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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness

I have previously proclaimed my irrational love of the first two books in this series so it will come as no surprise to anyone that this one get 5 stars from me.

 

There are few books out there I find myself truly immersed it; the kind that when I'm interrupted I'll look up from my book, but I'm not really there.  My eyes might be a bit glassy and I'll stare blankly at my own DH as though he's a stranger.  This is such a book.

 

I'll admit I was expecting a war; at the very least, a massive battle.  I prepared myself to hate the author for killing off a character, or characters that I had become attached to.  For a few dozen pages, I was certain it was going to be a specific character.  Luckily, the story was not as predictable as all that and the witches were the only part of the book to fly.

 

While reading, I picked up on shades of Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus, as well as more common themes of tolerance, acceptance and fear of that which is not understood.  The twist at the end is only a twist because it is so obvious.  Of all the beliefs  humans cling to throughout history that have proven to be illusory over and over again, the idea that we control anything must surely make the top 5 list.

 

But what it all boils down to for me is that I just love this whole story: its characters, its plot, its settings - it all just clicks for me.  Some have likened Diana to whatshername in Twilight but I don't see the Mary Jane - I just saw a character – a very intelligent, strong and independent one – trying to get a grip on a massive amount of change happening in a short amount of time.  I never got the victim vibe from her.  I don't pretend to understand the all consuming love she and Matthew apparently share, but it's thankfully not so soppy and mushy I feel the need for insulin.

 

All the major plot points of the three books are wrapped up at the end of this one, but, vexingly, a lot of characters' stories are...unfinished.  They aren't cliff-hangers, and the story could easily end here and Ms. Harkness could disappear back into the history stacks never to be heard from again in fiction.  But she has left a number of openings for a return should she choose to do so.  A lot of secondary characters are left with their stories still ongoing.  At least one of them - Gallowglass - I'd be the first in line to read more about.  I'm more than a little half in love with him.

 

Whether Ms Harkness every writes another word about these people or not, I'll at least be able to re-read and "see" them all again.