Monday, 30 July 2012

Review: Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked it. Less yoga, more badassness.

In A Discovery of Witches Diana finds an ancient bewitched book, perhaps the very first Grimoire, and discovers that much as she wants to, she cannot hide from her identify as a witch. Finding the book puts Diana in the way of every witch, daemon and vampire in Oxford and it is down to the enigmatic vampire, Matthew Clairmont, to protect her. Inevitably they fall in love. It is forbidden for two different creatures to fall in love so Diana and Matthew now face the ire of every creature on the planet and worst of all made them outlaws in the eyes of the Congregation. At the end of the book Matthew and Diana are attempting to time walk to medieval England in order to find a which who can help Diana discover how to use her powers and to find Ashmole 782, the book that started everything, and discover its secrets.

Shadow of Night is quite a different book to A Discovery of Witches. It begins as Diana and Matthew step, quite literally, into the past and land in late 16th century England. The search for a witch is not as easy as Matthew thought it would be. Witch trials in Scotland are making everyone fearful and some of Matthew's friends, notably the daemon Kit Marlowe, are suspicious of Diana and her strange ways.

Review: The Love of my Life - Louise Douglas

The Love Of My LifeThe Love Of My Life by Louise Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this more than I thought I would. It was an Amazon cheapy (under £1) so I thought I'd give it a go.

Olivia turns up at her sister's house in tears after leaving her in-laws' restaurant. Lynette, her ever faithful older sister, tucks her in to bed and asks no questions. Later, she gives Liv a laptop and suggests that she right it all down, and this is the novel.

We are presented with two timelines - the teenage Liv and the development of her romance with the gorgeous Luca, and the adult Liv, reeling from the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband, trying to deal with her grief.

Liv and her brother-in-law, Marc, find solace in each other's arms. Each is all the other has left of Luca and neither is ready to let that go.

As the story progresses we find out why Angela (her mother-in-law) and Nathalie (sister-in-law) hate her so much and we follow Liv to acceptance and eventual healing.

The story could have been very heavy handed and overly sentimental, but it's not. We follow Liv through her grief, but we're not made to wallow in it. I enjoyed the development of the story and wanted to find out what she had done that was so bad. The conclusion was satisfying and the story interesting enough to keep me turning pages.

Possibly a little heavy for poolside reading, but enjoyable nonetheless.