My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The trailer for the TV adaptation of BOOK OF LIFE has hit the screens and I think it was the right time to complete the incredible All Soul’s Trilogy, not that I didn’t wanna read the entire series in one go, but never did get time to squeeze in the whole lot in between all the other book requests.
Book #2, The Shadows of Night had Diana and Mathew time-traveling to Elizabethan England and it was rich in historical details that I felt overloaded with and just couldn’t get myself to be immersed in the story, The Book Of Life, however, created a stunning impact even with the plot inconsistencies. It was a glorious end to the tale of a woman averse to being a witch but coming into her astonishing powers and the vampire who has seen it all and lived to tell the story.
Book 3, brings us all the horrors to a head with the congregation breathing down on the Clairmont family and also the black sheep Benjamin, retuning to claim vengeance on his sire’s family having conducted unspeakable cruelties on witches. With Diana’s scientist friend Chris working on the blood rage disease, the secrets of the creature’s life are more out in the open than in the other 2 books and I loved how Deborah Harkness uses the plotline of the book and ties it with Diana’s appearance. But after having such hullabaloo over Ashmole 782 in the first 2 books, the reveal of it felt, if I may say, kind of underwhelming. I was waiting for something more explosive but never got that goosebumpy worthy unraveling, especially coz the central focus of the story changes direction and becomes about blood rage and family in this.
A Discovery Of Witches leaves the reader mesmerized but the books that follow have so much going on and so many characters that it becomes hard to keep track of the whole thing especially if you are reading them with a gap like me. There are also some threads like Diana’s parent’s journey to Russia, Diana’s mom leaving her with a higher magicks book, which never gets used anywhere in the story, the plot of the prophecy and then Gallowglass and his vanishing act during the naming ceremony, everything together makes it one overflowing cauldron with no ‘tied up with a pink ribbon’ feel. The all-out war also had me wanting more spectacular fireworks. Honestly, it was never Peter Knox who gave me the heebie-jeebies but Gerbert, so I was not happy about his ending too.
Despite all that, I would say, I was thoroughly engrossed in the world of Diana and Mathew and the series as a whole has been brilliantly conceptualized, just that I wished for flawless execution of the plotlines too in this 3rd book. In the Vampire-witch romance genre, this is an excellent series with an immensely powerful witch and someone to be feared about, but I would strongly recommend reading them closer together to eke out the maximum enjoyment.
Check my review of Book #1 and #2 here:
The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale and sequel to A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night
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.
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