Diana Bishop is a little nonsensical
A Discovery of Witches’ big flaw is Diana Bishop herself, the main character. Although she begins plausibly as a sporty, workaholic intellectual, Diana devolves with frightening speed into another Bella-like goofball, giving up all agency and, seemingly, brains to her new boyfriend. She shows some half-hearted spunk in a couple of key places, but mainly she lets her hunky vampire do all the work and the thinking. For a woman who used to be an accomplished professor and athlete, her independence evaporates pretty darn quickly. I suppose this can be excused as romantic escapism – this isn’t a feminist treatise here – but not only is her complacency annoying, it also seems out of character considering her personality before she meets you-know-who.
The second book comes out in July, 2012. Like you, I can’t wait. I have just re-read Discovery Of Witches for the second time and I enjoyed it even more because I took my time and didn’t race to the end. Loved it!!!
Fun and quirky
If, like me, you’re bored at the book’s unoriginality in the beginning, you’ll find the story really starts zipping about halfway through the book, when it adopts the historical mystery feel of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Harkness’s inventiveness also shines in her quirky secondary characters, which are not only witchy and vampiric but, in some exceptional cases, feline and architectural (try to figure that one out!). Although A Discovery of Witches obviously owes much to Twilight, this new novel is much more playful and adventurous. I appreciated the frequent references to historical texts, and it was especially fun reading about the relationships between famous people in history and our vampiric lover – vampires live a long time, after all.
Why should you read this book?
If you liked Twilight, I can almost guarantee that you’ll like A Discovery of Witches. If you more generally enjoy urban fantasy with a bucket of romance, you’ll also probably like A Discovery of Witches – although Diana’s general incompetence may inspire an occasional wave of fury. (Well, it did for me, anyway.) However, if you’re allergic to heavy doses of romance, you had best stay far, far away from this one; for all its historical tidbits and magical happenings, A Discovery of Witches is a romance through and through.