Monday, 26 November 2018

Review: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Publication date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 561

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.

This trilogy has been a see-saw of feelings for me. I loved the first one, struggled horribly to push through the second, and then rocked back to thorough enjoyment for this final instalment.
Back in the present seems to suit the story telling for this series, because I no longer had to force myself to wade through whole sections, instead I flew through it.

We finally got to spend time with the cast of characters I loved so much from the first book. We finally got answers to some questions - like the whole Emily thing, although I'm still cranky about that because it felt really poorly done and didn't really work. We also got to combine favourite characters from both books and see everyone interacting, which was awesome. This book truly sings when the whole cast of characters are together. 

I have to admit, at times it did feel a little bit like fan-fiction for the first book - here we have our hero and heroine being smushy and romantic and making a family! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I did have a few moments where I wanted it to be something more.

I'd also like to take a moment of silence for Gallowglass, my poor under appreciated baby - you deserved so much better.

I'll be honest, this is not the best book in the world. However it was exactly what I needed at this moment in time, so it kinda worked. It's definitely an improvement on the second book which was a slog, and I think because of the core ensemble of characters being involved throughout this one I may even prefer it to the first book. All told this is an interesting trilogy, with a really great plot and some fun elements and characters. Does it have really problematic issues with an overly possessive and controlling love interest? Sure. And if I go back and re-read the series I may find that that actually puts me off entirely. However right now, this was what I needed.

I'm now experiencing a terrible book hangover, where I want nothing more than to go back and revisit these characters and spend more time with them. What's that? A new book about Marcus and Phoebe, let me get my wallet...

No comments:

Post a Comment