Sunday, 30 October 2011

Two reviews

I went several months without reading a book that I would describe as more than OK, then I read two back-to-back. And, as you are probably thinking about Christmas shopping I wanted to share my thoughts on them.

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Firstly, 'A Discovery of Witches'by Deborah Harkness, the first in the All Souls Trilogy. Set in the eponymous Oxford college, this is 'Eclipse' for grown ups.

Diana is an American scholar, and expert on Alchemy, and a witch.  Matthew is a 900 year-old scientist and a vampire.

Their love is illicit and the future of both their species is threatened by Diana's discovery of an ancient manuscript. They are forced to flee, but where, or when, will they be safe?

I was completely gripped by Harkness' narrative and, as soon as I finished the last page I found myself searching on Amazon for the next installment. Sadly 'Shadow of Night' is not available until next June, so I will have to wait. But that's OK. The anticipation will only heighten the experience, as it did with the Harry Potter series.

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My second book is 'The Brutal Art' by Jesse Kellerman. Narrated by Ethan, a New York art dealer, this part detective novel, part psychological drama. When Ethan discovers the amazing drawings of reclusive Victor Cracke, he has no idea that he will be dragged into a story of crime and deceit spanning 4 decades.  It changes the way he feels about everything; his work, his on-off lover, Marilyn and his estranged family.

Kellerman mixes past and present deftly, making this a real page-turner.

So, if you're at a loss for what to buy certain people this Christmas, I would recommend 'A Discovery of Witches' to any adult with a secret passion for Harry Potter and Eclipse, I don't think it would appeal so much to adolescents, due to the academic context.  'The Brutal Art' would be perfect for any lover of psychological thrillers.

Enjoy. I'd love to know what you think of these books.


humel said...

Sounds interesting - I'll look out for these, thank you :)

Sian said...

These are both new titles to me - and I have a secret love of both Harry Potter and Eclipse, so a present to me might be in order, never mind anyone else :)