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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life is the explosive finale of the All Souls Trilogy. In a way, I'm sad to see this trilogy come to end because I fell in love with Deborah Harkness's writing and her characters. This trilogy remains one of my favorites, not only because of the amazing story but because of the attention to detail, the countless, beautiful settings and the imaginative paranormal world.

After venturing in Elizabethan London and sixteenth century Europe, Matthew and Diana are back in modern day world. Still looking for Ashmole 782, the legendary manuscript that is supposed to hold the answers to life (or so they say), they have new and old enemies to face in order to stay together as a couple. Not only are their marriage and lives at risk, but the twins Diana carries are so improbable, other paranormal creatures are bound to be apprehensive and mistrustful of children conceived between a witch and a vampire. That's one of the wonderful things about Deborah Harnkness's writing. Witches and vampires are nothing new in fiction, yet the way she pushes the boundaries of the paranormal society she created resonates with our own modern day problems. People are so afraid of change and what they don't understand, that their first responses are to reject and dismantle. Diana and Matthew are one of my favorite fictional couples. As a witch and a vampire they've had to endure a lot of apprehension and negativity. Despite being fictitious, they feel real and their story is easy to believe.

As Diana continues to explore her magic and her spell weaving abilities, the paranormal world continues to expand. The author's attention to detail is amazing. Simple things like going into the details about the weaving of a spell and the magical tree that bears odd fruits like keys, not only enthralls me as a reader but makes this world that much more believable, despite its improbability.


Family is an important theme throughout the series but even more so in this last book. Harkness didn't reinvent the wheel when is comes to the "modern" family. She shows us that family doesn't need to be simply biological. A family is something that is in perpetual growth, that knows no limits and despite judgement, it's something that should always be what you need it to be. Family is also community, something that you depend on when things get difficult. Above everything else, the author makes us wish for the de Clermont and Bishop family love.

While book two had us travel through history, The Book of Life has us traveling throughout the world. The multiple settings adds depth and wonder to the story. Despite the new settings like New Orleans and New Haven, I'm glad we still got to visit Sept-Tour, Oxford and Madison. Throughout this series, we are also given a taste of magic and supernatural elements, which are definitely dominant in this book, but the science geek in me is thrilled that science was also a major aspect to the story. History and science blends so well together in this trilogy that it should please any academic and educate anyone who is willing to learn.

In my opinion, this trilogy shouldn't be seen as three separate books. It's one big story that should be enjoyed as a whole. There's definitely still lots to tell and I hope that one day the author will elaborate and continue the untold and unfinished stories of these characters. Deborah Harkness's imagination is a rare gift to readers and I'm sure I'll treasure Diana and Matthew's story for a long time.

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stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. I think I prefer this cover to the British one I have. I have this book on my TBR pile but I feel I am going to have to go back and start from scratch and read it all in one go! Great review!

  2. I haven't read the 3rd book yet, looking forward to it!