Customer Reviews for

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 3811 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2270)

4 Star

(823)

3 Star

(317)

2 Star

(190)

1 Star

(211)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

102 out of 112 people found this review helpful.

Great choice for fans of Anne Rice's witch/vampire novels!

I have just finished reading this book and found it far more enjoyable than I expected to from reading the synopsis. A Discovery of Witches is by a first-time fiction author and is set in modern times, the fantasy element comes in when we discover that the makeup of th...
I have just finished reading this book and found it far more enjoyable than I expected to from reading the synopsis. A Discovery of Witches is by a first-time fiction author and is set in modern times, the fantasy element comes in when we discover that the makeup of the world's intelligent creatures is only around 90% human with the other 10% comprising witches, vampires and daemons. It is the story of Diana, the last witch in a long line of Butler witches who can trace their history back to the Salem Witch Trials. Diana has spent most of her life denying her magical abilities, her parents were killed when she was very young and fear plays a large part in her reluctance to use magic. When she discovers a mysterious lost (and magical) file in a library whilst researching the history of alchemy her life changes in a major way. She meets a gorgeous male vampire, Matthew, a distinguished scientist, who is a lot older than he looks, and he appoints himself as her protector against the horde of witches, vampires and daemons who want to know the secret of the missing manuscript, they all have their own theories about what this work contains and will stop at nothing to get it.

This is obviously the first book in a series and has both romantic and thriller elements in addition to its modern fantasy theme, it started a little too slowly for my liking but it is well worth persevering as once the pace picks up it is very hard to put down. In this society, vampires and witches hate each other as a general rule and the relationship that develops between Diana and Matthew has serious repercussions for the whole of non-human society. The dynamic between the two of them is fascinating, and more than a little erotic, this book is likely to appeal to women far more than men. Diana is feisty, Matthew is controlling, the clashes between the two of them, particularly as Diana learns just how much power she has, are sometimes emotional, sometimes humorous and always entertaining. I particularly loved the Bishop family house where Diana's aunt and her female partner (both witches themselves) live, I won't spoil the surprise but its certainly no ordinary home and the events that take place there provide some of the most humorous moments in the story as well as one of the most dramatic. This novel will definitely appeal to fans of Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches and Vampire Chronicles novels and I am looking forward to the next instalment. Be warned, it has a cliffhanger ending!

posted by Saetana on February 1, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

123 out of 209 people found this review helpful.

How can a ebook be more expensive than a hardcover?

B&N you have got to figure this out!!! There are so many books I would love to buy but seriously an ebook should not be more than $9.99!!!!!

posted by LoveToReadNYC on February 16, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 317 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 16
  • Posted February 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU WANT TO HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER ONE LATER...

    This is an epic page turner with a complicated story line and twists and turns over centuries and multiple locations.

    Unfortunately, it does not conclude. 25 pages from the end of the book and I realized that this was just one of what will eventually be a series of books... At least I hope so. Otherwise, we will just wonder what became of these characters. I don't mind reading a series of books, but I prefer to know prior to getting sucked into a book that I expected to conclude.

    The romance portion of the book as a little sappy. A bit much unless you are into over the top, rapidly developing emotions that don't happen in real life. The mystery portion was fascinating, but again there is no conclusion. So many questions are left unanswered. The characters are well developed and completely likable. It was a great read, but it leaves me wanting a resolution to the story lines and there is no information on any additional books that may be writen.

    30 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    Very mixed about this book

    When I heard about this book I bought it right away. It sounded like it would be one of those books that I would say for the rest of my life: "That was one of the best books I've ever read." I was planning on suggesting it to friends and family. It was so hyped up to be about magic and a world filled with other-worldly creatures. I even put my other books aside to read this one immediately.

    It started out promising and had a few parts in the middle and end that were also intriguing. However, when I finished the book, I put it down and said "Wow, NOTHING happened." Quite literally nothing happened. Essentially , it was a love story with an old fashioned feel with Matthew courting Diana. They didn't even consummate their marriage for crying out loud!!

