Sunday, February 01, 2015

Don't shoot me!

I need to preface this post by saying stories about vampires have never really been my “thing”. Dracula was okay, but Frankenstein was better. I read the Twilight series only because my daughter wanted to be able to talk about it and my neighbor loves it. I don’t even watch vampire movies. Just never got into them.

For the past two or three Christmases, I’ve asked my family for the same thing: get me a book you think I’d like to read. Doesn’t matter if they’ve read it or only read reviews, or got recommendations off my Amazon wish list, just put a little thought into what I like and find me a good book.

This December, my husband went reading the bestseller’s lists and found a fantasy series that made several of them. He bought me all three in the series and I was thrilled he spent the time finding something I’d like. The only thing is, he didn’t know about my lack of enthusiasm for vampires (and no, I never even read Interview with a Vampire – and didn’t see the movie until only a few years ago).

He bought me the All Soul’s Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The three books: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life, were well-written, if a little pedantic. The author is a history professor by day and she occasionally falls into the historical fiction trap: knowing so much about a time period that you can’t help but throw in more information than is really necessary, just because you found it interesting.

(Sidenote: This is exactly the same trap I had to watch out for in THE REVOLUTION OF CLARA SIMPSON. I tried not to wallow in the history too much, but boy, it is tempting!)

Anyway, the book deals with witches and vampires and I read all three books because I did like the plot line, even if I was about ready to throttle the male protagonist by the middle of the second book. The author kept letting him grow...then yanking him back to a more animal-like state over and over. A setback or two I can understand, but there were far too many times he ran away from the female protagonist because he was afraid he was going to hurt her. It got redundant. And predictable.

But, as I said, I’m not a fan of the genre, so maybe this is par for the course. If you like vampires and witches, these books may be right for you. For me, they were just okay. Not keepers.

I read a couple of other books in January and will record those here soon.

Play safe,

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