Sunday, August 25, 2013

Audiobook Review: All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness is not a YOUNG ADULT book but it has vampires, witches, and demons.  While only two of the books have been published the third is in progress.  I decided to review the series because I believe many YA readers will enjoy the plot.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Penguin, 579 pages
Publication Date: 2011
Listening Length: 24 hours and 2 minutes
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda

From Goodreads

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Adult, 584 pages
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Listening Length: 24 hours, 30 minutes
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda


Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

Sheri's Review:
I fell in love with A Discovery of Witches while visiting a friend in St. Louis.  Thankfully she understood my near obsession with reading the book.  I read it at a museum, while shopping, while waiting for food, and while sitting on her back porch.  As an academic,  I immediately fell immediately in love with the idea of an academic witch who desperately tried not to use her magic and with Matthew Clairmont, an academic vampire who tries not to kill humans.  I suspect my own academic life would be more exciting if my colleagues were witches and vampires!  In addition to being interested in every character introduced in this story, I also loved the basic premise that demons, vampires, and witches were searching for an understanding of where they came from. I enjoyed the scientific and historical details throughout the book. 

In Shadow of Night the story continues with Matthew and Diana going back in time to locate the book and we get to see their relationship evolve with time and new circumstances.  While I also loved this book I was not as compelled to read it without stopping.  Deborah Harkness actually divides the book into sections and I found myself taking a break between the sections. What I enjoyed most about this book was Diana's feminist attitudes and behaviors coming in conflict with the Elizabethan time period.  I also loved getting to know more about Matthew's past as he lived it.

As much as I enjoyed reading the books I also truly enjoyed listening to them as audiobooks.  I don't usually listen to a book I have read, but in this case I was able to get A Discovery of Witches at a bargain price and thought it would be fun to listen to while doing other things.  I was immediately hooked once again.  The narrator was wonderful!  Not only did I listen to 24 hours of book one I immediately bought book 2 and listened to another 24 hours.  The stories came to life for me in new ways while listening to them.

If you have not read these books I strongly recommend them.   If you love audiobooks, these will keep your attention despite their length.  If you are new to audiobooks these are probably too long to be frank but the books are wonderful. Unfortunately the release date for the final book in the trilogy is not currently known but I am desperately waiting to read it and hope that they are able to secure Jennifer Ikeda to narrate one final time.


  1. I've been wanting to read these books for a while but I'm a little intimidated by the size. One day I will break down and read these...maybe once the last one comes out :)

    Great review!

    1. oh...waiting until all 3 are out is probably a good idea because I was literally stalking the authors webpage waiting for book 2 and I am doing the same thing for book 3. she is still working on it with no pre-release date set!! ~Sheri

  2. I want to read these books so bad but for some reason they kept slipping lower on my TBR. There are seriously just too many books to read! But I love audiobooks and I am going to try to find them either at the library or for a decent price online. then I can read/listen to them much sooner! Great review, I am excited!

    1. you might see if your library has an online version you can listen to. they really are great. ~Sheri

  3. I listen to the first one on audiobook and read the second one. I loved the audiobook version too! The Narrator was great - and I'm fairly picky. Can't wait till the third book is eventually released. Will be looking forward to reading your review for it :)

    - Kate @ whYAnot