Review: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)The Book of Life
(All Souls Trilogy #3)
by Deborah Harkness
Adult Urban Fantasy
Hardcover561 Pages
July 15th 2014 by Viking Adult

Summary

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the 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. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.
   

My Review

I loved how witches, vampires, demons, etc. fit in Deborah Harkness's storybook world. I loved her writing style and how fully fleshed each of her characters were. I loved the historical background, the research, the time and love I felt went into this series. The Book of Life was a great ending to it, although A Discovery of Witches will remain my favorite of the series. 

There were so many loose threads as this series came to a close, things that the characters had to research and figure out, people that needed to be convinced, sides that needed to be chosen, battles that still needed to be fought. I loved how Diana finally embraces her magic and power. Her continual fear of being a witch, even half-way through this one, frustrated me. I felt she had to let go in order to make it and keep those she loved safe. Plus there are just some things more important than a library or not using her magic. I loved how the families came together, both Diana's and Matthew's, as well as all their friends.

There were a few places that lagged for me. Where the story was a little slower and I just wanted the characters to figure things out and get things taken care of. There were so many pieces in play and I could feel the story slowly building as it progressed towards an end. Then when the end came... It was so heartbreaking, violent, but triumphant. That's all I'll say as I don't want to spoil anything.

There were a couple of places I highlighted because I wanted to share them later. This first quote just cracked me up and shows how the humor comes across in this series as well as how family and friendship is such a strong part of this series. Diana and Matthew are discussing all the requests they've gotten from others to be a godfather or godmother to their children:
     "I hope you're keeping track of all the promises you've made," I remarked to Matthew later that afternoon.
       "I am," he said. "Chris wants the smartest and Fernando the eldest. Hamish wants the best-looking. Marcus wants a girl. Jack wants a brother. Gallowglass expressed an interest in being godfather to any blond babies before we left New Haven." Matthew ticked them off on his fingers.
       "I'm having twins, not a litter of puppies," I said, staggered by the number of interested parties.
       "Besides, we're not royals. And I'm pagan! The twins don't need so many godparents."
       "Do you want me to pick the godmothers, too?" Matthew's eyebrow rose...
(location 6028, Kindle eARC) 
Then this part I just loved:
     "But you don't need words to tell me what you feel," Matthew said. "I see you, even when you hide from the rest of the world. I hear you, even when you're silent."
       It was a pure definition of love.
(location 7999, Kindle eARC) 
The book leaves room for a future series based off of this one, maybe of Diana's and Mattew's children... I would definitely love to come back to this storybook world. 

If you enjoy adult urban fantasy, stories about paranormal creatures, friendship, romance, power plays, politics, magic, and a little action then I'd recommend the All Souls Trilogy.

Content: (Highlight to read.) Some moderately descriptive sex scenes, some language, some fairly strong violence in a few parts of the story.

Source: From the publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.


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