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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review (Audio): Shadow of Night (All Souls, #2) by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night
(All Souls, #2)
By Deborah Harkness

Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda

Shortly after Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont timewalk to London, 1590, they discover that the past may not provide a safe haven after all. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy Matthew Roydon, the vampire falls back in step with a group of radicals known as the School of Night who share dangerous ideas about God, science, and man. Many of his friends are unruly daemonsn - the creative minds of the age who walk the fine line between genius and madness - including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot. Matthew, himself, is expected to continue to spy for Queen Elizabeth, which puts him in close contact with London's cutthroat underworld.

Together, Matthew and Diana scour the bookstalls and alchemical laboratories of London where they follow the elusive trail of Ashmole 782 - and search for the witch who will teach Diana to control her powers.

(Annotation taken from the paperback edition of Book 1 A Discovery of Witches)

Available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Viviana's Review: 
The second installment in the All Soul Trilogy does not disappoint. “Shadow of Night” continues right where we left off with Diane & Matthew traveling back in time to 1590 Europe in search of a witch teacher to assist Diane with her magic and of course in search of Ashmole 782. 
Upon arriving, they both must quickly fall into the time’s customs and behavior, which seems easier for Matthew than Diana. Then again, Matthew lived it and she remembers that his friend warned her that he would fall into his old habits/behavior. Diana had a lot of learning to do, not only with the customs, but also language and her magic. Finding a witch wouldn’t be easy either as they were being hunted or killed (this is Europe in the late 1500 after all).  Add the stresses of trying not to change the outcome of the future by changing things in the past. 

Throughout the story, we get to know Matthew better and learn some of his secrets. WOW! Talk about secrets! Matthew definitely doesn’t do things simply! Will say Diana handles everything rather well. We also get to “see” Matthew with his closest friends and their interaction is quiet refreshing. 

Matthew and Diana relationship must be justified, defended and explained to every person they meet. The obstacles from the present isn’t alleviated nor reduced in the past. Family and friends question their logic, reasons and relationship as a whole. What I enjoyed the most is that throughout the doubts everyone else may have, neither Matthew nor Diana waver in their commitment to each other nor their love. They will suffer through gossip, evil looks, attempts to separate them and personal losses. Throughout all this (and more) they hold fast to the fact that this is just a moment in time that they will overcome and their love will guide them through it all. 

The author takes us on a journey through history and does a lovely job of describing the environment, the places, the people and life in general. For a while there, I was concerned that perhaps, the true reason for their trip was lost and that they will forever live in 1590. “Shadow of Night” moves at an even pace and I will say I’m happy that I “read” this via audio book as it would have taken me longer to finish since I’m sure I would have put it down making me take longer to finish it. If you were to compare this to a movie, tv show or miniseries, the “All Souls” trilogy falls into the style of a miniseries. Still love it! Can’t wait for the next and final installment to see how it all turns out! Deborah has a great writing style and has created wonderful characters! She has truly created a world that is believable and yeah, I wish it was real! 

Narrator Review: 
Jennifer Ikeda is back to narrate “Shadow of Night”! I was extremely happy for that as she did such a wonderful job with “The Discovery of Witches”. She breathes life into these already vivid characters! She kept me captivated with the different tones, voices, accents and even languages. Fantastic job! I truly hope she will narrate the third installment!

 Rating; 3.5 Stars - I Really, Really Liked It!!

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