Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Perfect 10:

THE BOOK OF LIFE – Deborah Harkness 
All Souls Trilogy, Book 3 
A Perfect 10 
Viking Adult 
ISBN: 978-0-698-16347-8 
July 2014 

New York, England, France, and the Continent – The Present 

Background: Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, she a witch, he a vampire, are married, against all odds. They have time traveled to the past to search for Ashmole 782 in the hopes that this elusive book can answer many questions for the daemons, witches, and vampires of the world. But others want the book, too, and a few will do vicious, violent deeds to obtain it – and to capture Diana. Why? Diana is a weaver, a very rare witch who, it seems, can also be impregnated by a vampire. For while they are in the past, Diana conceives, and the twins she carries are in just as much danger as their mother. 

The de Clermont vampire family is about to get bigger with the upcoming births of Diana and Matthew's twins. This sets off a feud within the family when it is discovered that Matthew has blood rage, inherited from his mother, Ysabeau, when she made him a vampire. Vampires with this sickness are usually unable to control themselves when it bubbles to the surface, which makes them too dangerous to be around. While Matthew is able to control his with much effort, those he made into vampires may not have such resistance. And one in particular, Benjamin, is known for his cold-blooded and horrific killings of vampires, witches, and warm bloods. Benjamin wants Diana, and her children, to populate the world with his blood raging offspring. 

Diana's trip to the past not only resulted in her pregnancy, but also in her new found confidence in her abilities. She has managed to find some pages of Ashmole 782, and is determined to retrieve the entire book. But it will take a group effort among their friends of daemons, witches, vampires, and warm bloods. All of this must be done secretly so that Benjamin and his minions do not discover what they find. 

Completing the All Souls Trilogy, THE BOOK OF LIFE is nonstop adventure as Matthew and Diana work feverishly to find the book, to keep their family safe, and to simply stay alive, as Benjamin and others try to thwart their every move. There is danger around every bend, but the strength that the couple derives from their love for one another must prevail. Whom to trust? How will the community they are a part of react when or if they find Ashmole 782? And how will finding this manuscript affect Diana and Matthew? 

Amazing, brilliantly researched writing will grab readers from the first page and keep those pages turning right up until the satisfying and exciting conclusion. You must read the trilogy from the beginning, though, in order to understand all of the nuances of this book. A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES begins with Matthew and Diana meeting, SHADOW OF NIGHT takes the pair to Elizabethan England where Diana comes into her powers, and THE BOOK OF LIFE will answer so many questions from the first two books.  Powerful, emotional, and at times humorous The All Souls Trilogy deserves my vote for A Perfect 10. 

Jani Brooks

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