[436]: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)by Deborah Harkness

Viking Adult | Hardcover, 561 pages
Publication Date: July 15th, 2014
Adult Fiction | Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

After a couple of weeks of being completely immersed in this series, I’m feeling a little bereft. For one, I’m going to miss the characters, and for another, it left me disastisfied. I read nothing but these books every single day until I finished the trilogy. At first, I thought I was going to be encumbered by the sheer volume of each books; and considering I’m not a huge reader of the genre, I did pretty good speed-wise. I only meant to give the first book a chance. But lo and behold! I enjoyed them – immensely. I really love how Ms. Harkness was able to twist history and somehow amalgamate it into something believable and surreal at the same time.

The first two books certainly created enough anticipation for what Ashmole 782 (The Book of Life) would reveal. And most of the not-so-wonderful review touched on how anti-climactic everything was. I too, felt the same way. I also felt that Diana’s powers was blown into a a deity-like stature that when she finally got up to embracing her abilities, it wasn’t nearly as astronomical as I was led to believe.

I also felt like there were a lot of story arches that she introduced then just merely glanced over. This is the point where I want to demand a refund. Matthew’s bid to build his own scion in New Orleans was pointless. I was anticipating an epic battle. I was thinking, yes. Bring it, Benjamin. Matthew’s gathering himself an army! But aside from displaying his unnatural ability to remember the names of those he killed, and introducing us to what seems to be another random character (Ransome), I didn’t really understand the point.

Another source of my dislike was the way Emily’s story was handled. Without giving too much away, I thought her character was [spoiler] disposed of rather too quickly and without any clear explanation [spoiler].

Gallowglass’ romantic interest towards auntie was sudden, I thought. I mean, where the heck did that come from?! Unrequited love is sooo overrated. And mean. Especially for a guy as wonderful as Gallowglass.

This book, despite the heft, meandered in a lot of ways that the first two didn’t. Everything happened and nothing resolved, so to speak. I would still like to argue that it boasts some pretty intricate plot lines that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. And yes, brilliant. But perhaps this last book was a bit rushed? This series is one that you can’t help but read languidly. It’s rich in history, with a dark and sensuous ambiance reminiscent of The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. Deborah Harkness knows how to weave an intricate thread that readers of the genre would only be too happy to unravel. Despite my problems with this book, I remain awe struck by how beautiful the stories were of her vampires and witches.