The Book of Life Deborah Harkness.
The Book of Life Deborah Harkness.
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.
At last! It’s out, the book that has the answers so many of us have been waiting for. It’s hard to know where to start when reviewing it, as this has been such a wonderful trilogy, a real treat for those who like me love to read long novels, ones that are full of detail with complex plots, real people and have a premise where we can really let our imagination run riot. I’ve been lost in a fabulous dreamland, peopled with all sorts of Creatures, and spanning time from now to centuries long gone, and places from UK, to rest of Europe and beyond. There are lots of 5 star books out, and it’s not until you read one such as this that you feel there ought to be a special category for them. How can we compare them with some 150 page, fun to read, light fluff, that’s 5 star for what it is, but doesnt begin to compare with a book like this? It’s what you want at the time, but will not do what this does and stay with you for days, weeks, months….
I bought book one by mistake, soon after it’s release – but what a great thing I did. I loved it, it brought me to a whole new genre, and I’d hate to have to have missed this trilogy, which has been a real treat to read and one that will def be in my all time favourites file. I’ve recently re read books one and two, so the story is fresh in my mind. I’d recomment that if like me you read a lot, these are complex reads and there’s been so much happened to Matthew and Diana it could get confusing otherwise.
So, this book, the one with the answers, where sadly we finally get the closure and to say goodbye to everyone ( but i’ll be greeting them again like old friends on my next reread). Well, I’ve been reading an ARc in softback, though I usually read ebooks. Like lots of us eyesight is such that kindle and it’s larger text makes reading easier. Having to go back to print meant it took me a few days to finish this ( and £200 for new glasses as I’d not realised til I started this I needed them to read traditional text….) so I was reading in parts, promising myslef I’d stop after finishing this chapter…or the next…or the one after that…. It’s one of those hard to put down books, and if I’d had it as ebook it would have been down everything, do nothing else til i’d finished. It’s long too so ebook are lighter – I found not only that my eyes struggled after a couple of hours, but my arms did too!
Anyway, the duo are back in the present time and there’s lots to exchange. They need to know whats happened while they’ve been away, and the others need to know what they found. I missed being back in history – I enjoyed that part of the novel immensly – but also I needed to know whats coming. How are they going to deal with The Congregation and its vindictive creatures who are out to get Matthew and Diana, and what are they going to do about the Covenant. They need to go into hiding once again while they work out how to get The Book of Life back whole again, and how to find the missing pages – only that has the answers they need to survive. There’s not just Diana and Matthew now either, but their twins who’ve yet to be born but are in real danger from those who want to keep to the old ways.
Once again the journey crosses countries, answers puzzles and sets new ones. Diana learns more about her spell weaving abilities, we meet old friend from the past as well as the ones in the present. There’s news to exchange and the search for the book takes on a real desperation. They need to find it before its too late and time runs out but the search brings them all inot real danger. I love the way the story weaves together so many different threads – its like one of Diana’s spells, you never quite know what’s coming next! Just when I think I’ve got the characters placed on the good/bad side too, things happen that make me change my mind, much as I started thinking Ysabeau was bad for Diana in book one, then she gradually became a staunch supporter and much needed ally, so too did other characters change my mind as the story progressed.
I’m back to rambling again – sorry – it’s just that there’s so much to say about this trilogy, its such a real treasure, a book for readers who want to really get their teeth into the story, that covers vampires, witches, daemons and of course humans…it has more than you could ever imagine in it, and I’m in awe of someone who can come up with such a complex story and pull it off so perfectly.
Stars: five of course….
Arc supplied by publishers
Reviews books one and two