Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Publisher: Viking
Pages: 584
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

My Review:

I have always had a weird fascination with witch stories since I was a teenager so this series really interested me when it first came out. Sadly it took me awhile to get to reading the first book A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (I only got to it so quick because of the chance to read this one). And I'm glad I read these books so close together. SHADOW OF NIGHT picks up right where Harkness left us in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, I love when books do that because I feel like I am still with the story, and I don't have to try to put together a puzzle of what happened before.

Harkness does a beautiful job pulling her readers in to Diana and Matthew's story from the beginning, but I did find this book was able to pull me in to the pages more than the first one did. So much happened right from the beginning and we continually meet new characters throughout. What I really enjoyed was how Harkness added in little glimpses of what the other characters were dealing with back in the future while Diana and Matthew have their problems in the past to get through.

This book gives readers the history of Matthew throughout his years and more information on his family. It was interesting to get more information on what Matthew was like in the past and to find out many of his secrets. Though the biggest thing I loved about the book was the historical aspect added in. Learning something about the School of Night group really kept me gripped to the pages, I really enjoy when there is some historical added in with the magical, it gives history a fun kick.

The only thing that I disliked about the book was its length. I felt like there were a few added scenes that just came across as more filler than anything pertinent to the story. In the end I believe that this book still could have been just as good, even 100 pages shorter. I felt like the story was being dragged on a little longer than need be and at times I just wanted to be done reading it, though I didn't want the story of Diana and Matthew to be over.

Harkness definitely drew me in with her first book and I liked that the second book explored a new direction of the story, and I cannot wait to see where this story will end.

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