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

7 out of 8 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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  • Posted August 18, 2014

    A good book....but...

    I have throughly enjoyed this series and could not wait for the third, and final, book to come out.

    I found myself waiting for 'the' big moment in the book but it never quite seemed to get there. The story line built so far and then just stayed there. Though the story did reach it's conclusion, it felt flat to me and I felt let down.
    Two great books anf this is what we get to end it?'
    I do like the author's style and will definitely will read more of her work when available. I just wish that the last book/end of the story would of had a HUGE finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    All end well

    Waiting for the movie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2015

    Ok Book

    I thought this book was ok. I do like the series though

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2014

    Overall, I liked this book. There were parts of the book that se

    Overall, I liked this book. There were parts of the book that seemed to flounder a bit and did not flow as well as 
    the other two books in the trilogy. The second book was the best out of the three.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2014

    Love the series, but the finale didn't live up

    Too many things left unresolved and the last 150 pages seemed super rushed. Still love the series, but this was definitely my least favorite of the three.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2014

    Loved it!

    Not as good as book one and two but still an excellent book.. I hated to see the series come to an end!!!

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  • Posted November 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    See full review at The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Special th

    See full review at The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com

    Special thanks to NetGalley and Viking Adult for offering a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    If you've been to ANY major bookstore since July, then you'll know that Deborah Harkness' The Book of Life has been a focal point for front-of-the-house book displays since it's come out. It's also a nominee on several lists for Best Fantasy Novel of 2014.

    First let me enter a disclaimer that I have not read the first two books in this series. When I requested it for review, I did not realize that it was part of a trilogy. 

    So my review is subject to change, since I've gotten copies of the first two books. At least this time around I'll focus on this book as a standalone without any preconceived notions. Don't get me wrong, every book in a series needs its supporting books to get the full experience. I would never tell someone if they only read the 7th Harry Potter book they would get just as much out of it as someone who read the whole series. That's just ridiculous.

    I love fantasy books, but it takes a special kind of magic to make me like what an author does with mythical creatures like vampires or dragons, because a lot of times it feels like people just recycle other authors' work. If I don't feel like your work is somewhat original, then I'll be turned off to it. Obviously there are some guidelines to these things, but there needs to be an element of creativity. Plus, I usually enjoy reading about witches regardless of what you decide to do with them. I think that fad needs to be brought back.

    With that being said, I feel like Harkness accomplished this task. She was able to take several species of mythical creatures and create a unique magical world of her own. Her prose is fluid and strong, and it made me curious to read the other two books. It seems this author has a pretty solid and ever-growing fan base.

    What I liked about this book was the unique world and the character dynamic. I loved the names used, because you got a sense that they were symbolic and meaningful. The flow, for the most part was consistent and kept my attention. 

    What I didn't like was the amount of plot holes left. Without giving any spoilers, there were some things we thought were important, but we really never got any answers to them. There were also a lot of characters in the beginning. It's possible that if I read the other two books before this, it wouldn't be so extremely overwhelming, but just being introduced to this series I almost had to make a list to keep track!

    I look forward to reading the other books in this series. It reminded me a little bit of Terry Brooks Shannara series. If you're in the search for some compelling magical fantasy in your life, then turn to Deborah Harkness. But I would recommend starting at the beginning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2014

    Loved it!!

    Nice finish to the series. Just wish the secrets in the book had a little more punch but overall story was exciting. Loved the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2014

    Great end to the trilogy

    This book did not disappoint. I won't give anything away but I will say it was great. It had all the ingredients of the first 2 books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    Enjoyed

    I enjoyed reading this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    loved it

    Im a sucker forbthus trilogy and hope for more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Good read

    Poor Paige interesting story line glad they found each other

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    good conclusion to the trilogy

    I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. As I started it I wasn't sure about it. It took a long time to get me interested in it again. It just seemed overly winded blah blah blah. But it does pick up and the book wraps up the series in the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Great endiing!

    I don't usually like trilogies but this one was an exception! And this book was the perfect ending to an amazing story. Vampires,witches,and deamons. What more could you ask for...oh yes--love,andit has that too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Loved this book, and what a wonderful wrap on the trilogy. She

    Loved this book, and what a wonderful wrap on the trilogy.
    She details her characters so that I felt I was there, and knew every one of them. 
    She has a way of pulling the reader in and making the world fall away. Wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    A Recommended Conclusion to a Historical Novel Trilogy

    All three books are crafted well and spun with magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    Loved them all!

    I enjoyed this series almost too much. I would have read another book in the series if there was one.

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    Pretty good conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. This is the weake

    Pretty good conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. This is the weakest book of the three. There are two many characters
    and some gaps. Why does Matthew forgive Gallowglass for his lack of communication? What do they say to each other?
    Matthew and Diana make unnecessary decisions which prolong there being apart which is so painful. Matthew's torture is prolonged. Its doubtful Diana would have acted that way.. The final resting place of the Book of Life is bizarre. Finally the elephant in the room remains: the question of Diana's morality.
    For these reasons I can only get the book 4 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    Nicely done

    Story all pulls together. I really cared about the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014

    HOLY COW!!!

    Absolutely fantastic! I read it in 3 days...and already want to re-read it!

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