Time’s Convert – A Review

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will know how much I enjoyed the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Although Time’s Convert isn’t strictly part of the trilogy, it’s part of the series and focuses primarily on Matthew’s son, Marcus and his fiance’s transition into becoming a vampire.

Time's Convert

It was great to read about the familiar characters again, and have a glimpse into what was going on in the lives of Matthew and Diana and their steps into parenthood. BUT as I mentioned above this was focusing mostly on Marcus and Phoebe. 

Once again, Deborah Harkness, did a great job of the flashbacks aspects of the book, when Marcus tells his story of his life before being made a vampire. This part of Marcus’ life was really well written and at times, quite emotive. You really can tell that Deborah has a passion for portraying history and historical events authentically.

We then learn about Marcus’ early days as a vampire and the years following. It was these latter years, after Matthew and Juliette kill off most of Marcus’ children that it started to all get a little too convoluted for me. I had the same issues with the latter part of the last book in the All Souls Trilogy, in the sense that things felt a little rushed and almost too easy.

Whilst aspects of Phoebe’s transition were interesting, I just felt that alot of it was kind of disappointing, and again, the last part of her transition was rushed and easy. What saved this book for me were the parts about Marcus’ past. Which thankfully, there are quite a few chapters of. 

Not a bad read, but not great.

Star Rating out of 5: 3.5

Do you have an opinion completely different to mine? I’d love to hear it. Comment below with  your thoughts.

Happy reading.

G.
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All Souls Trilogy – The Book of Life (Book 3) – A Review

This is the final book in the trilogy and it was the one I took my time with the most, I’m sure all fellow bookworms out there can relate to the pain we feel when a good book series comes to an end. 

The Book of Life DH

After travelling back from 1590’s London, Diana and Matthew, now married, face bigger challenges than the Congregation and tracking down Ashmole 782, a disavowed son of Matthew’s by the name of Benjamin. A truly hellish creature who uses methods of torture to see if witches are capable of getting pregnant to a vampire. So not only do Diana and Matthew have to battle for their relationship, but their survival too.

As with all the books in the series, there’s a great mixture of the supernatural, science and history in the book. And plenty of drama to keep you interested, however the ONLY thing I felt was a bit of a let down was towards the end and the meeting with Diana and the congregation. In a bid to get inter-species marriage allowed and recognised. I felt that it was resolved far too easily, considering that a large chunk of the battle was to get people out of their antiquated mind set.

That being said, it did tie everything up nicely and I really did love the series. It was the first book in a long time that made me want to know what happened next, and really helped re-ignite my passion for reading.

Star Rating out of 5: 4

What did you think of the last book? Do you agree with my comments? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please comment below.

Happy reading.

G.
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All Souls Trilogy – Shadow of Night (Book 2) – A Review

This is the second book and the series, and in my opinion, the best one. This book is all about Diana coming to accept that she has magic within her and that she’s actually a weaver, a rare breed of witch. The decision is made that if Diana and Matthew are to have any hope of gaining answers about Ashmole 782 and Diana is to get the guidance she needs to understand her power more, the pair must time walk to 1590’s London.

Shadow of Night DH

What I really loved about this novel, were the historical aspects. It’s very clear to see that Deborah Harkness is a historian and a fan of history. Her style of writing actually made me want to go out and learn more about history. Her descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells were almost tangible. It made the experience of reading the book richer, it was so easy for me to get lost in the pages.

The pair search for Ashmole 782 whilst scouring the streets of London for a suitable teacher for Diana. In this book, Diana definitely becomes stronger and more determined, less scared of her power and more willing to control it so that she can use it if necessary. She gets to see part of Matthew and his past which gives her more understanding of him and deepens her love and respect for him. 

There are some great characters introduced, especially Philippe de Clairmont, Matthew’s father, a man, otherwise surrounded in mystery. The moments with Matthew and Philippe were particularly well written and it was hard not to feel a bit emotional, likewise with Diana and her father, who was savagely murdered by other witches, along with her mother, when she was just a child.

There are ups and downs, but this book is one hell of a ride. As I said, personally for me this was the standout book because there were so many elements I loved, especially the historical descriptors.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

Do you agree that this is the strongest book in the series? Or do you disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Comment below.

Happy reading.

G.
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All Souls Trilogy – A Discovery of Witches (Book 1) – A Review

I am thankful that the building where I currently live has a communal room. A place with sofa’s, chairs, tables, cushions, a kitchen, a TV, board games and a bookshelf. People can leave books they won’t read again there, or loan a book to read. It was during one of my visits to drop off duplicate books I had, and ones I wouldn’t read again, that I found this.

