Thursday 30 May 2024

Audiobook Reread - A Discovery of Witches

I am going to be honest: this was meant to be one of the series I wanted to reread this year. And I wanted to do it before the release of the newest installation of the All Souls world, The Black Bird Oracle, which is coming out in mid-July. Now, I don’t think I’m going to be able to binge-reread the rest of the All Souls trilogy (Shadow of Night and Book of Life) as well as the companion novel, Time’s Convert, before it’s release. 

But I am going to try and reread (all via audio) before the end of the year. I do think I am going to attempt Time’s Convert next month (I read this originally and was very middle of the road about it, but I got the audiobook on sale so am doing to attempt it this way as see if my opinion changes as I really like the leads in this). 

Anyway, like I said, I really wanted to reread this, which means I needed to start from the beginning. 

Title and Author:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Headline
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook Bought
Buy From (Affiliate):

Diana Bishop is a scholar and descendant of a line of powerful witches, though she tries very hard not to use her magic. When she discovered a strange manuscript at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she returns it to its archives due to the strange enchantments around it. But this manuscript - Ashmole 782 - was thought long lost and deeply enchanted and now, vampires, witches and daemons, are coming to Oxford, watching Diana. In the hopes she recalls it. 

For this book has its own secrets and it looks like Diana is right in the middle of it…
Like I said earlier, I was planning to reread this series as, in truth, I have only read it once through, though this would be my fourth reread of A Discovery of Witches. And while I still enjoyed myself within this world and these characters, there were things I did pick up on that did make me not like it on this outing compared to my previous. 

I think I said this once before that this book is very detail heavy, and at times, this does slow the plot down. You noticed it in the middle of the book where a lot of information and detail is given out (most of which isn’t exactly important to the novel or the series as a whole), and this slows the pace down. It doesn’t come to a halt, but it does slow everything down and I found myself getting irritated at our leads, Diana and Matthew. 

I mentioned this in my very early write-up of A Discovery of Witches is the amount of tea and red wine drunk. It’s repeated many, many times, as do some phrases. I could have so easily turned it into a drinking game when Diana and Matthew had a mug of tea or a glass of wine. 

But there is something about this world and these characters I really like. I really like Diana and Matthew and their relationship (a tad insta-love for my tastes) and I am a huge fan of Diana’s aunts, Sarah and Em, as well as some vampires (namely Ysabeau and Marcus). And there’s something about the world I really like. 

While this is a smart adult fantasy (and the TV adaption was great - I only did the first series, which is based on this book. I wanted to read each book per series to compare, but I got busy and forgot. Real life, huh?), there are elements that weren’t for me, mainly when information was given to Diana and to the reader (for a book that is very detail heavy, the amount of times a piece of very important information is dropped on us without any forewarning and it comes at the most convenient time happens multiply times in the book and it’s very annoying when it happens. For example, how are the readers meant to know about timewalking if it has never been mentioned and the reader doesn’t know it exists or is a thing?)

So yes, this is a series I like and I am going to continue rereading this, but it’s a series that has flaws. And yes, I am very excited to read Black Bird Oracle and to reread Time’s Convert in the near future… 

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