Harkness, Deborah: Book of Life (All Souls III) (2014)

I cannot help but love a novel written as intelligently as The Book of Life. Not only does Deborah Harkness demand that I use what little wits are left to me, but she also keeps herself in the river of words through the entire story. In addition, my autism bug sends itself off on missions of discovery and I have had a blast looking into genetics, history and Yale University Campus and surrounding areas.

These are NOT stand-alone books. If you want to immerse yourself in the world of Deborah Harkness, you will have to start at the beginning: A Discovery of Witches. You can read an excerpt of that story here.

At some point in our lives most of us will make at least one astoundingly stupid choice. Matthew Clairmont’s choice involved revenge and abandonment. Sometimes our idiotic choices come back to haunt us well into the future. In Matthew’s case it would be safe to say that the devastating consequences of his choice could be felt for centuries. He is being bitten about as hard in his ass as a person could be. Time also has a way of sorting things out and vampires have plenty of time (if they manage to stay alive).

The Congregation is all about racial purity. Matthew, Miriam, Chris and his assistants’ research will help to shove the Congregation’s ideas of racial purity right where they belong. I hate the idea of racial purity (shudder). Every time I hear the words I become anxious, and I am one of the majority. I cannot imagine what those who supremacists consider “less than” must feel. Thankfully, both the Claremont DNA research and modern DNA research shows us how much such ideas are worth. It would now be appropriate for me to show my middle finger to those who entertain such ideas, but alas …

Friendship is such a strange phenomenon. I have people I love dearly and hardly ever meet or speak with. But they continue to hold a strong place in my feelings. When we meet, our friendship usually seems to have survived. People I meet often do not necessarily resonate with me. There seems no rhyme or reason to how these relationships come about. Several of the characters in The Book of Life experience the same thing. For some of them friendship comes in the most unlikely places. In other cases people who seemed like stinkers turn out to be strong friends. Then we have those who discover that their love has survived all the challenges thrown their way.

Political scheming, assassinations, power-struggles and betrayal are definitely a part of this last book in the All Souls trilogy. You will find plenty of near-death and death experiences in it, none of them of the peaceful kind.

I must not forget that a large chunk of the All Souls trilogy is about the love story between Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont. The two of them fight for their lives and their right to be together across the lines of their genetic variations. Some of their story is together and some of it is apart from each other.

Highly recommended.


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