Review: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

Own the book: NoA-Discovery-of-Witches-US
Source: Library
Format: Hardback
Publish date: 2011
Price: N/A
Date Read: 29th July 2014

 

Over the past few months I have had A Discovery of Witches out on loan from the library a number of times. Each time though, I found other things to read or do and for whatever reason never picked the book up.

I was a complete and utter idiot.

At 592 pages (the last 2 of the 594 are acknowledgements) the hardback version is a bit of a behemoth and certainly put a touch of fear in my heart. Overcoming this – even thanks to the third in the trilogy landing neatly on my doormat from the wonderful people at BookBridgr – was difficult, especially when I didn’t find my mind caught after the first few pages. I persevered however and soon found myself caught hook, line and sinker. I was addicted – in a good way.

The story centres around the main character; a witch called Diana Bishop. In a world filled with humans, witches, daemons and vampires, Diana is trying her hardest to keep away from a life of magic. Turning away from something you are though is impossible as Diana finds, with little bits of magic creeping out where she least expects. An alchemical history professor researching at Oxford, Diana comes into contact with many old and unusual texts; none more so than Ashmole 782. As shocked as Diana is when she realises there is a spell on the book, it is nothing to her feelings when she finds out that others are after this long-lost and very important text. However, Matthew (swoon) – a vampire and Diana’s love interest – is soon along to aid her. Travelling from the UK to France to America, Matthew and Diana are on the run from the witches and vampires who are after Diana. Meeting with allies old and new, Matthew and Diana soon have a plan; Diana must learn how to control her magic.

Although I was very late to the party for this book, I am so glad I read it. It was an absolute joy. I was transported away into another world – one I didn’t want to leave. The story of Matthew and Diana is a fantastic one and I can’t wait to read part 2; Shadow of Night and part 3; The Book of Life. With loveable and dislikeable characters galore, lines that have you in stitches and situations that have you reaching for the tissues, A Discovery of Witches is a delight and a wonder.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it.

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Events: #SexMeUpReadathon and #Sunathon 2014

This week is going to be fun and busy with two exciting events going on this week. Along with a normal week of work I shall be joining other twitterati and book bloggers to celebrate books and reading… By reading! I’m so eager to start that I’m up at 6am on a Sunday writing this blog!

 

#SexMeUpReadathon : Monday 21st – Friday 25th July 2014

First up, running Monday to Friday we have the #SexMeUpReadathon. You can follow on Twitter with that hashtag, along with #LetsGetItOn and #StaySexy. Even better is that I have written a guest post for it; my very first! My post, titled ‘The Taboo of Erotica’ will be going live at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd. Definitely a *squee* moment going to be going on there!

There is so much else to be looking forward to during the week including Q&A’s, other guest posts, short stories, authors (including J Kenner!) talking sex and a very exciting amount more. You can find a (nearly) finalised schedule for the week over at the #SexMeUpReadathon blog here. I shall be printing a copy to keep with me!

 

#Sunathon : Monday 21st – Sunday 27th July 2014

The second event runs from Monday to Sunday and is #Sunathon. Again, follow on Twitter with that hashtag. You can read Emma Louise’s fantastic introductory blog post about it here.

 

The object and idea of both readathons is to encourage people to pick up their books and read. They aren’t races to finishing lines or competitions to see who can read the most- a view I absolutely adore. As I joined up first to the #SexMeUpReadathon my book choices have mainly been for that, although all books will also count for #Sunathon. Maybe I am being a little hopeful in the amount I will be reading but no matter as I will enjoy reading all I can!

So, my list of Erotica for #SexMeUpReadathon:

#SexMeUpReadathon

Sources: The Story of O – My Bookshelf // Bound to Danger – BookBridgr // Crazy About the Baumgartners – NetGalley // Heated – Goodreads First Reads // Claimed By the Alpha Dolphins #1 – NetGalley // The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty – Library 

And my list of other books to include for #Sunathon:

#Sunathon

 Sources: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House – Goodreads First Reads // Don’t Fall – Giveaway Prize by Mily @TheYANightstand // Good Omens – My Bookshelf // Do or Die – NetGalley

All in all a lot to look forward to, although some of the books with rather large numbers of pages (such as ‘The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House’ – which I will eagerly admit to having started already – with 504 pages and ‘Do or Die’ with 577 pages)  are starting to worry me. Fortunately these are offset by some with very few! I keep reminding myself though, it’s not how much I read that matters, only that I am reading! I’m also excited to be mixing physical copies of books and e-books. It will be interesting to see which I prefer.

