I read this book for the first time in August after looking at it for about 12 months, debating whether to read.
The first time I enjoyed it, the second - when I read it as part of the author-led real-time reading experience via Facebook, was even better.
Diana is a witch in denial. She is the last in a long line of witches, with strong magic but due to experiences she has had she is strongly in denial of her magic. She is now a renowned historian of science and has no intention of allowing magic into her life; that is until she encounters a strange book which she calls for her research. Suddenly the entire magical community seems to focussed on Diana, and more specifically a mysterious and alluring vampire named Matthew.
The author, Deborah Harkness, is herself a college professor of the history of science so she writes with knowledge and this shines through to the book. During the real-time read various photographs and music were posted to illustrate what places looked like, enhance the mood of events and in some cases expand on information contained in the book. Although the book does not require the additional media, and I definitely enjoyed it first time round, the bonus bits definitely do add that third dimension.
Speke Hall: author's inspiration for the Old Lodge
(posted to Facebook by Deborah Harkness)
The only regret I have about this book is that I didn't read it earlier!
|*I received a free advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for a fair, honest review*
Adrienne is a talented young girl dealing with numerous problems in her life ranging from the mundane financial problems most have to deal with, to the supernatural curse she has inherited - though no one knows why. Her life becomes entwined with that of two others affected by curses brought upon them by ancestors and the ensuing chaos is a tumbling, twisting tale of love, betrayal and courage.
Not surprisingly the central thread to the tale is Voodoo, with vivid descriptions of rituals. As a practising catholic this at times made me a little uneasy but that is a personal observation rather than a criticism to the book.
I was a little disappointed in how quickly this tale was wrapped up, and how many threads were left hanging. I appreciate that this is the first in a planned series but it felt a little like the author suddenly realised this 95% of the way in and quickly wrapped up this book in order to continue with the true story. Also I found the editing sadly lacking. As stated above I did read an advanced reading e-copy so this may be corrected before general release. The main issue was the confusion in where Addy is from which prevents easy reading at times as I was flicking back to check where the story was based, New Orleans or Atlanta.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this story which drew me in but the quick ending and poor editing spoilt the experience and consequently reduce the star rating.
I personally found the start a little slow, which is why I only rated this a four, but that is completely justified as without the initial groundwork the rest of the book would have crumbled. Once the scenario was set the story was fast paced and well written.
Addie (short for Addled Alchemist) is a strong willed, intelligent young women with one major problem - she has no memory of her past, apart from alchemical formula, hence her new found name. The tale follows the adventures she endures in the bid to regain her memory, with the help of her new found friends, including a rather forbidding dog who has his own secrets and a formidable (yet enticingly 'hot') elemental lord.
The book was a pleasure to read. Despite being a first novel and self published (to my knowledge), the editing was excellent with few, if any typo's or grammatical errors which spoil the reading experience for me and is often my only criticism of self published works.
As I stated, at first I found it a little difficult to get wrapped up in this tale but once I had been reeled in... well it was 2am when I put my book down, reluctantly!
Despite my excitement about the release of this new series by Elizabeth Hunter I saved reading this until I passed my driving test. I don't know what I was going to do if I failed, as I don't think I could have waited much longer, but thankfully I did pass.
The premise of story is about a young women, Ava, who has had 'mental health' issues all through her life. As the story develops you learn the reason for these issues and just how special Ava really is.
I really didn't think that Ms Hunter would be able to build another world that would draw m e in as effectively as the Elemental Mysteries series but this book has proved me wrong. I read this book in less than 24 hours, considering I was at work a lot of that time - it illustrates how enticing the story is.
I took an inordinate length of time to come round to reading ADOW. I had looked at the book a number of times but the description of the book just didn't quite do it for me.
When I eventually did read it, I couldn't put it down. The story line is enveloping and draws you into the world of Diana and Matthew whilst the sheer knowledge of the author who is a historian gives this fictional story and wealth of depth which has only been enriched further through a real-time reading exercise she leads via Facebook, which is where I got the photo below from.
The story itself is about a witch descended from one of the witches of Salem who is in denial of her heritage. Although she is aware of the world of creatures, her Aunt is a witch and she can identify daemons and vampires at a glance, she chooses not to use her powers. All this changes, though not by choice when Diana comes across a very special book in her research as a historian of science - more specifically alchemy.
As the author, Deborah Harkness, is in real-life a lecturer of European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the historical elements to the book have a reality that could otherwise have been lacking. However, the realism adds to the texture of the book rather than making the details dry.
When Diana encounters 'the book', she also meets a vampire, Matthew it is at this point that her life starts changing.
The journey you travel on with Matthew and Diana is an exciting tide of emotion which pulls you along and enthrals the reader.
Very definitely recommend!