    At one part, which was the only part with potential action, where Diana is captured, Matthew rescues her without a fight or struggle. He literally figures out where she must have gone after about 30 seconds of thinking, went there, took her and went home. I thought the book was going to take off at that point but instead it was incredibly anti-climatic.

    The book was also too long. The author basically set up the rest of the trilogy with the entire first book. The book could have been much shorter considering nothing happened and then readers would not be as peeved about it. There were also a whole lot of new characters introduced in the last couple chapters which left the reader slightly confused and hanging.

    What comes to mind when I think about this book is that it was 572 pages of talking. That is the best way to put it. I wouldn't call it a story about magic. This book was a love story. Period.

    I have to praise a couple things about this book though which is why I gave it 3 stars. Harkness is a beautiful writer. The way she uses the english language in some parts is like poetry. And I think that is why, despite the lack of plot in this book, I kept on reading. She also seems very well educated using many references to historical events and people.

    I am mixed because, even though this book was a disappointment, I think she set up the trilogy enough that the next 2 books have potential to be absolutely amazing. And I have to admit I am interested enough in the characters to possibly pick up the rest of the trilogy in the coming years.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Failed to live up to hype

    Read it because of favorable reviews. But I found it slow and borring. I was reminded of Twilight throughout. And I think I like Twilight better. It doesn't try to be something it isn't. A Discovery of Witches might have been better if it didn't try so hard to be a thinking man's Twilght. However I would recommend it to anyone into interested in the vampire craze.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Okay

    It started out brilliantly. I loved the book. Now I am halfway through and find myself not wanting to finish it. It feels choppy and confused now. Where is this going? I'm finding myself not caring where it goes, but I must just get through and be done with it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2011

    Good effort, but needs editing

    Now that Ms. Harkness has completed her first published novel, her discovery of witches needs to be followed by a discovery of editing. Like Ann Rice's over-written Mayfair Witches saga, the intriguing and compelling moments of "Discovery" are too few and too far between endless detailed character interaction and redundant declarations (and/or discussions) of love and trust. I often found myself skipping several paragraphs at a time to advance to the next element. And I did not understand the last-minute introduction of Nathaniel and Sophie. It was off-putting. Perhaps the relevance will be explained better in the sure-to-come (and hopefully edited down) sequel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    3.5 out of 5

    I would have liked to give this a 4 star rating, but there were some very slow moments - a lot of descriptions about the food and the wine that just didn't hold my attention after the 3rd or 4th time they were eating. I enjoyed the history lessons throughout the book and I'm eager to find out more about Diana's powers. I'll be reading the sequel soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Bewarned it is not completed

    Enjoyable read just did not realize it was part of a trilogy. My bad tho should have looked. Otherwise, nice read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Why ih why.

    Why are women so often in liturature depicted as such sycophants. Why is it they are always ruminatating about the male that is pursuing them and not meeting the situation by grabbing the upper hand. I am getting tired of all this female insipidness. The book is ok but Diana needs to get a spine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2011

    intersting

    Im really not into historical books and manuscripts (which is a lot to do with the story.) but it had a great plot and loveable characters. If there is a sequal it will be a good read also.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    *3.5 stars* I was relieved to enjoy this novel. It was recommend

    *3.5 stars*
    I was relieved to enjoy this novel. It was recommended very highly to me by several people, particularly the audio book format.
    Normally, I prefer to watch television shows with witches featured as the main characters (big fan of Charmed still to this day) as opposed to reading about them. 

    I was grateful for the inclusion of vampire and demon mythology in Diana's discovery of her own witch abilities. The author's take on vampire mythology was very original and truly my favorite aspect of the story.
    Having Diana fall in love with Matthew, a very old vampire, added another level of good tension.

