A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Description from Goodreads: A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism
My thoughts: Diana Bishop's life takes a drastic turn when she calls up an ancient manuscript from Oxford's library. She is a descendant of a long line of witches, and the book recognizes her. She opens it up and finds the creatures of the paranormal are now following her. They all want the book, but no one has been able to find it, until she shows up. Now her life is in danger.
The most persistent paranormal creature is a vampire. His name is Matthew and he begins to follow her everywhere. But soon realizes that his interest is not just academic.
When I started to read this story, it seemed like it would be pretty straight forward. I soon realized that there are many levels to the story. Deborah Harkness has weaved a tale with many layers. This is not a book to read in one sitting. It took me several days to read and comprehend.
I recommend this book only to adults. There is violence, and intimacy that isn't graphic.
The second book comes out next month. I just pre-ordered it. I am very interested to see where she plans to take the story and the I love the fact that it will be set in 16th century London.
I read this book as my June selection for the 2012 TBR Pile reading challenge. Yes, one more book that has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust has now been read. :)