TITLE: A Discovery of Witches
AUTHOR: Taylor Jenkins Reid
SERIES: All Souls Trilogy #1
GENRE/ AGE RANGE: Fantasy/ Paranormal Fantasy, Adult
PUBLICATION DATE: February 8th, 2011
SYNOPSIS: A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.
When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…
I’d heard of this one in the past but I’d never had any interest in reading it, which is mostly down to me not having a clue what it was about and also being scarred by the book community’s hatred for paranormal romance. So, when I stumbled across the trailer [LINK] for the show back in June I pretty much immediately decided that I HAD to read the book because oh my god apparently I’ve missed me some paranormal romance.
You can read my thoughts as I was reading the book here.
“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.”
WHAT I LIKED
I do want to say that A Discovery of Witches has a 3.99 rating on Goodreads so just because I didn’t think it was the best thing in the world (though, I did still really enjoy it), a lot of other people think it’s rock your socks off cool! So, let’s start off with what I liked about this book before we get into what didn’t work for me.
What struck me most about this book is the politics. I haven’t really read too many paranormal romances in my reading life thus far so I only really have Twilight, Lux and Hush Hush for reference. Because of that, I don’t really know the rules for the genre and I don’t know how complex the worlds generally get. But, to me and considering I thought the Volturi from Twilight was shit, I thought the politics in this one was at least interesting.
There are different species types – Vampires, Witches & Daemons – and they all kind of hate each other + aren’t meant to be seen together in public (by humans at least) + they go absolutely nuts whenever they’re anywhere near each other and I’m not 100% sure why.
I also really enjoyed the main character and learning about the papers she writes for her job but I think that’s about it, actually.
Wait no! The romance was pretty great… until they got together. It actually went down pretty quickly after that!
“Magic is desire made real.”
I said before that I liked the politics of the book and lernni=ng bout all the different creatures/species but the only thing I didn’t like was that they’re not supposed to interact and we don’t really know why. Like, sure the humans might notice but there’s no real reason.
I also mentioned this before, but I was kind of over the romance as soon as it started which sucked because it was pretty much the only reason I read the book. Once I actually sat down after finishing the book, and I thought about it, the romance seemed kinda icky. The love interest, Matthew is super overprotective, the marriage stuff was weird af, he basically tells her what to do and it’s just funky. I mean, she goes from a single chick just trying to write her history paper before she hits her deadline, to married and the step-mother to a vampire and whatever else I’ve forgotten. Overall, this was just disappointing. I was hoping we would finally get a healthy human/other relationship but of course not! That’s crazy!
Also, this is kind of a petty note, but this is a hella big book and my memory is the size of a piece of rice so I was constantly forgetting names. What I’m saying is, there were A LOT OF CHARACTERS and maybe next time I’ll just make a character map.
“It is a blessing as well as a burden to love so much that you can hurt so badly when love is gone.”
No matter how I felt about this book by the end of it, I am still really excited for the tv show (even though Australia is a heathen country and I’ll have to wait until it’s on DVD to watch it). It’s got a great cast and a really cool aesthetic so I’m really excited to see how it turns out!
WILL I CONTINUE?
I own books 2 and 3 on my Kindle (and audio whoops) so I will definitely be continuing the trilogy hopefully sooner rather than later. I am hoping that the next 2 books in the trilogy will improve on the romance and the ridiculous love interest and the plot will really expand (and be less confusing) and we will get to explore the politics of the world more!