I have now finished reading the third volume of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy titled The Book of Life.
First I would recommend to those just now jumping in at the beginning to start with volume one and read the trilogy straight through. It is not a novel with two sequels. It is one continuing story. I had read the first two entries last year. Coming to part three this much later was a little difficult. I spent a significant amount of time in the first few chapters saying, “Who is Baldwin? Who is Fernando? Remind why there is a tree growing in the fireplace? “
Overall I would grant this trilogy the accolade of a very entertaining romp. Although it revolves around the exploits of vampires, witches and daemons Continue reading
Having failed at choosing a satisfying Halloween read with Something Wicked This Way Comes I am taking up another gauntlet. The next book to read is The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, book three (and final entry) in her All Souls Trilogy. With only a couple of days to go before Halloween and the thickness of this book I will probably finish it around Thanksgiving but so be it.
The first two books (read back to back prior to the Journey of 100 Books) were an entertaining romp. Set in a world where there are four species of intelligent life (Vampires, Witches, Daemons, and Humans) (levels of intelligence ranking vary depending on character but all agree Humans are the lowest on the ladder) we have a reluctant witch in peril because she has seen a grimoire that is coveted by the entire witch population. Now many believe that since she has seen it she must be in possession of it and they want it even if it means killing her to get it. Her life now in peril she is finding protection in the company of a dashing vampire with an impeccable taste in wine and more degrees than a thermometer. Of course they fall in love, get married, that whole bit (his mother is so unimpressed). Peril increases with each turned page. We time travel. We cast spells. We suck blood. The daemons, who are basically creative geniuses, so far seem to be around just to keep everything interesting. The humans just seem to get in the way and gum up the works.
When I left them all at the end of book two our heroine and her be-fanged husband/protector had just arrived back in the current century after having visited the court of Queen Elizabeth I. (You just wouldn’t believe who Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlowe really were. I never would have guessed). The whole witch/vampire/deamon world is after the grimoire too so those who aren’t for them are truly against them. The humans? They don’t even know something is going on. It’s a race against time, several times. Who will win? Will our heroine find the book before all the others? And if she does will she be able to use it for good before others use it for evil?
I’ll let you know.
©2014 M. Romeo LaFlamme
I haven’t done any research on Ray Bradbury and his intentions in writing Something Wicked This Way Comes so I am going to fly here on my own personal impressions; something I believe is the point of reading anyway. After all it is rare that two readers see exactly the same things in any one book.
In Something Wicked This Way Comes the lives of two pre-teen boys, as well as a small handful of adult townsfolk, are turned upside down when a strange carnival arrives in town late one night while the town slumbers. There is no surprise that there is something shady about this carnival, and not shady in a conman sort of way. This carnival is shady in a purely malevolent fashion. Continue reading