The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkenss is the 3rd and final book of the All Souls series. This was a deliciously satisfying book for me. The story was exciting, not overly filled with action, through it had plenty, but filled with consistent emotionally charged scenes. The feelings were real and the challenges that tested each character felt real, it left me craving more and more as I went through the story. Each character jumped off the page with a convincing story, even the psychotic characters. I’m still a little in awe of the complexity of the interwoven characters.

All the questions I found most relevant in my head as a curious reader were answered and I found that those answers were expertly woven into the story until the very end. Though there were points where information was temporarily withheld from the reader, it was done in a way that built scene tension and revealed soon after, unlike other stories I’ve read where the reader was intentionally left in the dark as an author cheat rather than delayed explanation. The conclusion tied important loose ends and I enjoyed the creative ties that were drawn between humans, vampires, witches, and demons. The commentary on “racial purity” was quite interesting. By the end of the novel, I was left wanting to hear more stories about the Biship-Clairmont family, especially the children of Diana and Matthew. There is plenty of potential for future stories of these characters and I hope that something will become of them.

This was a book series I was able to thoroughly enjoy as a reader, with only the occasional interruption of my writer brain with thoughts of admiration, how expertly these three books were woven together with the hints and whispers that were bound together throughout, how there must have been a thorough outline in order to keep all the lines straight, to place the proper hints at the right points to keep the tension high and to answer all the questions that needed to be answered in the right places and sequences. This means I’ll probably go through this series again at some future point with my writer brain thoroughly active.

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