A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

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The saving grace of this book is that Deborah Harkness is a legit historian which she researched a lot especially about science especially Darwinism and genetics that made the some of the info dumps within this book tolerable. I tolerate this book enough that I was interested enough to read the continuation (which is why I read this book in the first place) but as far as the book goes, this book superbly and example of how good someone’s writing was, even as a first novel, it failed in many ways of storytelling and characterizations that made the book painfully predictable and the series painfully overrated. 

First of all, it was unnecessarily too long. I have the physical hardback copy of this book and it was thick, the size of my head and the font was the size of a regular paperback which means its a nearly 100k words book for a book mainly filled with fillers with a story I can safely concise everything in 100 words. It was a torture to go through the first 200 pages and I only like the scene where Diana and Mathew went to his lab where they talk about genetics and origins of species and the book did improve over 200 pages mark. Normally, that was half the length of an average book and also the DNF benchmark for most readers and also the sign that despite all credibility as a non-fiction writer, this book should have undergo extensive editing as any book normally do and seriously, for a fairly new novel written in 2011, does anyone never discuss with the author about this book being a Twilight fanfiction being superimpose over a fairly good worldbuilding about a mysterious book? I like a story about old books and history but I wish I could surgically cut out the trope characters for another readable and hopefully original characters. 

A Discovery of Witches is about the story of a lot of people talking to each other because it is written in first POV of the character Diana who basically is a very very special snowflake who was lucky enough to be born into two very powerful wizarding families and possess unnatural superwitch powers which she unknowingly and subconsciously using it when she found a missing alchemical manuscript which was hidden for centuries in Oxford library. Since she was the only one who can access the hidden manuscript, she was being targeted by every kind of supernatural creature who thinks the manuscript was the solution to everything in the world about them. So, she went to the most approachable and still creepy supernatural character which turns out to be a millennial and half old vegetarian vampire as her overprotective super-stalker-bodyguard who have many more brooding issue condensed in his long centuries of living. Plus, he have an unhealthy obsession with Diana’s apparent overexpression of adrenaline which made her smell wonderful for vampires alike. Of course, both of them conveniently fall in love although relationships between different supernaturals are frowned upon by some pact between the supernaturals millennial ago by this covenant of supernatural. To avoid more supernaturals trying to harm her, Diana and Matthew had to travel all the way to his fortress in France where she met with Matthew’s family and learn more about the man himself and his vampiric nature.

The book was intriguing and sometimes well-written but it still have a problem of expressing itself intelligently through Diana who in a lot of way, partially Mary Sue and partially the ultimate character the author fantasized herself to be – a superpowered gorgeous blue eyed blonde goddess historian. When I say superpower, I really mean Mary Sue with omni-level god powers that its unbelievable. Also near the end of the book I was reminded of Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red trilogy and it gets even more predictable in that way

Bound By Blood (Bound #1) by Cynthia Eden

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Bound by Blood is a paranormal romance and horror I suppose concerning the war between hell on earth and the vampiress trying to save the world by offering an alliance to one of their enemy, the werewolf. Its like that saying, the enemy of my enemy is my fried. So the alpha and the vampire leader mated/married to one another, exchange blood and get rid of the random hell gates. Of course its a supernatural romance so the two just happen to fall in love with one another.

I can’t really be sarcastic over this considering I do enjoy the book despite how short it really is as the story do have decent vampire werewolves demon battle and there’s torture and really evil demented vampires and there’s loads of blood and gore. My kind of paranormal romance as I would say. There’s not much to go on, there’s of course the romance between the characters and their relationship with the coven and pack. Somehow it does simplify some of the things I like about Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kresley Cole, which tell a lot for a self-published novel. For all it worth, the 99 cent is a pretty worthy investment that is really underrated. Dare I said it? I like this better than Jeaniene Frost or Christine Feehan.

However, the book does have its flaws but somewhat redeemable. I really think her latest book is more an improvement in the series and this one does feel like an experiment. Whatever it maybe, she really deserve a proper traditional marketing and big publisher book deal. Give the author more advances so she could make even more longer proper-length books.

Bound by the Night (Bound #4) by Cynthia Eden

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I realize this series sound like something out of the erotica line but don’t fear. Its quite a light average paranormal romance. Despite an earlier storyline from Bound in Death, Bound by the Night have similar plot but more unpolished version of Bound in Death. In this novel, we’re introduced to the vampire queen Iona who have been under a curse by a werewolf for 15 years until she was released by another werewolf Jamie who bound her to feed only on his blood.

Upon regaining her freedom, she have to decide who to trust despite all her long years and to unleash her revenge from the vampires of her who betrayed her and those who wanted her to powers. But for that to happen, both of the vampire and werewolf need to work out as some secrets threaten to set them apart.

Personally, I do like the author’s way of writing her characters despite the undeniable similarity of her subsequent novel. In a way, I think its still an attempt by the author to find her way through by making the story convincing. I do like Iona better than Kiera but as for execution, Kiera is wonderful as a well developed character than Iona. I think because its a self-published work which obviously have some flaws in it but for a short read, it does make an interesting reading for the price.

Since I do see that her recent work somewhat improved, I will check out some of her work. I do see she’s getting even better at it than the average household name who kept churning the same stories all over again. Probably still my best author find in kindle store.