So, will you join us this week in celebrating reading? It doesn’t matter at all what you read or which Readathon you join in with – if you join in at all. Just read. Visit your local library or pick something dusty off your shelf. Give it a glance, give it a read. Browse Amazon for free books to try on Kindle or computer/phone app or buy a dozen which catch your imagination.

Give it a go.  I certainly hope you do and invite you warmly to join, watch and take part.

 

Review: Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans #3) by Suzanne Johnson

Own the book: Yes9780755397709
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Published: (Originally) 15th August 2013 by Headline
Price: N/A
Date Read: 15th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson for free through BookBridgr. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Elysian Fields is the third book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, preceded by Royal Street (#1) and River Road (#2). It is classed by Headline as a Fiction/Urban Fantasy mix. I couldn’t quite work out if this was aimed at a teen or adult audience however, but I think it could easily be enjoyed by both.

Before reading this book I will fully admit that I had not read either of the other books in the series but I was intrigued too much by the storyline and the gorgeous cover to let my chance to read it pass. And I’m so pleased I took it.

The Sentinels of New Orleans series focuses around the main character of DJ – Drusilla Jaco. DJ is an odd mix of wizard and elf, with the powers of both. The books are set around New Orleans in the times around Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane opened a passageway from the Beyond to present day New Orleans, giving characters still remembered by the world of today the opportunity to came back for periods. These characters can be good, bad or a charming pirate named Jean who is a mix of both. The world DJ lives in contains elves, werewolves, witches and wizards along with shapeshifters, elves and who knows what else.

Book three was an absolute joy to read. The characters imagined by Suzanne Johnson fully came to life in my mind and her descriptions were wonderful. I laughed, I hid in fear and I couldn’t put it down. I even had a 3am incident when I just didn’t want to stop reading, despite having to work the following day! I found that though I had missed the first two books in the series, I could still really enjoy the book as everything was explained succinctly enough to get the gist of what had previously happened without it ruining the flow.

I loved too the hints of romance in the story – the will they/won’t they play which still wasn’t sorted at the end. Can I hear a book 4 in the distance? Please? If bribery will work I’ll send cupcakes…!

It was a clever book and one I would certainly recommend. So please, give it a try!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Own the book: No
Source: Library
Format: Paperback
Price: N/A
Date Read: 30th March 2014

‘City of Bones’ is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. In 2013 it was made into a film. The book centres around the main character Clary Fray and her adventure to find her kidnapped mother and to find out more about herself and her family’s vast array of secrets. City of Bones fits firmly into the teen fantasy/paranormal genre with Shadowhunters, Werewolves and many others.

I greatly enjoyed this book, especially the twists and turns in the last third – my socks were definitely knocked off! Looking forward to reading book 2.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Review: Guards Guards by Terry Pratchett

Own the book: Yes
Format: Audio Book
Price: Unknown
Date Read: 25th January 2014

Guards Guards is the 8th book in the Discworld series and introduces the Watch – the police of Ankh Morpork. With the introduction of the Night Watch; Captain Vimes, Nobby Nobbs, Sergeant Colon and Carrot (the 6ft+ human raised as a dwarf) come even more snorts of laughter and odd looks from other people while reading this novel. A dragon is on the loose in Ankh Morpork, Draco Nobilis – a dragon believed to have gone from the Discworld… nothing like the Draco Vulgaris (swamp dragon) usually seen around the city and bred by Lady Sybil Ramkin. But surely someone must have summoned and be feeding this new dragon? It’s up to the Watch to find out, along with the assistance of Lady Sybil and Errol.

I adored this book and have listened to it again and again – some of the lines and comments from the characters are laugh-out-loud funny and the situations are a work of genius. Read it!!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Review: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Own the book: Yes
Format: Kindle e-Book
Price: £0.99p
Date Read: 20th January 2014

I have my father to thank for my love of Terry Pratchett’s works of genius. This book, the 40th in the Discworld series, sees the return of Moist von Lipwig who we previously met in ‘Going Postal’ and ‘Making Money’. This time, the steam powered railway is coming to the Discworld and doing so in style and with much humour.

My main admiration for the Discworld series comes from the way everyday situations, phrases and behaviours are commented upon and this comes through on every page. The books, while an escape from every-day life do make you think. The characters are funny, have their quirks (many of which are completely recognisable) and are all believable – a large task for an author. The setting of the story runs mainly in the twin cities of Ankh and Morpork, but there is far more travel than in other Discworld books I have read – necessary when covering the introduction of the steam railway.

Would I read more? Of course! There are still many of the Discworld series I have yet to read but I will also re-read old ones with pleasure.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