[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.

  • Well… If the final book is unsatisfying, I don’t think that I will read this series. I’ve had enough disappointment with Divergent series to as it is! 😛 Thanks for the review! Looking forward to more by 🙂
    Book Maniac Reviews

  • You are preaching to the choir here, J.! That’s exactly what I thought about this book especially pointless New Orleans forage and a waste of such a amazing character as Gallowglass 🙁 Loved your review!

  • Hmm. I’ve been really curious about these books since the first came out, but I’m less than excited to hear the final book was not so good for you. It kind of makes me less inclined to read the books? I think I will someday, because the first two were so good and I’m infinitely curious, but I guess I’ll have to tamper expectations for the third. 🙂 Oh well.

  • purplebook6

    Sorry this didn’t rock your world like the first two books :/. This is the first time I hear about these books, but I’ll probably give them a try, because I loved Fever series and anything similar is a big yes 🙂

  • Sarez T

    I loved the first two books in this trilogy and have been eagerly waiting for the release of this book. I have just been waiting to have a quick read through of the first two again before starting this. Thanks for the review, I may just end up delaying reading this one for a bit longer.

  • Hmmm. Anti-climatic, huh? That’s a bummer. I still feel like I should continue with this series (I’ve only read A Discovery of Witches) but I am definitely lowering my expectations.

  • Most of my friends have adored the first two books but I read the first and it just wasn’t for me. Now you’ve made me feel better about skipping these… But if she writes another series, I’ll try it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  • It’s sad that this one wasn’t as good as the others. I have the first book but I haven’t read it yet I confess. I need to try it some day.

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    It is a shame you felt that this book was a little rushed being the last in the series. It sounds like a great series though! Fab review!

    Thanx for visiting my WoW!
    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • Glad you enjoyed this despite having issues with it. These are definitely books to be savored and I’m hoping to catch up on my next beach vacation when I can read as slowly as I like 😀 Lovely review!

  • I haven’t finished this one myself in fact I’ve forgotten all about it! LOL

    the series is filled to the brim with characters and events I am concerned that I might be forced to skim or even reread the first two books so I could refresh my memory.

    I don’t know when I’ll get to read this, I’m hoping that it would be sooner rather than later. I am sorry that you weren’t satisfied, Matthews bid for being the scion reminds me of that supposedly epic battle in the end of twilight…

  • I was super sad that Gallowglass didn’t get a better ending but I am keeping my fingers crossed that maybe it will mean a spin off with him in it. I think he was by far my favorite secondary character.

  • I’ve been a huge fan of Moning’s Fever series, but never really come across something that has lived up to it . So I’m glad that this series is similar in some respects. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this last book as much as you’d hoped, but any series that you read back to back and within days, definitely needs to be given a go! Fab review! 🙂

  • Amazing review Joy. <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed this series. But ack. You didn't love this one. And that is depressing : but. You didn't hate it either. So that gives me hope I might enjoy them too, lol 🙂 I will read them all. Someday. Soon. Probably. If I ever find the time, hah. Anyway. I love reading your thoughts about this book. <3 thank you for sharing sweetie 🙂