Customer Reviews for

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)

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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

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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

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    The book is 600 pages, but really only needs about 400 of them.

    The book is 600 pages, but really only needs about 400 of them. The author goes out of her way to try and intellectualize a normally unintellectual subject (witches, vampires, etc.). It's like Twilight except for adult, wine snobbish, pretentious overly academic anglophiles. Also, for the first 300 pages or so the main character doesn't want any of her powers. Who wants a fantasy book about a witch who goes out of her way to not be a witch? The first two hundred pages are a book about a historian of science, not a witch. Also, what's with the controlling men again? Seriously girls, we need to stop fantasizing the whole "you must obey me... Let the men decide what's happening..." attitude. After all that is wrong with this book though, I'll admit I'll probably read the second one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Once I got through the first 100 pages or so, which were tiresom

    Once I got through the first 100 pages or so, which were tiresome, I could not put the book down. That being said, the characters and historical references are sooooo contrived, and I find myself desperately wishing that Ms. Harkness had obtained an editor. I can only assume that she had none as there are grammatical errors, sentences with missing words, and jumbled thoughts. I found it difficult to follow the storyline at points due to these issues. The main character is like a grown-up Bella from Twilight, only far more irritating; she's got all of the same quirks and traits as Bella. The plot moves along like molasses for half the book, and then so much happens so quickly that you wonder why there wasn't someone suggesting that Ms. Harkness had a pacing problem. All in all, I liked the book because I was, in fact, drawn into the story. However, be warned that you will find yourself mostly annoyed with the characters, wishing that they had more depth and were less a caricature of every great love/mystery story that you've previously read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Good but long

    Personally i didnt like all the history in the book. It didnt get really good until the last few chapters. I want to know what happens but im not sure i can make myself wade through all the boring stuff if the next two books are like this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Mix of fantasy with Darwinism

    The story had an engaging start, but then I felt like things began to drag. The only thing that kept me reading was the introduction of Darwinism applied to the book's creatures-witches, daemons, and vampires. The concept of linear or parallel evolution combined with reproduction, extinction, and survival seen through these different eyes and views was unique. The romance was alright. The storyline became more plot, mystery, and action driven so I felt a lack of attachment to the characters. Overall, 3 1/2 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Highly amusing.

    If you're lookng for high literature don't bother. However if you just want a fun romp this may be the brain candy for you. No one comes to any deep realizations. There are no quiet allusions or existential dilemas, just an amusing yarn like on tv only with better graphics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    interesting

    anyone interested in the transition from magical thinking to the modern world of scientific thought will find parts of this book interesting. The author has also included some great sections on a yoga class and other modern mind/body practices...also "magical"

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    excellent

    A must read that you cant stop reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    I love it and it in the must read again list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love it and it in the must read again list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Anonymous

    Okay, so it's not great lit and smacks of Harry Potter (dead parents and unknown powers) & Twilight with an over-protective vamp lover, but for lite reading it earns 3 stars. Word count could be halved & the story would stlll hold together. Less is better! Will I get thru #2 & buy #3? Will let you know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Long

    This book starts out with a lot of mysterious characters and keeps you riveted for a quite awhile. The problem arises almost halfway through when things slow down to an almost unbearable pace. Eventually it picks up again, but I struggled to finish. This book could easily been 100 pages shorter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Ok but slow start

    Great premis and the last 250 pages were really good. Had a hard time getting through the first 200ish pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    This story has a very interesting premise and the potential for

    This story has a very interesting premise and the potential for great plot. Unfortunately, around halfway through the book, the author decided to include more and more dialogue that did not advance the plot in any meaningful way. Does Diana really need to be so "exhausted" all the time and find herself in Michael's arms so much. It's great that she likes tea so much and has a chin that protrudes. Also, the several paragraphs describing her getting her inoculations was really not needed. Just say that she had to get the shots and stay away from anyone pregnant. Also, the scene of Michael passing out the Halloween candy was really cheesy. Finally, it was quite obvious that Hamish would be the third demon to arrive at the Bishop house. You don't need to have characters guess at who it could be when the reader already knows. Hopefully, the second book will not be dragged out so much. Just tell the story of Ashmole 782. That being said, I'm hooked on the story premise and the looming battles to come. I pre-ordered the second book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Good enough to want to read the sequel

    This one was alright. The story was good enough that it makes me want to read the second one. I have to say, though, I'm really looking forward to vampire romance stories not being popular.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Fun.

    Good summer read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    N Pretty good

    I liked the adventure part of the story but found the romance part silly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Imaginative, but frustrating

    Nice story. I'll read the next. I wish i liked Diana more. She better toughen up in the next book. Always frail. The author seems a bit conservative with descriptions of sex scenes. She's no Charlane Harris in that respect. Adieu

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    This book was very interesting and overall enjoyable. I found it

    This book was very interesting and overall enjoyable. I found it slow in places especially in the beginning and I do not like the Gay influence in it. It did open many doors and glimpses of things to come. I found the 2nd half more interesting and it seemed to move at a faster pace. It was over all a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Ehh

    This book isnt bad but it isnt great either. Most of this book could be edited our and you would never know the difference. I like the idea of the book, which is searching to uncover details about an enchanted manuscript. But the enchanted book in question is actually in the story for a whole 5 pages. That was a little annoying. It is also a very slow story and it takes for ever to get to the point.

    The relationship between the main characters is irrtatingly cheesy. It made me want to throw the book out the window everytime he called he "mon couer" or even worse "ma lionne" ugh! He is also annoyingly possesive and old fashioned.

    The end of the book made me look forward to the second one. There seems to be hope that next book will focus more on the mystery element that was promised in this book. I think it is worth reading. If you are able to read about witchfire and witchwater without rolling your eyes then i would recommend this book, if you cant steer clear or you will be miserable through this whole book.

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  • Posted February 9, 2012

    Great fun!

    I got this book as a gift and really enjoyed it. I had heard a few exerpts on Sirius Book Radio. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I think it's a worthy read and looking forward to the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Mixed feelings

    I had very mixed feelings about this novel. I loved Matthew & Diane's relationship, yet I never felt truly satisfied. There is a LOT of nonsense--complex dna descriotiins and boring and meaningless daily routines that go on and on.....and yet the plot is unique and keeps the reader questioning.

    Here is the thing. Twilight readers, rejoice! It was as though the author wanted to write a vampire romance suspense novel that 1-has a plot 2- uses many twilight ideas but actually gives them meaning and reasining and 3-actually show the development of their love. Did it work? Eh. It was as interesting as Twilighy but still lacking.

    However i will say, vampire romance and mystery lovers, a DO recommend this book. Ill continue with the series because it has so much potential!!

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