• Mrs. Ortiz

A Vampire Novel for Scholars


When I picked this book up, I mistakenly thought that it had been published within the last few years. I believe I thought this because the TV series has been popping up in my adds since the beginning of January. The title intrigued me, and I was just coming down off of the high of finishing A Court of Silver Flames. Looking for another series to start, I placed a hold on this book at my library.

This book was actually published in 2011, to all those who are curious. The TV series began running in 2018, and has been ongoing since.


Things I liked: The author’s descriptions of the various wines in this novel are simply divine (see page 147)! I enjoyed the description of the food that Michael and Diana cooked for each other when they invited each other over to their respective homes.


The character development in this book is strong. Diana, Michael, Sarah, Em, Marcus, Isabeau, Marta, everyone! I enjoyed getting to know the characters individually. I was expecting more of a romance book when I picked this up, but this book is more about the importance of family.


Deborah Harkness is an extremely intelligent woman. She gets into the weeds of the genetics of vampires and witches. Diana is a scholar who is researching at Oxford, and her work is deeply academic, which I found interesting.


Things I disliked: It took me a solid 75 pages before I began to get into this book. The middle section picked up the pace, but then slowed down at the end, and I found myself bored and had a difficult time finishing the last 100 pages. I recommend that people have a simple grasp of genetics before reading this book, too, because I found that although I could keep up with most of it—it took a lot of brain power that I didn’t necessarily want to expend on a pleasure book.


There are also a lot of characters. I sometimes found it difficult to keep track of who was who because I would get bored and stop reading the book for a day or two at a time. The ending was so painfully slow.


All in all, I liked this book, but I don’t think I liked it enough to read the entire series. The author has an excellent grasp of the English language, which I enjoyed as it’s not often when I read a book where I have to look up words.


Side Note: Have any of you watched the TV series? Do you like it? I finished the first episode and found it all quite jarring because it’s not like the book (Diana and Gillian are nowhere near friends in the book! I found this super weird). I feel as though the actors cast for Michael and Diana are excellent. But the other characters, maybe not so much. Not sure if I’ll continue watching or not, but I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts!


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