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The Book of Life (All Souls) Hardcover – July 15, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,259 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the All Souls Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dedicated scholar, reluctant witch, and seasoned time traveler Diana Bishop returns to wrap up the wildly popular All Souls trilogy. After a supernatural “meet-cute” in A Discovery of Witches, and a time-traveling adventure in Shadow of Night, Diana and vampire/scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present, continuing their pursuit of magical alchemical manuscript Ashmole 782, aka The Book of Life; but before the secrets contained within the manuscript are revealed, Diana and Matthew must navigate the peculiarities of their essentially forbidden union. As the stakes grow increasingly higher, they prepare for a showdown in the demon world that could have direct—and possibly dire—­consequences for their own families. Harkness herself proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry Potter, Twilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With the first two volumes in this trilogy selling more than one million copies, and the movie version of A Discovery of Witches currently in development, the conclusion of this paranormal adventure is guaranteed to fly off the shelves. --Margaret Flanagan

Review

Praise for The Book of Life

“Weaving an extraordinarily rich story of magic and science, history and fiction, passion and power, secrets and truths, Harkness delivers an unforgettable and spellbinding finale that's not to be missed.”—USA Today

“Juicy and action-packed . . . Even at 561 pages, this is one hardcover no one will mind lugging to the beach.”
—People

“Pure escapist summer fun.”
—Jodi Picoult, Parade

“The epic and erudite vampire-witch romance comes to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion in the action-packed All Souls trilogy ender.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“A stirring, poignant saga.”
—Us Weekly

“The charm in Deborah Harkness’s wildly successful All Souls trilogy lies not merely in the spells that its creature characters cast as they lurk pretty much in plain sight of humans, but in the adroit way Harkness has insinuated her world of demons, witches, and vampires into ours. . . . From the novel’s poignant opening, Harkness casts her own indelible spell of enchantment, heartbreak, and resilience. . . . She is terrific at bringing her magic world to life, maintaining a fast-paced, page-turning narrative.”
—The Boston Globe

“This trilogy is a superlative example in a subgenre you could call realistic fantasy—think Harry Potter but for grown-ups or Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Witches, vampires, and daemons exist, along with time travel. But this world also is recognizably ours, not a wholly made-up setting like George R.R. Martin’s Westeros. When done well, as it is here, this sort of fiction provides characters who are recognizably human in their desires and actions even if most of them are creatures with supernatural powers. Through them Harkness succeeds at the hardest part of writing fantasy: She makes this world so real that you believe it exists—or at the very least that you wish that it did.”
—Miami Herald

“Harkness has immersed and spellbound readers with her alternative universe. . . . Her ambitious melding of scientific and historical detail is inventive and brings surprising depth. . . . The Book of Life brims with sensuality, intrigue, violence and much-welcome humor.”
—Los Angeles Times

“There is no shortage of action in this sprawling sequel, and nearly every chapter brings a wrinkle to the tale. The storytelling is lively and energetic, and Diana remains an appealing heroine even as her life becomes ever more extraordinary. A delightful wrap-up to the trilogy.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Harkness herself proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry Potter, Twilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers.”
—Booklist

“The witch Diana’s and the vampire Matthew’s quests to discover their origins and confront the threats to their star-crossed union tie up as neatly as one of Diana’s magical weaver’s knots. . . . It’s still satisfying to travel with these characters toward their more-than-well-earned happy ending.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“The adventure never lets up. . . . History, science, and the unpredictable actions of paranormal characters with hidden agendas all swirl together to create a not-to-be-missed finale to a stellar series.”
—Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Series: All Souls (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 561 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st edition (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670025593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670025596
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
** ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS AHEAD **

I was a big fan of the first two novels in this series, A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) and Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy) and waited with exciting anticipation for The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy) to be released. I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced readers copy from the publisher last week and was not disappointed.

I'm not going to rehash the publisher's summary by restating the plot of Book of life, but believe me - the journey Deborah Harkness takes us with Diana and Matthew is wholly amazing. Their search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages becomes tantamount into understanding what the witches have known for centuries and how to save their future. Although it has been two years since Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy) was released, you will find it very easy to get back into Matthew and Diana's storyline. And seeing how things are settled with Benjamin was definitely worth the wait. There was plenty of action and suspense to keep you turning the pages.

For all of us who were disappointed in how Veroicia Roth ended the Divergent series with
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Format: Kindle Edition
What a huge let down this book was. I'm talking EPIC proportion let down.

First of all, I am shocked at all the positive reviews I'm seeing. I feel like we didn't read the same book.

A Discovery of Witches was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I wasn't as much into reading then, and I stumbled across this one while randomly perusing my library for books. I fell in love with the story, the characters, and the magic of it all. I felt like the story was building up for something important, something powerful.

The second book was also pretty successful for me. It was lovely in the way that historical fiction is pleasurable for me. I also have a deep love of time-travel books, so I was practically guaranteed to fall head over heels.

A lot of time has passed since the second, and my expectations were sky high for the third. Unfortunately, the careful world-building fell to crap in the final installment. I'll try to break down my main issues with the story without giving away any spoilers.

1) The POV switches: I have very specific opinions about lots of POVs in the a story: Namely, I hate them. This book had at least 5 different points of view, which irritated me to no end. Why not just two? Those extra points of view just seemed lazy to me, just a way for the author to do some "telling" and less "showing" about the characters. To make matters worse, the author switched from 1st to 3rd person throughout the book! Talk about a headache. It was a terrible choice, in my opinion.

2) The number of characters: This book was like a who's who from the previous two books. I swear, no one was left out. There were so many people re-introduced that I had a hard time keeping track of everyone. The story felt so... cluttered.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would call this The Book of WTF? LIke many others, I eagerly waited for installment 3, and was utterly confused by exceedingly put-downable Book of Life. The plot point that drew me in way back when was the lost manuscript, Ashmole 782, and by the end of BOL, I still don't know what it was or what "secrets" it held .Without giving too much away, here are questions I want answered:
1. Why doesn't Diana timewalk back to SeptTours and prevent Emily's death? I'm not saying she should, but it is glaringly obvious to readers that she COULD. Some explanation is necessary here. Come to think, why doesn't Diana timewalk and at least talk to her mother?
2. What was the point of Fernando? Purpose of bringing back Hubbard and Jack? Gallowglasses admission? Why does the main antagonist from book 2 (Peter Knox) disappear only to reapper at the very end of the book?
3. What was all the nonsense about the missing page being heavier than vellum? I kept thinking they were going to discover something inside of it, but this went nowhere like so many other things.
4. What the H-E-double hockeysticks did the Goddess want? I still don't know. And the book never explained the tree in the firelplace.
5. What was the point of Matthew's scion? Going to New Orleans? Why did this matter? esp since Baldwin underwent a 180-degree character change in the space of 2 pages.when it became convenient.
Other problems I had with the book:
1. The eternal obsession with calling everyone "son" "grandson" "grandmother" "father" etc. etc. etc. I had to take a dramamine I was so dizzyy trying to figure out who she was talking about half the time. Enough already. It was cute when Marcus said "mom, I'm home" but it's just tiresome now.
2.
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