwagon. When I first started this book it moved a little slow and was a tad bit confusing. I couldn't quite figure out if in Diana's world, humans knew about the supernatural creatures. Once I got past the first two chapters I really got into the book. I will say that this is a very long book. The author could have cut out some of the scenes between Diana and Matthew because at times they seem repetitive. An aspect of the book that might deter some readers is all of the historical references and biology. Me being the nerd that I am...I love it! I'm a history major who wouldn't mind giving a pint of blood or two to Matthew if he would let me ask questions. He is one interesting man! The people that he has met and things he has been a part of are extraordinary.
Onto the center, the heart, the plot of the story. The idea of relationships between witches, vampires, and demons is one that has been done over and over again. Ms. Harkness brings a newer, more intellectual and historical bent to the idea that completely sucked me in. The take on this topic wasn't the only thing unusual, the characters were as well. The main character/heroine, Diana, wasn't the leader in the story. Yes, she is powerful, but she is smart and acknowledges that Matthew and other have more experience than she does, and the she can learn from them. In many novels the heroine automatically knows how to use and control her powers or seems to pick them up over night. Diana struggles throughout the whole book. The ending of the book is a pretty good cliffhanger in my opinion. I can't wait until the second one comes out! This book is one that I see as a cross over between the adult and the older YA genre. There isn't really anything "bad" in the book and the supernatural aspect will appeal to many. much hype about it, that I
As stated in my other audiobook review, I stress how important the narrator is. Jenniger Ikeda does an amazing job with A Discovery of Witches. This was an extremely long audiobook with many difficult characters to give voice to. She has a tremendous talent voicing several accents (maybe 5 or more) and at least three languages throughout the book. This narrator really did a good job. I give this book a
4 1/2 STAR rating.