🌸 Title: A Discovery of Witches
🌸Author: Deborah Harkness
🌸Published: February 2011
🌸Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Adult, Paranormal
🌸Preview: In a world of vampires, witches, demons, and other creatures of the night, everyone wants a book and has a bunch of meetings over how to get the girl to get said book without a single meaningful fight.
🌸A no major spoilers review.
A Discovery of Witches introduces young scholar Diana Bishop, who happens to be a witch and refuses to use her powers. Diana happens to call on a book that everyone in the supernatural world has been looking for—but why is she the only one able to summon this book?
I had a lot of high hopes for this book. The idea of a secret society of supernatural creatures with a council and a vampire protector (Matthew) had me very excited. Plus, she’s a witch that doesn’t use her powers. That means she must have to use them in this book…right?
On top of this, the premise made me think this was going to be a better version of Twilight. A smart version. Compared to Twilight, I hoped that Diana was going to kick a** and not be helpless as she continually gets threatened and attacked because the supernatural world wants a book. On top of this, the races aren’t allowed to be together, similar to Twilight. I was excited to read this.
Sadly, A Discovery of Witches was a big disappointment.
A Discovery of Witches fails to bring the supernatural aspect of the world to fruition. The supernatural aspect of the book seems to be more of an afterthought, or even an attempt to appeal to another audience in order to gain traction.
Diana has to constantly be saved by Matthew who has zero reasons for having an interest in her. None. She’s as fleshed out as cardboard; same with him and every other character. We’re given background, but we don’t actually get to know who they are.
In the case of Diana and Matthew, I never understood their attraction to one another.
They never have any meaningful conversations, and it’s extremely one-sided in the effort department since he’s always saving her and she’s…useless. Honestly. And that’s not even the worst of it.
All I know about Matthew (Edward? Is that you?) is that he’s overbearing and controlling to the point where Diana goes along with whatever he wants. I read parts like this just thinking, Why? She’s a kick-a** witch, one of the most powerful in the world, and even then she still doesn’t do a single thing.
Most of the time, I waited for something to happen.
And waited. And waited some more. It was extremely slow, and I drug myself through each chapter as if I were walking through molasses.
The slow pace may have been impacted by the research aspect of A Discovery of Witches. I admire Harkness’s dedication to being factual and true, but at some point, everything began going way over my head. With a book like this, I don’t really want to have to research what the author meant. I wanted to be able to continue to read and not lose momentum because I didn’t understand a large number of scientific terms.
Another reason for the slow pace is that everything just felt very flat. There never seemed to be a climax. I waited for things to happen, the momentum to build, but up until the end, I just felt the same feeling: boredom.
I have to agree with this Goodreads list. It ended before it began.
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