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The Book of Life

Harkness, Deborah E.

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Book of Life
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"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"--
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780670025596
0670025593
Characteristics: 561 pages ;,24 cm.

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Oct 20, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."-Philippe De Clermont, often attributed to Charles Darwin

Oct 20, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"I watched in silence as the parts of Matthew I knew and loved-the poet and the scientist, the warrior and the spy, the Renaissance Prince and father-fell away until only the darkest, most forbidding part of him remained. He was only the assassin now."-Diana

Oct 20, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"No. I'm a vampire. And before you ask, I can go outside during the day and my hair won't catch on fire in the sunlight. I'm Catholic and have a crucifix. When I sleep, which is not often, I prefer a bed to a coffin. If you try to stake me, the wood will likely splinter before it enters my skin. No fangs either. And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled."-Matthew

Oct 19, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Well, no vampire ever knocked up a girl on Buffy. Not even Spike. And God knows he never practiced safe sex."-Chris

Oct 19, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Whichever creatures had introduced Joss Whedon to our world had a lot to answer for."-Diana

Oct 19, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"First I was subjected to witchwater falling from the tower. Now there is a dragon in my hallway. This is what comes of having witches in the family."-Ysabeau

Oct 19, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Blood may speak loudly, but I always prefer tales told by the heart."-Fernando

Oct 19, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Bah. The Musketeers were all tossers."-Gallowglass

Aug 09, 2014
  • StephanieC81 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

There was something miraculous in the juxtaposition of a father's strength with his daughter's vulnerability.

Aug 09, 2014
  • StephanieC81 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Philip, who had already exhibited an uncanny sensitivity to his father's mercurial moods, arranged his features in a perfect imitation of Matthew's frown and waved one arm in the air as if calling for a sword so they could vanquish their enemies together.

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Oct 29, 2014
  • alexica rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I read the first book "A Discovery of Witches, and it was fine. But I would have recommended it only to fans of this genre, however. Jumping to the third book in this series, was a definaite mistake because there are so many characters and so many plot points that I was totally confused and didn't finish the book. If I had read the second book before the third, I might have found "The Book of Life," more engaging but I think you really need to have an interest in witches, vampires and daemans to begin with to get the most out of it.

Oct 26, 2014
  • sirreil rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Really enjoyed this series and didn't want to put this book down. Liked the way it came full circle. Hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you.

Oct 20, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Given the build up from books 1-2("A Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Night"), I was expecting a more fiery and explosive ending with Diana and Matthew and company against their enemies and the Congregation. But, still a good end to the trilogy.

Sep 30, 2014
  • iRead26 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

First book was my favourite of the three. There's not much human left to Diana in this book which is what I enjoyed about the previous books. Resolution was very fast and a bit too easy. Really enjoyed the author's magical theories but would have liked more character development. And there is one loose end that wasn't tied up--maybe a spin-off with Gallowglass?

Sep 08, 2014
  • kaz59 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a great finale. Great series overall.

Aug 31, 2014
  • jlmerkle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great end to a fun trilogy.

Aug 19, 2014
  • sandraperkins rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I love these books! The characters are engaging, and the plot is fascinating and compelling. I love that a USC history professor has written these wonderful best-selling novels featuring witches, vampires and daemons (and plenty of history, science and art history). The level of detail is amazing; is Deborah Harkness reporting the true story of these creatures who live among us? That could explain a lot! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the trilogy, and plan to re-read all three books when time permits.

Aug 13, 2014
  • BlueHippo rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I did not enjoy this book as much as the first two. I found it was detailed in places to the point of minutia and it did not move as quickly. However, I did enjoy the overall story and the conclusion of the saga. I must say that I really did not like the characters. Diana, the heroine, comes across as needy. She is always sick or distressed about something. Everyone is always taking care of her. Matthew is this big hunk of a vampire and yet is brought to his knees when he is separated from her. Just not traits I can admire in characters.

Jul 28, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's been a time waiting for this to come out but it was worth the wait. Less draggy than its predecessor and everything, and I mean literally everything, comes back and is dealt with and/or explained. Sometimes that got really overwhelming, I almost wished for a family tree in the back or something since it has been some time since I read the previous book and could have done with a bit of reminding about who everyone was. Some minor stories probably didn't need the attention that they were given but it was nice that they were there. Another thing I found jarring was the POV jumps and the tense changing. There were a few times I had no idea who was speaking until a bit down the page. Those are my only qualms as the book itself brings everything full circle and it is a great ending to a trilogy that I am still surprised that I like.

This long-awaited book, I find, is quite complicated. The story of the Congregation is hard to follow as well as the tangle of the blood-lines of all three creatures.

Also, there is way too much explanation of past occurrences, so readers who have not looked at the 2 previous novels can understand what is going on. This plot device slows up the action and makes the story very heavy.

But, all in all, this last of the trilogy of Diana and Matthew is a triumph for the author, who, incidentally, considered becoming a college administrator! Glad she took another path.

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