The Book of Life – The All Souls Trilogy Book 3

The Book of Life is the third science fiction novel in the All Souls Series by author Deborah Harkness. This book is a New York Times bestseller.

Diana and Matthew travel back in time from Elizabeth London to return to the dramatic present, facing new crises and enemies.

At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they are reunited with their favorite A Discovery of Witches cast.

Here are the top 3 reviews and comments that readers love about this fascinating book.

Review 1: The Book of Life – The All Souls Trilogy Book 3 by Oli

Meh

I don’t know why this happens, but lately every trilogy I read, the last book has been terrible disappointment. This one less than some and still it left me wondering wtf?!
Characters were inconsistent, story wobbly and the ending blah. Oh well, Ill just stay away from trilogies from now on, but if you enjoyed the the first two books and must find out what the hell was the book of life, prepare for a mild, if not stronger disappointment.

Review 2: The Book of Life – The All Souls Trilogy Book 3 by Elkay

Hopes Dashed

I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, and although I didn’t like Shadow of Night quite as much, I had high hopes for The Book of Life. This book has gotten fantastic reviews, so it obviously works for most people. If you loved both of the previous books, you probably don’t need me to tell you that you’ll like this one, too. BUT. If you were beginning to have some doubts by book 2, you might want to save your money (or your credit) for something else.

Characters move from city to city, discuss the incredibly urgent danger they face (but don’t do anything about it), bicker, travel, drink tea, and discuss how possessive Matthew is about Diana. There is a seemingly endless review of vampire family politics and legal issues, and there is a huge cast of characters, although most of them are superfluous to the plot. Somehow Ms. Harkness made this all work in the first two books, but it felt to me like she had lost the rhythm and pace of the story in BOL. There is too much telling, not enough doing; too many plot points that go nowhere. There are many conversations that cover ground that has already been tread and retread in earlier chapters – I felt totally bogged down for the first 18 hours or so of listening.

I so wanted to enjoy this book! I found the first two difficult to put down, but this one was all too easy to set aside. The ending was fine, but I’m still not sure it was worth the tedious slog through 20+ hours of listening to get there.

Review 3: The Book of Life – The All Souls Trilogy Book 3 by QM

So little magic, so much dull soap opery.

What would have made The Book of Life better?

If the main character did magic more then once every few months the story would have been much better. She is so whiney and weak, I found myself rolling my eyes over and over. I enjoyed the first book, patiently waited out the second but this one…so much minutiae about the different ways different vampires might think about what someone else might do. If you are interested in fantasy stories about magical creatures this isn’t a good choice. It’s more of a drawn out soap opera that happens to have some magical creatures in it.

Has The Book of Life turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not really, I hoped it would be a fantasy book but it isn’t.

Did Jennifer Ikeda do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, the narrator was good.

What character would you cut from The Book of Life?

Honestly, Diana. She spends so much time dreading, thinking, whining, and then more dreading. She is supposed to be this incredibly powerful witch but almost never does magic. Is it so much to ask that we have a story with a strong confident female character who doesn’t spend all her time worrying and doubting herself?

 

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