    I also liked the mystery surrounding the alchemical text that Diana was able to call out from the Oxford library stacks.
    Her discovery leads to a random assortment of witches, vampires and demons stalking her every move. The demon who hung out the library with ear buds not connected to any music playing device was randomly delightful.
    And the quirky personality of Tabitha, Diana's family cat, tickled my funny bone with her feline antics.

    The audio book narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, definitely deserves her own 4-star rating. She has a rare talent for doing various accents.
    I also loved that she didn't sound silly when reading the male voices.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Is this for kids or adults?

    I am a kid who is a fan of harry potter and i am wondering if i should read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2014

    I am undecided with this.  It had a lot of aspects of different

    I am undecided with this.  It had a lot of aspects of different books:  Twilight, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and Garden Spells.  I wish the Diana character was stronger.  I haven't decided if I will read the other two books.   

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Why is this book still $12.99. It is 4 years old already! She ha

    Why is this book still $12.99. It is 4 years old already! She has just written the 3rd and final book but I would like to re-read this one. Not for $12.99!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Debatable

    The beginning of the story promises a good read but about a quarter of the way through, I nearly put the book down. It was as if there were a pause in the story. Nothing was happening or moving forward (characters, plot, you name it).However, im a bit over halfway through it now and im so glad I kept reading! Its getting good....sorry for putting a review before I finished. I just couldnt wait. Its a long book. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Frankly, I found myself wondering if the heroine does anything b

    Frankly, I found myself wondering if the heroine does anything but sleep? Also, it iwas terrribly predictable that our reluctant witch would be gifted with every magical power that is, was, or ever will be. Still, i read it to the end and will probably read the rest of the series just to find oult if she ever stays awake.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2013

    Billed as a mix between Harry Potter and Twilight, I can say tha

    Billed as a mix between Harry Potter and Twilight, I can say that description is fairly accurate, albeit not up to the standard of J.K. Rowling. You've some ingenuity as far as the magic is concerned and an orphaned heroine to back it up (Rowling) and the forbidden romance between a witch and a vampire (Twilight). The magic/mystery bit of the novel is a thoroughly enjoyable read, but I almost did not make it through because of the insufferable romantic portion. Had I not bought the book and were it from a library I would have returned it at page 150--no questions about it. Obviously this is about taste, so if you go for the whole forbidden romance thing then you'll enjoy this. Others, you've been warned. If you can make it half-way through, past all the gushy-ness and drama therein, it settles down into the mystery/magic element thereafter and I enjoyed it. I will be getting the sequel, but that romance section just about did me in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've heard a lot of hype about this book and I was excited to fi

    I've heard a lot of hype about this book and I was excited to finally read it. It starts out very well. I liked that Diana Bishop was a strong independent woman with a stellar academic career. Preferring to live her life without using her magic, Diana is confident that all her accomplishments have been achieved on her own. She's in Oxford doing research when she crosses paths with vampire Matthew Clairmont and that's when she starts to change. Her long repressed magic starts to show itself and not in a good way.
    This book meanders for 600 pages and that's the problem. It could easily be half that length and it would have been a page-turner. As it is, there are so many paragraphs devoted to her eating and drinking tea. I get it, she likes to eat and drink tea. I don't need to be told endless times. I was very disappointed to see Diana go from a strong independent woman to a weak-willed simpering witch who follows Matthew's every command. Beside that, my biggest complaint is that there is NO conclusion to any of the issues raised in the book. It ends on a cliff-hanger and if you want to know what happens next, you'll have to buy book 2. I understand ending books on a cliff hanger, but that's usually after the author has resolved some of the issues in the book. Ms. Harkness chose not to do that.
    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
      

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Slow start

    Good, but took me a while to get into it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3 stars

    At first, I was tempted to stop reading the book after the constant similarities between it and Twilight. I felt in some cases that the similarities were blunt and tactless. I think that the author wanted to write a book that infused Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, Harry Potter and the Davinci Code but for adults. I did enjoy the story once it got past the blatant Twilight-esque parts. Although I am not a history fanatic, I did appreciate how well she incorporated it into her storyline.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 317 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 16