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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Publisher/date: Penguin Books; 1st edition (December 27, 2011)

Genre: Occult Fiction

Series: All Souls

Rating: T (Teen - light foreplay, mild violence)

Now a Netflix series

Diana Bishop is a witch.

When her parents were brutally murdered when Diana was 7, she chose to put away all her witchy powers, blaming witchery for her parents' deaths.

Now an accomplished historian, Diana is studying at the Bodleian Library when she comes across a manuscript that has been bewitched. She returns it after a quick examination, not wanting her witch powers to influence her work.

But many other creatures are after that manuscript, including a powerful vampire named Matthew de Clairmont.

Let me start out by saying that I didn't like this book, but I finished it anyway because the plot was good.

So why didn't I like it? I don't like Matthew. He's the typical hundreds of years old imposing vampire figure pushing his outdated ideas and beliefs on a modern woman. A powerful woman who should know better than to allow a man to manage, coerce and manipulate her to do what he wants. He orders her around and she just obeys, he lies to her constantly and she just forgives him, he hides things and she knows it and when he won't tell her she just accepts it.

The dichotomy of a female witch and scientist with her strength and curiosity and need for control of her own life with the submissive unquestioning peon she becomes when she is with him is jarring and doesn't make sense - and it also makes me hate him. And not really be much invested in her as a character either. She becomes predictable in that she will follow him blindly.

That's really all I have to say about this book. I don't understand why it's so popular - this is much worse than the toxic relationship in Twilight but with half the plot. I liked Twilight despite the weirdness of Edward's manipulations, because at least Bella didn't just do whatever the hell he told her to do.

2 stars, do not recommend.

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