On My Own Time: THE ALL SOULS TRILOGY

4

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES
By: Deborah Harkness
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls, Book 1
Length: 24 hrs and 2 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 02-08-11
Language: English
Penguin Random House Audio | Penguin Audio

Purchased

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.

http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/307548/a-discovery-of-witches/

SHADOW OF NIGHT
By: Deborah Harkness
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls, Book 2
Length: 24 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 07-10-12
Language: English
Penguin Random House Audio | Penguin Audio

Purchased

The #1 New York Times–bestselling sequel to A Discovery of Witches, book two of the All Souls Trilogy—“as enchanting, engrossing, and impossible to put down as its predecessor” (Miami Herald)

J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Anne Rice—only a few writers capture the imagination the way that Deborah Harkness has with her New York Times–bestselling All Souls trilogy. A Discovery of Witches introduces reluctant witch Diana Bishop, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and the battle for a lost, enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey.

http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/309183/shadow-of-night/

 

 

THE BOOK OF LIFE

All Souls, Book 3
By: Deborah Harkness
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls, Book 3
Length: 23 hrs and 52 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 07-15-14
Language: English
Penguin Random House Audio | Penguin Audio

Purchased

The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale and sequel to A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night Bringing the magic and suspense of the All Souls Trilogy to a deeply satisfying conclusion, this highly anticipated finale went straight to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In The Book of Life, Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present—facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/309184/the-book-of-life/

 

My Take Oblong Shaped

 

Sometimes I haven’t the time to go through the download process for books I get from publishers for review, or, I just want to read a book without pressure.  And, it’s so easy to get an audiobook from Audible or the library.  I had wanted to read this for a while and it was in a sale so I bought the first one and I was hooked, buying the second and third in rapid succession.

Twilight or Potter for adults? There are, of course, going to be comparisons to other blockbuster series with paranormal elements: Twilight, Harry Potter, and even the Dan Brown series based on the professor, Robert Langdon.

To be sure there are elements of each in The All Souls series, but I think it stands on its own; there are always going to be similarities in regards to books with paranormal romance.  And this is more adult than either Twilight or Potter.   I do think the most noticeable parallels are with Twilight.

I really enjoyed all three books, but probably the first book was, for me, the best. 

Sometimes I get really caught up in a series, buoyed-up by the romance and emotional content.  Afterwards I get to look back and think about the strengths and weaknesses. In this case the strengths are the noble heroes, the historical elements, and the emotional content.  It’s weak in the area of powers and abilities coming up for development just as needed.  I also thought the ending was a little weak.

There are many characters but not so many I couldn’t keep them straight.

Something I noted was that the author leaves us to extrapolate information from what’s there: it’s an effective way of involving the reader. At the beginning we’re thrown into the world of the trilogy with its “creatures,” plots and conspiracies.

Another think I liked were the books’ lengths with a total of almost 72 hours for the trilogy.  That’s a good value for an Audible credit.  The narrator is great with a neutral voice for the narrative and the ability to do a vast variety of accents.

All in all I really liked the series. It would be a great holiday gift for the person who loved Potter and Twilght but is looking for more adult fare. 

Links Blue Horizontal

AUDIBLE: https://www.audible.com/series?asin=B005NACAFU&ref=a_pd_Sci-Fi_c1_series_1&pf_rd_p=4df5109d-f867-4b0f-81d9-bbb0a0713d9e&pf_rd_r=BWE6BTE642ABHCEKH4EK&

PUBLISHER’S AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/author/231568/deborah-harkness/

AUTHOR: http://deborahharkness.com/