Author: Deborah Harkness
Published (paperback): 2011, Penguin Books
Setting: Contemporary England/France/New England
Diana Bishop is a historian researching medieval alchemical texts at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. When she encounters a manuscript hidden for centuries, the supernatural world pursues her, and her repressed heritage as a powerful witch must surface.
This book starts with a promising plot and nice writing, but it quickly derails into syrupy romance complete with a controlling vampire, a whiny heroine, and a force of vampire “police”.
Sound familiar? It should. This is the book that Twilight built. The rooms may be in different locations and the furniture rearranged, but there are so many similarities (nearly exact scenes and dialogue) that the ‘P’ word crossed my mind multiple times.
To make matters worse, the story is a sludgy soup of supernatural: witches, vampires, daemons (not to be confused with demons), ghosts, time travel, an enchanted house, and a Roman goddess thrown in for good measure.
In the end, I happily imagined Supernatural’s Sam and Dean hunting down these characters and ending my misery. “I hate witches,” Dean would say.
The only positives are that it seemed well-researched and it held my attention enough to finish it.
Have you read this book? I would love to know your thoughts!