A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness Review

I’ve done it! I’ve finished Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches! After more than a month of reading one single novel, I’ve finished it. And it was good.

Some background in case you’re new here: All last month I was extremely busy with three jobs and moving house. So just based on that alone, I didn’t really have much time to sit down for five minutes, let alone read. But also, the book is almost 600 pages long. I’m generally a mid-to-fast reader, but 600 pages takes a while even in the best of circumstances.

So I started reading this book (which is the first book of a trilogy) after months of having it in my possession. It kept being on the top of my reading list – number one priority – but for whatever reason, when I’d finish a book I’d immediately choose a different book on my reading list. Last month I had read The Fault in Our Stars and had bawled my eyes out so much over that book that I needed to read something more lighthearted and adventurous. I picked the perfect book.

I have to admit that the first couple of chapters I was really confused. I had no idea what was going on, and the author switched up the point of view for a chapter about three chapters into the book, which was kind of weird. But once you get past the initial shock of what you’re reading and get used to learning all the new words and terms, like “daemons,” it gets much more fun. Like I said, she switches up the point of view from first person to third person three or four times throughout the novel, for a single chapter each. It was really weird, but those chapters were so informative because the narrator of those chapters gives you the information the main character, Diana, doesn’t know.

The book is centered around a woman named Diana Bishop, who comes from a long line of very powerful witches. She happens to come across an enchanted book in a library that will tell the secret of all the three creatures we know about: witches, daemons, and vampires. It also says how they can be killed. Diana does not open the book, though. She puts it back with the librarians. That’s when the creatures come out of the woodwork. They all want to unlock the secret of life. A vampire named Matthew Clairmont takes an interest in the book, but also an interest in DIana. And thus the book spirals out of control.

When I started the book I wasn’t sure I liked it. As I said, I was having a hard time understanding it, and the main character kept irritating me because she was so naive at first. But soon you begin to understand her naivety and really start to root for her. So if you do read this book, which I really recommend you do if you like supernatural stories, don’t give up on it the first few chapters in. It gets so so good. And holy crap, the ending! The ending!!!! My interest level was at an all time high after I finished the book. It was very good.

Which brings me to the second novel of the trilogy, Shadow of Night. I finished the first book two days ago but didn’t have time to write about it. In those two days I began reading an entirely different book because I didn’t own the second of the series. That book is called The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I made it through I’d say 20 pages before I just got bored. I’m sure if I really sat down and read a hundred pages of it I’d get hooked. But really I just couldn’t do it. I kept falling asleep and I find that to be a bad sign when you first start reading a book.

So instead I drove to Barnes and Noble today and picked up the second book. I can’t even tell you what it’s about just yet because I don’t want to give anything away on the first book. But I will say this: time travel!! It’s also about the same length as the first novel, so it might take me a little bit to read it, but I think I’ll go through much more quickly than the last.

With that said, I’m going to leave and read because I can’t stand waiting any longer! If you have any suggestions for my next book or just want to say hi, leave a message in the comments or shoot me an e-mail at rachel@booksandcleverness.com.

Until next time! Happy reading!


A Discovery of Witches – Brief Update

Hi blog friends! Well, it’s been about five days now and I’ve finally started to get into Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. Formal warning: it is going to take me a while to read it. As I’ve mentioned before the font size is so tiny and takes up so much of the page that my poor eyes can’t read more than about 20 or so pages per night without getting a headache. I’ve JUST exceeded the 100 page mark… Today. I’m ashamed with my slow reading; I take so much pride in being a quick reader!

Also, in less than two weeks my boyfriend and I are moving into a new apartment! Which means a lot of packing. Which means this book will take me even longer to finish. It’s about 600 pages, and if my packing escapades of today are any indication, I will be far too exhausted to read for a long amount of time each night. However, The good news is as follows:

I have found a ton of books that I’ve completely forgotten about, both books I’ve read and books I haven’t read but always wanted to read. So that post will be coming up soon! Some of these are books that made me truly love reading, and want to be a writer, so I can’t wait to tell you about them! (Exclusive insight into the next post: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren. One of the most exciting books I’ve ever read!)

Back to A Discovery of Witches: the first couple of chapters are slow. It’s just this woman telling you her backstory of why she doesn’t use magic even though she comes from a long line of experienced and powerful witches, and how she decides, against her better judgement, to use magic on a certain manuscript in the library and is suddenly overcome with creatures following her. The excitement doesn’t settle in until chapter four or so, when she begins to interact with a very old, possibly very dangerous vampire. Not the sparkly vampires either – the rip your throat out vampires!

It took me about three nights before I started to actually get in to the book. A lot of the time with a new book I’m just waiting for it to be nighttime so I can snuggle up in bed and read. But I didn’t really care to do that the first few nights, which was really surprising for me. I’m currently reading chapter ten, and now I’m just itching to read more during the day!

So on that note, I’m going to go get some reading done!! Until next time,

Also, I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday! Thank you for reading me bedtime stories and sparking my love of books (Goodnight, Gorilla) at an early age. My old man.