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Thursday, 24 May 2018

REREAD REVIEW: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

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In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

*****
Hiya, fellas! Today I'm talking about a recent reread of mine. I read A Discovery of Witches around 4 years ago and I loved it. I loved the plot, the characters and even the science in it. I am not a big fan of science so when a book offers me something that I wouldn't usually read, I like it.

I rarely reread and I never thought that I would want to reread this trilogy again but I did so, I got them in English this time and started reading, haha.

I still like the story but there are a lot of things that got to my attention that I probably didn't think much of the first time I read it which made me lower my rating a bit. It was first a 5-star read for me but now it's a three-star and I will tell you why.

(One of the main reasons I don't like to reread is exactly because I've developed as a reader and I'm afraid that I won't like some of my favourites at the time.)

The book is terribly slow for an urban fantasy (or paranormal if you like) novel. It's just too slow. Maybe the reason I didn't mind how slow it was at the time was that I had just finished The Final Empire and this compared to TFE would be considered extremely fast-paced but compared to the normal urban fantasy pacing?  It's slow as a snail. I also got bored by all of the detailed daily routine descriptions. I don't remember if it happened 4 years ago as well but considering that I'm quite a patient reader, this was very boring.

And then, there is Matthew. I loved him the first time I read about him and I still like him but now, having read about him at least in thirty different books, I no longer find his character as captivating as I used to. He is hella controlling and orders Diana around way too much. I am far younger than her but I wouldn't stand to be around somebody like this. Basically, when somebody tells me what to do, I do exactly the opposite just to spite them. I'm childish like this. Diana? She does whatever he tells her. Sure, she isn't very happy about it but in the end, she doesn't even TRY to rebel. What's so appealing to have somebody boss you around? 

What is more, this whole thing that Matthew is the head of the family so you have to obey him is very old-fashioned and I know that they are OLD vampires but what the heck? What century do you live in?

Another thing that really annoyed me was the forbidden love trope. I mean, I was annoyed by it 4 years ago as well. If I had to choose between love triangles and forbidden love, I would gladly condemn myself to infinite predictable love triangles because at least the characters are free to love whomever.

This book made me passionately hate the word 'creature'. There isn't a chapter in which they don't refer to the vampires, witches and daemons as 'creatures' and while they are creatures it was VERY annoying.

Excluding Diana and Matthew, I still like the rest of the characters and I enjoyed reading about them now just as much as I did back them. Even though I was a little underwhelmed by this book, I still want to reread Shadow of Night because there comes one of my previously favourite characters and I want to see if I would still like him.

Something else that got to my attention was the writing. It's not necessarily bad but it's pretty obvious that this was her first book. Some of the dialogue is really cringy and unrealistic. At some of the scenes, I sighed loudly in frustration and the author makes Diana GASP constantly which is just ridiculous. Believe it or not, I didn't really know what gasping looked or sounded like until recently so now, every time I read about gasping, I just hate it. (Unless they are gasping for breath that is.) I've never seen a person gasp at such stupid things. Or at all for that matter. (Quick edit: I was watching Naruto and he gasped several times. I still think it's ridiculous and reminds me of the end scene from the film Insidious.)

What's more, for such a highly scientific book, there was little to no logic about the vampires. I mean, Matthew's skin apparently is so pale that it sparkles in the DARK. I mean...what even is that? Another thing was that apparently when they get turned into vampires, they grow taller because that's totally logical. They die and their mature bodies...grow... How? I mean, I know that this is fantasy, this is my genre but what the hell is that? I know that undead biology is what the author makes it but I find it more believable when all of their teeth fall out and get replaced with brand new sharp teeth capable of puncturing the skin than growing?!

On top of that, I found one of the supposedly most interesting scenes to be  boring and I actually skipped it because I already knew what happens. 

Anyway, I actually haven't finished rereading this yet but I know what happens next so I decided to share this with you now because I have no ideas for any other kind of posts. I also totally forgot about Top 10 Tuesday because I'm an idiot.

Have you read this book? 
Did you like it?
Do you have any suggestions for blog posts from me?

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