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.
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 (from Goodreads).
I read somewhere, on the blog, that there was a lot of hype about this book. But I have to say I did not see any of it or heard anything about this book, until I saw this book in the magazine that I was flipping through. There it was, the title caught my eye right away, I logged onto my pc to see what it was about. I soon discovered that it was not being released for another week, which was not that long of a wait. Let just say I was in the book store buying this book on the day it was released.
Where do I start, first I have to say how much I loved, loved this book. It did take me a while to read it, not because I could not get through it (obviously since I loved it) but I did not want it to end too soon. So I stretched out my reading on this book across one month (or more) period. At first I was not sure if I was going to like the main female protagonist, she was somewhat winy about her magical powers and in a lot of denial. As you know denial never works it just makes things more difficult or uncomfortable. As the time went on, I started to like Diana more and more, there were several times throughout the book that I wanted to shake her and say wake the hell up, but other than that I liked her. Diana is smart, caring, irritating sometimes, scared, funny and many other endearing characteristics. I like the intense chemistry and romance between Diana and Matthew, which was very intense and sensual. There is no sex between the two characters (not yet at least) for those out there wandering. I really liked Matthew’s character, he is very intense, strong, intelligent, kind and ruthless at the same time, he is perfect fit for Diana. . I found it funny that Diana denies use of magic in her work as historian; she actually does use it but she does not even realises it because she in so much denial about her being a witch. However as you get to know Diana, you begin to understand her better and why she shies away from the witchcraft.
Author did a very good job at developing the world that Diana and Matthew live in; witches, vampires and daemons three supernatural being all living away from the human eyes. I really enjoyed the complexity and history behind the story that the author is weaving. Her use of history and science for that matter; author actually goes into the details and treys to explain the science behind witches, vampires and daemons DNA (but mostly witches). Even thought there were few scientific discussions, they did not bore me, but rather interested me. Also there is a lot of history in this book, Diana is a history professor, that the author uses to back her story.
Overall this was a very good read, I absolutely loved it and can not wait for the book two in this All Soul Trilogy. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy good book about supernatural worlds of witches, vampires and daemons. This book is intended for adults, but it is not to say that any teens would not be interested in reading it. I give this book 5/5 STARS.