The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received an early release e-Arc through NetGalley and I have to say with one exception this is the book I have been anticipating for a year. This is saying a lot since I have not been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy or Paranormal books in the last 6 months to a year. I had to take a break because I sort of burned myself out on them. But, I had the chance to read this one early and jumped at it, especially knowing it was the end of the series. My sister teased me saying “maybe they’ll add another book or another 3 books.” I was quite grumpy thinking this could happen. But, I have to say I am writing this without having even finished the books. I have had different thoughts as I read and wanted to start jotting them down so that I could get my review in just as the book is released.
As I read this my first impression is that Book of Life does not disappoint. There is wonderful character development as we meet new friends and see old ones. I almost went back and read Shadow of Night because some of the characters left my memory. I purchased both A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night in unabridged audiobook as well. I will be rounding out the series in audiobook and purchasing The Book of Life in unabridged audiobook when it is released. These will be great to listen to a 6 months to a year down the line. I am betting I will hear things I missed the first time through.
I have to say my biggest fear with this book before I have finished it is that someone I like in the series will be killed off. Both Diana and Matthew have survived a lot of losses in their lives so I’m hoping this doesn’t happen but, I know how these things go with series. The readers fall in love with a character like GallowGlass. How can you not love him? We want the best for him so much and worry for him. There are so many likeable characters in this book just as there are some truly bad villains. It is hard to decide who to dislike more, Benjamin, for being such an evil creature; Gerbert, for being Switzerland in front of everyone when he might just be evil and Peter Knox, for being so power hungry that he will do anything to get that power. The Congregation is not innocent either and it does not appear to only be because they want to stop humans from finding out about the otherworldly beings. Part of what they do seems to be steeped in prejudices and control as well.
I have to admit that Book of Life was a satisfying ending to a great trilogy. There were some individual stories I wished we could have had more information about but all in all things were drawn to a great conclusion. Diana and Matthew both have grown a lot and learned a lot about who they are and who they needed to be and their trials drew others to them and helped them grow as well. Sarah and Isabeau are two people that grew so much in this book. Isabeau just draws you to her more and more throughout the entire series. But, there was change and growth in the supernatural community as well which was all any of them could hope for along with the cute babies that we get to know a bit about since they are still small babies. But, maybe we’ll see them again one day. I wouldn’t be against that at all!
Review can also be seen at http://fictionisstrangerthanfact.blogspot.co.uk/