First Impression Friday: “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness

I’m really not sure why I decided to put this book on my holds list at the library, but I do know that I started reading it only two days before it was due to be returned (it’s got a hold list so I can’t check it out again).

From 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.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

I will say that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I’d continue reading the book after the first chapter, but by the end of chapter four I figured I might as well give it a little more of a shot. Although for being a professor, our friend Diana isn’t super smart. It’s also interesting that the book that all the magical creatures appear to be after has been sitting in the stacks of the library for decades, maybe even centuries, before being touched, and yet not a single person has thought to ask for the book (I mean, how else would Diana have gotten it without asking?) just to see if it’s there. Shouldn’t someone have been smarter than this by now?

I have two exes named Matthew, so I was already deeply distrustful of him, and after watching him climb through Diana’s apartment window within a few minutes after meeting her and watching her sleep (very creepy Twilight vibes, you know), I think I’ve already written this person off. He’s apparently brilliant, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to take him seriously when he seems like an older, more broody Edward Cullen.

At this point I’m sure that people who love this book are screaming at me, so I’ll just end this here. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m sure it’s going to involve Diana and Matthew falling in love, Diana re-awakening her witch’s powers, and them having to stop the world from collapsing. So let’s see if I’m right.

And as always, keep reading.

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