Customer Reviews for

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

*This review was a collaborative effort on behalf of Orchard Boo

*This review was a collaborative effort on behalf of Orchard Book Club* - Crystal McCabe

Orchard Book Club was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Book of Life. Both of us devoured it in about a day. Fellow member Rachel will be adding her review after sh...
*This review was a collaborative effort on behalf of Orchard Book Club* - Crystal McCabe

Orchard Book Club was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Book of Life. Both of us devoured it in about a day. Fellow member Rachel will be adding her review after she reads it too so stay tuned for that. Before we start, we think it’s important that you know something about us (Tina & Crystal).

See, we met because of this series. We were both on Twitter anxiously sending tweets to Deb Harkness over the release of Shadow of Night around two years ago and found each other. It was an All Souls Trilogy match made in heaven. Two super fans of the series who became instant online friends. That being said, you must understand that we are both utterly devoted to this book and the entire series. We seriously love it. Everything about it. The characters, Matthew, the writing, the plot, Matthew, the entire experience, and, most importantly, Matthew. (Matthew is Crystal’s absolute top book boyfriend ever. And she reads – a lot!)

Now, onto the review. We pick up right where we left off with Matthew and Diana having arrived back from the past to Sept-Tours to see their combined family. It’s amazing how both families are so different but come together for the sake of Matthew and Diana and the greater overall picture of sacrifice and love. And there is a much greater picture being painted that will reveal itself at the end. There is great strength and solidarity shown by both families to be able to put aside their vast differences and beliefs in order to support Matthew and Diana and what they represent against not only the Congregation but also against all other enemies. There are very noticeable differences at Sept-Tours since they arrived back, but everyone must strive to move forward and continue on the journey at hand. There is not one soul, living or dead, that wants Matthew and Diana to give up on the journey that consumes them.

Enemies and foes seem to be flying at the de Clermonts/Bishops at every turn in The Book of Life. This brings to the forefront the quest to find the missing page of Ashmole 782 in order to attempt to unlock its secrets. Everyone believes that if the book can be repaired by returning the three missing pages that it can explain, among other things like creature origins and blood rage in vampires, how Diana is able to carry Matthew’s children. After all, there is a paranormal romance going on in this series. And we love the moments Matthew and Diana are able to steal away with each other. Matthew’s pet names for Diana of mon coeur and ma lionne are particularly heartwarming to us. We just melt when he calls her mon coeur and fall a little more in love with him. The struggles Matthew faces with being mated to Diana and his intense need to protect her and be near her are a challenge for them both in this book. There even comes a time when they have to fight their battle separately on two different fronts in order to be able to meet in the middle in the end. This is particularly difficult for both of them. Matthew realizes what he must do in order to move forward and he struggles greatly with having to be apart from Diana. However, there is also much understanding to be had about the great strength that Diana possesses as well during this time.

Without giving anything away, a lot of past characters are more prevalent in this book. Everyone has a purpose. Some you love, some you hate, some you come to finally understand, and some you just want to strangle. But we assure you that everyone has their purpose. Deb writes each character so well and so deeply that you have no choice but love them all in the end because each one plays an integral part in the overall story. We even get a better look into all things endearing and heart-rendering about Gallowglass (who was the favorite addition in Shadow of Night for both of us). Some characters we thought we left back in Shadow of Night resurface as well. Like we said, rest assured that EVERYONE has their purpose in this series.

While the battle continues to rage, something beautiful happens. Babies. The scenes surrounding the twins were a particular favorite for us. The dialogue makes you feel like you are in the room. It’s that strong. With the addition of the two newest members of the Bishop-Clairmont clan we really feel how important it is to fight the Congregation and put the issues of the Covenant to rest once and for all. That is the most pressing issue. Finding out about Matthew’s blood rage and the possibilities of it being passed on are a pressing second but with the team they have working on the genetics of it, rest assured that the matter is in good hands.

We feel confident that everyone will agree in the end that no one saw what was coming. We were both completely blind-sighted by some of the events that occur towards the end of the book. We finally get to see Diana come into her own and become stronger than anyone thought she ever could. We get to see Matthew take a few steps back and let her lead once in a while. When this happens you really get a sense of how strong the power of love truly is. It’s not just about a witch and a vampire anymore. It’s not just about the difference in worlds. It’s about love and family and the importance of doing whatever you must to protect it.

Deb just has a way of sending you into this magical world full of so much love, heartbreak, happiness, suspense, hatred, heartbreak, and utter and complete wonderfulness that you will forever be changed by her story. We were! The Book of Life ties the All Souls Trilogy up neatly into one of Diana’s weaving knots. Everything has its place and we don’t think we could’ve imagined a better ending to the story. We are equal parts sad that it’s over and extremely happy about the journey. We became friends because of Deborah Harkness and her books so it seemed only fitting that we worked together on this review. We very anxiously awaiting this book knowing it would be the conclusion of our favorite characters. We will continue to reread the All Souls Trilogy whenever we are in need of a great book. Matthew will remain Crystal’s favorite book boyfriend (probably ever).

In closing, we say “thank you” to Deborah Harkness for inviting us into her world of witches, vampires, and daemons. We are forever changed by your words and we sincerely hope that you will continue to write more books. To the readers, please trust us - you won’t be sorry!

posted by crystalmmccabe on July 15, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Was waiting patiently for this one to come out. Enjoyed the oth

Was waiting patiently for this one to come out. Enjoyed the other two, In fact Shadow of Night was probably one of my all time favorites. While this was a good story and I'm not saying don't read it, this one has some problems. I've read it twice and feel comfortable...
Was waiting patiently for this one to come out. Enjoyed the other two, In fact Shadow of Night was probably one of my all time favorites. While this was a good story and I'm not saying don't read it, this one has some problems. I've read it twice and feel comfortable with the following problems.

Why introduce ghosts and not use them and where will they reside, France or the Bishop house. I felt the magick was more Hollywood than being true to fiction. How Diana gets her knowledge from the book and most of the magick after that (including Knox's spells) seemed to be more like direction for an action movie than a work of fiction. In my mind it cheapened the writing.

In some places the writing seemed strange, starting in first person than shifting to third was difficult to follow. I also felt after everyone was saved it began to drift and the ending dragged, maybe the astrologic intros. should have been replaced with something else. While I liked them I felt you ran out of stuff to say in the end.

posted by WitchreaderAB on July 21, 2014

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