Saturday, 25 October 2014

Books #31-33 The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

The All Souls Trilogy

Oh, the All Souls Trilogy, how ridiculously stupid and outright naff you are, and yet how much I loved you and read you at breakneck speed.

The first of the books is A Discovery Of Witches, Diana Bishop is a witch from a strong bloodline. Yet she prefers to live in the real world, not use powers, and refuses to join a coven. A historian of science she is on sabbatical at Oxford University when she requests a manuscript 'Ashmole 782' from the Bodleian Library which has more to it than meets the eye and sets off a chain of events with dramatic consequences.

Matthew Clairmont is a vampire, and is a thousand years old, he's been watching Diana and after she finds the manuscript supernatural creatures descend upon Oxford, and he must protect her, because the manuscript is the book they've all been looking for.

With definite shades of Twilight and the Twilight inspired 50 Shades Of Grey, Matthew and Diana fall in love, and he whisks her off to his Tudor mansion and his French Chateau, remarkably they have very little sex, they don't even properly shag til halfway through Book 2 and instead seem to drink lots of wine, like a "grown ups version of Twilight" I would have said. He does however want to ravage her but is scared he will kill in her in the throes, and shows the same pathological abusive relationship warning signs exhibited by his literary forebears Edward Cullen and Christian Grey.

Book Two : Shadows Of Night, takes us to Elizabethan England with two goals in mind, find the book, and let Diana learn more about her powers. But frankly, it is more of a historical romp novel in which we can all marvel at the characters of the day like Raleigh and Marlowe; that in the end actually advances the story of mysterious manuscript Ashmole 782 precisely NO FURTHER. The paradox their adventures create and the resolution of this problem is also a complete nonsense, but enjoyable nonsense indeed.

The third book 'The Book Of Life' is a total mess, with new characters popping up all over the place, so that you barely know who anyone is anymore "It's Leonard!" says one character "Remember Leonard?!" (NOPE!)  In fact I'm firmly convinced Leonard had never been in it before, and nor was he essential to the plot. What was the point of you Leonard?
And in the end the actually quite intriguing mystery of Ashmole 782 just gets lost in lots of silliness and romance so cheesy you could put it on toast.  

And therein I guess is my problem, it is ludicrous and I know that I should have laughed it out of town, but I just devoured all three of them. Like a sugar high, or when you can't stop eating Pringles or something. Don't say you weren't warned....


No comments:

Post a Comment