A Discovery Of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

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Let me preface this review with me saying that this is my personal opinion. I know this book is very beloved by very many, and that’s awesome. Nothing makes me happier than books making people happy, and if A Discovery of Witches is your favorite book, than I am truly happy for you. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me.

Nothing offended me or anything like that, this book was just ungodly boring. I mean, there is a very alpha vampire in here that marks his territory and claims what he thinks is his, but, I mean, that’s just sort of expected in paranormal romance books about vampires, so it wasn’t anything that bothered me.

A Discovery of Witches is sort of like an adult Twilight. Our main protagonist, Diana, is a historian who is studying at the Bodleian Library, and she is also a witch from a very pure bloodline, but she doesn’t practice her witchcraft because of a dark event that happened to her parents. And the book starts when Diana touches a book unlike any other she has ever touched before.

And while studying in Oxford, Diana’s path crosses with Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist, who is immediately drawn to Diana. And together, they try to unlock the clues that will tell them about the book that Diana touched that was unlike any other.

At first, I loved the atmosphere. Oxford, libraries, foggy autumn mornings. I mean, who could resist that? But then, I realized I was 50% into a 600+ page book and it was just finally getting started. And this was just a chore to read. Like, if I wasn’t buddy reading this, I would have for sure DNFed it.

Because nothing happens! And I love slow, character driven stories, but in my personal opinion, don’t even think this is a character driven book. I mean, Diana sure changes characters in the middle of the book, I’ll give you guys that, but this book is just a whole lot of descriptions and not a whole lot of action.

Every time Diana rowed, or rode a horse, or made tea, or made toast, my eyes just rolled farther back in my head. All of these actions are fine, but once you read about them over 100 times your body just wants to self combust. And this isn’t even a slow burn romance, it’s just a slow ass book.

In conclusion, the atmosphere was nice and I like how the time frame synced with Halloween, since I was reading this right before Halloween. I also truly believe the next book in the series will be better, since we finally have a plot now, but I just don’t care enough about Diana or Matthew to read on.

Also, Jenne’s Review is one of the best reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads! And it is so damn accurate to the plot of this novel. I loved this review so much I couldn’t not mention it in my own. Treat yourself and read it if you’ve already read A Discovery of Witches (because spoilers) and were also underwhelmed, or if you just want to save yourself the trouble and headache of reading this 600+ book.

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Buddy Read with Paloma

30 thoughts on “A Discovery Of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

  1. I actually liked the first book better than the first. My library loan expired for the second book and even though I was nearly done, I couldn’t be bothered to renew it a third time. It is also very long and slow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know 😭! And the atmosphere is so perfect for this season…. but it just didn’t work for me at all. But I hope you enjoy it more if you try it, love. And I still think the show could be really good! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. great review! I’ve had a copy of this one for soooo long bc I got it in a used bookstore haul……it’s just been sitting on my shelf at home, and I honestly have no idea what I’ll end up thinking of it? the twilight comparison is scaring me a bit though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Well, I hope you like it more than me. The atmosphere really is perfect for this time of year, just… nothing happens! But I can totally see why it’s polarizing from both sides, I just fell on the sad side! Hahaha. Happy reading, Emma! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh yes to this review!! Totally agree! When I first picked it up I was loving it, the atmosphere was so great. But then nothing happened and I was so bored, I’d have quit too. And why oh why was Diane always eating toast?!? It’s not interesting!! I did not continue with the series either. And funnily enough at the beginning my thought process was “ooh it’s the adult version of twilight” and by the end it was “ughh it’s the adult version of Twilight!” Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only see reviews of books I’m so excited about myself over here on your blog, awesome haha. Love your extended reviews. So tomorrow morning I’ll go prowling your blog again – it’s evening here in the Netherlands and I want to get some reading done before going to bed hihi.

    Liked by 1 person

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