Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Book of Life (Spoiler-free!)

The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness's third installment in the All Souls trilogy, was a huge step up from book two, Shadow of Night. Y'all might remember that I was not a big fan. I was BEYOND THRILLED to be thoroughly sucked into this book even though it has some of the same little issues and tics from the previous volumes. 

Diana, the wishy-washy witch, and Matthew, the passive aggressive vampire hunk, are on the run from a pervasive evil...and who on earth can they trust???? They have family problems, they have vampire/witch/daemon problems. All kinds of conflict is afoot. How's that for vague?

I think the pacing was the thing that improved most from Shadow of Night to this volume. While I often found myself bored or wondering when something noteworthy would happen in book #2, I rarely felt that way reading The Book of Life. More focus and more action were absolutely necessary to make me like this book. 

I enjoyed revisiting some of my favorite characters in this volume...namely the boisterous Gallowglass and the irritable Ysabeau. I was also tickled to see some much-needed character development and growth in Mathew and Diana. I mean, really. It took Diana long enough to "grow a set" and really ramp up the magic.

Some annoying things:

  • Some threads left undone
  • ALL THE NAMES of characters I didn't remember from earlier in the series (not the writer's fault)
  • Vampire/witch/daemon politics that were muddled at times
Overall, though, worth reading if you're interested to know how the series will end. Diana is a badass in some spots, which I really appreciated. 


Pub. Date: Today! July 15, 2014
Publisher: Viking
Format: E-galley
ISBN: 9780670025596
Source: From a reading buddy.



18 comments:

  1. My sister loved the first book - I guess I should get the next 2 for her.

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    1. Absolutely! They're a rollicking good time.

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  2. Glad to know this was better than #2. I love the cover for this one and wanted to read it before I saw it was #3 in a series. Now I'm on the fence. If I do end up picking this series up I'll keep in mind that it gets better if I find myself trudging through book 2!

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    1. Definitely do! I enjoyed the first one a lot, dipped in the second book, but this one finished strong.

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  3. I've thought about reading this series often, but I get a bit cranky when I have to wait for the final book to be released. Sounds like it's safe for me to give it a go, now, though I am a bit concerned, given the level of eye rolling you've mentioned for book 2...

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    1. It's worth a go! If you hate it, you can always bail out. hehe

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  4. The Book of Life was definitely MUCH improved from Shadow of Night. I still got a bit bored mid-way through but like you, I was so so glad Diana finally grew a pair! I love how you describe Matthew as the passive aggressive vampire macho! that says it all!

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    1. Absolutely! And thank goodness!

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  5. I feel like this is a common problem with trilogies - book #2 has to get everything out of the way so that book #3 can be the big finish. Anyway, I'm glad this series ended on a high note for you!! :)

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    1. Yep! Except the Chaos Walking trilogy. I loved the second book in that set, but it's definitely the exception to the rule.

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  6. I can't wait to read this! I've been waiting on this one for so long and I'm excited to get back to the world! I think I may wait and make this part of my October reading though!

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  7. Hmm, I read #1--really enjoyed it, have #2 on my kindle poised to read and want to get #3.
    I am a bit discouraged that a few of you are saying #2 drags..I'm afraid I might get frustrated and give up on it, but then I couldn't read the last...

    Thanks for your honest opinion. It's refreshing after hearing so many people give the whole series the highest praises, without mentioning the lull in the middle.

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  8. I just downloaded the audiobook on this one (I also listened to the previous two). I have just been totally sucked into this series. I love listening to the books while I'm working out or doing chores!

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  9. I didn't get through book 1. I had like 100 pages to go and gave up. I really do want to give it a read again. I think I just might. Maybe I wasn't in the mood at the time.

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  10. I haven't read anything from this series, but I'm intrigued!

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  11. I loved this series, but the first book remains my favorite. I have a soft spot for academia.

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  12. I have been holding out on this series as I didn't want to invest in another set of thick books.

    Now that the series is over, How was it overall? I don't mind one book being meh but if the other two make up for it, I might decide to try it out.

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  13. I finally got my own copy of this book last night! I can't wait to dive into it ... as soon as I'm done re-reading Shadow of Night!

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