Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: All Souls Trilogy #1
Published by Penguin Audio on February 8, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Vampires, Witches
Length: 24 hours 59 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.


So this is one of the first new books I decided to try as an audiobook. I normally cannot “read” audiobooks because my mind just cannot process what is happening. It’s why the only audiobooks I’ve done in the past have been the Dresden series, because I’ve already read it. Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, however, really helped me move forward. It showed me that with a great narrator, I can grasp a new story as read.

That said, Jennifer Ikeda could not salvage the latter half of this novel. I honestly loved it so much at the start. I spent every day at work listening when I could. Yes, it reminded me a lot of Twilight, but that wasn’t so bad a thing for me. I actually really enjoyed it. And I loved Diana and Matthew so much. At the start. He was the mysterious vampire, delicious. Diana was the “fragile” human who stubbornly refuses to simply accept what the vampire tells her to do. At the start. It was great. I loved it. I loved them. I wanted to see it continue. Then, they went to France and everything changed.

On this trip, Diana becomes meek and simply listens to Matthew. Matthew loses his cool, his strategic nature, and just freaks out. During a reunion scene, they literally are crawling all over each other in front of his “vampire mother” and I am just like please, why are you making me listen to this. This is awkward. And it got worse. And worse. The last quarter was just unbearable. It brought what I had once considered a 4.5 to 5 star story down to 3.

In the past, I would just pick up the second because it is a finished trilogy and I would’ve needed to complete it. Now, I don’t have the time to waste on things that will make me angry. So, I googled it and I feel fairly confident and comfortable saying that I will not be completing this trilogy. I will not be reading the second or third in the series because it doesn’t sound like it will get better for me. For what I am interested in, angsty stubborn, headstrong, independent human and clever, vicious but melts vampire, the rest of the series simply will not fill that need. It might for you, but I would say keep in mind how the Twilight saga unfurled and you’ll get a good idea of what to expect with the rest of the All Souls Trilogy.

Would I recommend this? Honestly, I think I would simply because 75% of the book was really good and really captivated my attention. There are good ideas and it was good foundation, even if Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness stumbled at the end.


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