Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness

This is the third and final installment of the All Souls trilogy. Witch Diana Bishop meets Vampire Matthew Clairmont while doing research in a library. Diana calls out a book, Ashmole 782, unaware that the book is really a volume known as the Book of Life, a text that details the origins of the Creature communities; Witches, Daemons, Vampires, and Humans.

Matthew Clairmont has been doing research into Creature genetics in an attempt to cure his blood rage, a Vampire genetic disorder involving uncontrolled feeding and killing. Diana and Matthew meet after she finds the book, only to have it disappear back into the library. They fall in love and travel back using Diana's time traveler powers to attempt to find the book in the past. They don't find the book, but they do find one of the three missing pages from the book, along with the fact that Diana who's always been all thumbs with magic, is a weaver and that her parent's blocked her powers on purpose.

The Book of Life picks up with Diana and Matthew returning to their proper time. They've been married and are expecting twins, despite a covenant agreed to by the Creature community that the blood lines won't mix. Now everyone is after them.

Book three is all about disclosures. Where as in book one and two Diana and Matthew hid everything, their research, their knowledge, their relationship, in book three it all comes out. They enlist old friends and new, crossing lines in the Creature communities in ways that hasn't happened since before the covenant. It's everything or nothing in book three as the second missing page of three from the Book of Life is found and they are hot on the trail of the third. If they can put the book together, it can be read, and the origins of the species will finally be answered.

*Spoiler Alert*

If you haven't read the book yet and you like surprises, don't read the rest of this. I loved the first two books. I was lukewarm about this one. The number of characters was overwhelming at times. Everyone and literally their dog are in book three. Unlike the first two books, book three contains POV changes that I wasn't crazy about. The action gets crazy, with Diana and Matthew doing an abrupt about face and instead of hiding what they're doing, everything is put out on the table for all to see, including all the humans in Diana's and Matthew's lives.

With babies on the way and living together, they wouldn't be able to hide forever, but it felt like there weren't even discussions taking place about it, they just start talking. They turn their genetics research over to a group of graduate students and then Diana and Matthew split up; Matthew heading off to form his own Scion so they can get away from Baldwin, and Diana heading off to search for the missing page so they can expose the origins and break the covenant.

That said, the amount of research Harkness did to write this book was impressive. It was very well written (POV changes aside). I did like the way it ended. I do have closure, and that's always nice.

If you did finish this book and feel like heading to the future for a change of pace pick up Girl Found, available at Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold.

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