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I love mustelid haberdashery, vinho verde wine, and wensleydale with fruit.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness This book was nothing short of a hot mess.

First (and it's my own damned fault for not reading reviews first), it's the first in a trilogy and decidedly NOT a complete story, which I don't like. This book kept getting thrown into my Goodreads and Amazon recommendations and I finally succumbed, but I shouldn't have.

This book is bloated to all get out. It needed to be trimmed down/edited/something drastically. When things started actually moving along, I was just damn bored with it I wanted it over with. I think this book could be well over 1/3 shorter if the boring bits were yanked.

Vampires, apparently, live a really long time. And this makes them excruciatingly boring. They get to be rich and drink lots of wine. Yay. Pair them up with a historian, and you get a whole lot of random history/pseudo-history going on that seems more like the author trying to show off by throwing every obscure fact she can run across in there.

Then there's the witch, who is equally as boring, whose motivations aren't all that great, and who makes a terrible heroine. The character was unlikeable. Apparently she thought she was a strong female who didn't need a male, but we end up with a vampire taking care of her all of the time while she doesn't do anything significant. Remind you of someone? (to be fair, this book isn't terrible - it's no Twilight,thank god). Along with the bloat came a whole lot of descriptions of her leggings. I could probably tell you all about her 17 different pairs of leggings and how and where she wore them and the pros and cons about them in each situation. Irritating.

There's also a whole lot of Destiny (TM) going on, and I will freely admit that having some great destined character is generally a turn off for me. I can usually muddle through it, but in this case we have a destined witch, a destined vampire, they're destined love, destined children, blah blah blah. Whatever. Don't care.

In fact, I disliked both major characters (a lot of the secondaries were much better), and not only were they boring together, but they also had the most boring romance ever recorded in literature. The whole thing is very PG, and unfortunately, it's also totally boring. We're told time and time again, how much they love each other, but I don't buy it. It just seems convenient.

And then there was the "science." The book uses evolution, genetics, and mtDNA without really knowing what it's doing. Maybe if you've read a basic bio text book, this is what you would come up with. Any clue at all, and it's not so great. In fact, if you don't have a clue, it might be worse, because when they were talking about the genetics and stuff, explanations aren't very good. When the subject of mtDNA or chimera comes up, it just feels like someone is trying to tell a story after staying up too late watching something weird on the Discovery Channel or TLC.

I don't see why I would bother reading any more in the series. I've seen the favorable reviews, but then this book is rated highly and is wildly popular, so we'll see how it goes. I doubt it, though.