Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Discovery of Witches

I have been hearing about this book for a long time, but it took me a while to get around to reading A Discovery of Witches  by Deborah Harkness.  Oh, it took me too long.  Actually, I saw it in a store right after it came out, but I didn't know anything about it and didn't really want to pay $20 for a hardback copy of a book of which I had never heard.  Then I saw it at a library book sale for $5, but my pile was too tall and I thought it could wait.  Finally, I went in to the library book store searching for something completely different and spied this on the shelf.  It was only $3, but alas I had only $2 in my pocket.  Suddenly, I wondered what section of books were on sale that day and would you believe it?  Fiction was a dollar off!  For $2 I was able to take this practically new gem home.  I love my library! 
Okay, so then I went to GoodReads to list it as currently reading and I browsed quickly through the reviews.  Those reviews had me a little worried.  There were a lot of 4- and 5-star reviews, but there were almost as many 1- and 2-star reviews.  Had I picked up a stinker?  The poor reviews complained that it was too long, that it needed more editing, and the most surprising to me, that it was too academic.  Readers complained that the science aspect of the novel was too complicated and they just couldn't understand what was going on.  Now, I'm no Sheldon Cooper, but I didn't have a hard time at all with the discussions of DNA and history.  While I can understand how one reviewer called it "Twilight for middle-aged academics", I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was far smarter and better developed than Twilight and the characters are all educated adults.  Of course, it is still a fantasy, but that is the fun thing about reading, isn't it?  We get to dive into a fantasy world and run around in it for a bit. 
A Discovery of Witches  is about Diana Bishop, a direct descendant of one of the witches executed in the Salem Witch Trials.  Diana has spent most of her life trying to ignore the magic she has inherited from her parents, but the time has come when she can no longer turn her back on her heritage.  In Diana's world, not only do witches exist, but also vampires and daemons.  Most of the humans are oblivious to this fact, but a new crisis endangers their ignorance. 
I was sick this week and while it's no fun to be sick, it helps when one has a wonderful book with which to curl up on the couch.  That is just what I did.  The second book in the series has already been downloaded to my Kindle and I can't wait to get to it! 

My favorite quote:  "The scars don't bother me.  They're just signs that I've fought and survived."

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