Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Published July 10, 2012

*There are spoilers for A Discovery of Witches ahead.*

Summary:  This book picks up just where A Discovery of Witches left off — Matthew and Diana have been forced to flee the present because the Congregation doesn’t approve of their interspecies relationship. Though she performed the spell, Diana wasn’t sure what time they were traveling too until they got there. Elizabethan England is everything that Diana hopes it will be and more. Because it is her area of study at Oxford, she easily becomes wrapped up in experiencing life in the past and in historical inquiry. However, it’s not all fun and games in the past (and really what fun would that be for a book?) Matthew and Diana have jobs to do while in the 1500s: they must find Ashmole 782 and Diana must learn to control her magic. All of this becomes more complicated when Matthew quickly reverts to his not-so-nice sixteenth-century behaviors in the past! Everyone in the present (Ysebeau, Sarah, Marcus, etc) quickly notices that by going back the two disrupted the timeline.

Rating: 5/5
It should come as no surprise that I loved this book as much as Harkness’s last! Her characters are believable supernaturally, something that is not generally the case in the “Twilight” era. Diana is the scholar that I always wanted to be and I too always dreamed of going back to Elizabethan England. Everything that Diana and Matthew experience in the 1500s feels new and exciting, which is mostly due to Harkness’s own research interests. Deborah Harkness, like her fictional counterpart Diana, is an Elizabethan scholar. She wrote The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. I was taken with not only the historical setting but also the complex ways in which Harkness weaves together her characters. She knows so much about their back stories that it sometimes took me a little while to catch on to how certain people were connected (and it was a good thing!). I love a little challenge, and a history lesson, with my book.

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Blogger’s Note: I received a review copy of this book from Viking

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Book Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan




Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan

Published June 1, 2012

Summary:  Set in modern day city, Dark Kiss is reminiscent of Twilight with more lovable characters and a stronger narrative voice. Samantha is a teenager who runs into a mysterious homeless boy, Bishop. Bishop seems a little off but after he kills a man in front of Samantha she’s forced to involve herself in his world. Rather than reinventing the YA paranormal trope of a love triangle Rowan sticks to the script and introduces Bishop’s brother, Kraven. Bishop and Kraven have been sent to earth on a mission to save Sam’s city from soul eating monsters called grays — the catch is that Sam herself is a gray and doesn’t know it.

Bechdel Test?: Not at all. Sam and Carly talk a lot about Stephen (a hot guy at their school), Kraven and Bishop but don’t discuss much else.

Rating: 3/5
Maybe because I’ve always found Anne Rice to be the original, but Rowan’s Samantha is more fresh than Bella Swan; for the stronger female character along I found myself wrapped up in Dark Kiss. Even though the story isn’t the most original thing ever I will probably indulge in the sequel when it comes out.

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Blogger’s Note: Just a quick note to say I’m sorry this review took so long to get up . I finished the book before my graduation on May 19th but life has just gotten in the way. I have a few more posts coming your way this week so check them out!