Series: The All Souls Trilogy #1
Published by Viking Penguin on February 1, 2011
Genres: fantasy, romance
This was my second read-through of A Discovery of Witches, spurred on by my lovely friend Sarah’s love for the show. My first review, shared on Goodreads in 2016 reads:
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.
I wanted to love this book more than I did. I really enjoyed the story and most of the characters, but I hard a hard time with the main character. I found her incredibly whiny and at times her actions/reactions ridiculous. If I could have liked her more I think I would have really enjoyed this book.
I’m still unsure whether or not I will grab the second one.
The second and third one are currently sitting on my shelf, all checked out from my local library. I’ve been determined to finish the series since I read the first one, but I never got around to it. Both times, I was torn between wanting to love the book and it ultimately falling a little flat for me.
The premise, interesting. The atmosphere, oxygenated. The vibes, immaculate. The witches, witching. The daemons, tripping. The vampires…brooding and a little too over possessive for my tastes. Which is saying something, since I can normally cast aside the internal bristle that happens when it comes to vampires and their less than stellar ability to let a human, human. I get being protective because humans are fragile, but maybe also let them make their own decisions?
I found Diana less whiny this time around. I actually really loved her in the first half of the book. Where she starts to fall apart for me actually has more to do with the vampires than it does her. The moment she admits she’s in love with Matthew, she moves from independent woman to a side character in her own narrative being swept along. I understand she knows very little about the supernatural world. But she could still have opinions on it.
I’ll probably read the second one. Since it’s in my grasp already. And I will hope, against all odds since we’ve gone back in time, I won’t have to read “Listen to Matthew, he’s our leader” more than once.
I’m also going to hope that Diana stops referring to Matthew as “my vampire” when narrating, and instead can just refer to him by name.
Update: I’m, like, 150 pages into the second book now.
2 thoughts on “A Discovery of Witches”
I haven’t finished the book yet, but hopefully this week! I’m doing a re-read as well, and there is SO much I have forgotten. I enjoy the savory experience of the storytelling and world building, but also find it to be too slow at times. Great review!
I forgot so much as well! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts of it when you’re finished the re-read.