A Discovery of Witches DH

It piqued my interesting from the moment I read the back cover and I started reading it as soon as I got back to my flat. Usually with a book, I can tell within the first chapter or so if it’s going to pull me in, well with this, I read about 4 Chapters that first night, I was hooked.

The first in a trilogy series it introduces us to Diana Bishop, an Oxford Scholar, who during some research comes across a mysterious text known as Ashmole 782 (The Book of Life) When touching the book, Diana’s powers are awoken (Diana’s a witch but has ignored her power and tries to stay away from that part of her life completely) Pretty soon, she notices that other creatures are interested in the book, and how she came to acquire it, given that it had been missing for 150 years. Matthew Clairmont, a vampire who is over 1000 years old and has been looking for the book for the same amount of time it’s been missing, is introduced at this point. He goes to the Bodleian Library, hoping to find the book but instead meets Diana.

At this point you might be rolling your eyes and thinking it sounds like every other supernatural book involving witches, vampires and daemons. But trust me, this isn’t cheesy predictable trite like Twilight, this is actually really well written, with well researched content and complex characters. Some likeable, others not so much.

Pretty soon, Diana, with the help of Matthew, decides to accept her power a bit more, whilst trying to discover the importance of the Ashmole text to witches, daemons and vampires. Threats are made, Diana and Matthew are both in danger, and the Congregation (a board made up of representatives of vampires, witches and daemons) are now getting involved, particularly with the relationship that seems to be simmering between Diana and Matthew.

The pacing of the book is perfect, with the tension building throughout and the action taking part towards the end, which leaves you wanting more. I adored this book, and consequently started reading the second book as soon as I finished this one.

Star Rating out of 5: 5

I’ll be posting a review about the second book shortly, but I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read the series and hear what your thoughts are, comment below to discuss.

Happy reading.

G.
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Supermutant Magic Academy – A Review

Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

SMMAJT

This was a purchase I made when browsing through the book shop one day, I was looking for some more comic books to try out and I stumbled across this. I flicked through the pages and just found myself getting drawn in.

Told in a series of single page comics, it follows the lives of the students of Supermutant Magic Academy, a prep school for mutants and witches; despite their obvious differences a lot of the issues they face are familiar. Some pages really made me think, and others made me laugh out loud. I’d say the characters of Marsha and Wendy act as the centre and feature more than say Trixie or Everlasting Boy, but you feel invested in them (Marsha especially) so  I didn’t mind.

It’s quirky, fun, provocative and not what I expected at all. I loved the artwork in this and the imagery worked so fluidly with the dialogue, Jilliam Tamaki just seemed to find the perfect balance of everything. It’s an easy enough read that you could probably get through it one sitting, but I’d suggest just taking your time, really look at the panels and take in what the characters are saying.

Thoroughly enjoyable and one that I would definitely recommend to other people, I will probably leaf through this again at some point in the near future and I’m SUPER keen to read some more of Jillian Tamaki’s work, but what a great place for me to start!

Star Rating out of 5: 5

‘I dunno, to be honest, I was just hoping to keep the demons away…’

Happy reading bookworms!

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Book Review – Witch Hunt by Syd Moore

I was really keen to read this book, what with it being the month of October, I thought it would help set the scene for Halloween and get me in the mood. And don’t get me wrong, it did deliver some creepy moments but it quickly turned into something of a let down.

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Sadie Asquith is a journalist who has always been fascinated by the Essex Witch Trials of the 16th Century, and as she lands a book deal she finds herself delving into the past much more. But sadly the book deal has come at a traumatic time for Sadie, whose mum has just passed away. It isn’t long before Sadie begins to experience strange things, from ghostly apparitions to eerie voices and soon she begins to feel that she is being warned to stop writing the book.

Although well written and providing plenty of atmosphere, there were moments when the book seemed to repeat itself a little bit and the moments that were created to conjure fear in the readers were too few for my liking. Saying that when there was a scenario where fear and tension were built, they were classics and delivered perfectly. For example a moment where Sadie goes up into her loft to investigate the sound of a heavy object scraping along the floor, or the moment she’s in the shower and finds herself being swarmed in lice. Both delightfully creepy and icky.

But sadly I saw what was meant to be the twist, way before the character did, which any book reader will admit is most disappointing. We want to be shocked by a good twist or horrified by a well timed surprise, but I’m afraid this was written in such a way that it was somewhat spoiled for me. It is a well-researched book, which if anything will probably encourage you to go and look into Witch Trials that took place in Britain and read up more on Matthew Hopkins. I’d recommend this to people who are interested in the history of Witch trials and for those looking for an easy Halloween read.

Star Rating out of 5: 3.5

‘And so I walked like a ghost through the memories of my afterlife.’

 

Happy reading fellow bookworms.

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