A Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

It’s kind of a miracle that I managed to get any reading done this week, let alone finish a book.

With the summer Olympics on, I’m basically a a TV watching zombie.  It’s not doing good things for my sleep schedule and I don’t think I’ve been able to have any conversations that didn’t involve Michael Phelps and the women’s gymnastics team all week.  But I digress.

This book is for those of us who read Twilight and said, “are you kidding me?” Those of us who only made it through 3 and a half of the 4 books.  Those of us who still don’t know how the story ends and don’t even care.  Bella ends up cheating on Edward with a vampire who directs movies, right?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is, on the surface, the story of a witch and a vampire who fall in love.  But it’s so much more complex, well written and ahem, juicier than Twilight, so don’t tune out just yet, okay?

I’ll admit, there were some moments where it verged on cheesy but overall, this book is pretty captivating.  The plot is unique and Harkness does such an amazing job developing the characters.  By the end of the book, I felt like all the characters were old friends.  Err, except maybe I don’t want to be friends with any of the more bloodthirsty characters.  Pun totally intended.

The main character is Diana Bishop, a witch whose family history goes back to the Salem Witch Trials and who has denied her magical genes all her life.  And her love interest is a 1500-year-old vampire whose had a friendship with just about every noteworthy historical figure you can think of.  I just love the historical aspect of the story and the way Harkness is able to weave past and present together flawlessly.

Harkness brings such an imaginative and fantastical feel to a story set it in the present.  It’s not easy to write a book about vampires, witches and daemons living in 2012, and not come across as kitschy.  Deborah doesn’t do it perfectly, but she comes closer than most.  Just don’t get me started on the ending.

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