Take a Shot: Diana is a tenured professor at Yale who is currently doing research at Oxford. She’s also a witch but she refuses to use her powers. However, one day she’s able to call up an old manuscript that was thought to be lost and it just might be the key to the creation of witches, vampires and daemons. Matthew Clermont is also a professor at Oxford and a vampire and becomes interested in Diana for the purpose of obtaining Ashmole 782, but then he becomes interested in so much more than that.
My roommate from sophomore year got me hooked on the first season of this show. I watched all 8 episodes in one day because I was so hooked. I admit I did watch the first season before reading the book. I try to always read the book first, but I am guilty and I will admit when I cheat. However, I feel that without having watched the TV show I definitely would not have loved the story as much. That being said I would highly recommend the tv show because Theresa Palmer plays an incredible Diana and I love her.
Now for the actual book. I loved the adult nature of the story. It was so refreshing to read adult fantasy that was so purposeful in its delivery. The relationship that Matthew and Diana have is very mature and they develop such a true respect for the other which is really great. The forbidden nature of their relationship is also a nice juicy addition. I think everyone dreams of having a forbidden romance that isn’t actually a problematic one like him being your best friend’s brother. I also love the tenderness that Matthew has with Diana and it’s not because she’s a fragile human that he could hurt, it’s genuine and because he actually loves her. I also think he begins to realize that she’s a badass witch (see what I did there) who could easily snap her fingers and he would cease to be.
Arguably my absolute favorite aspect is the setting and scenes where everything takes place. I love the dark academia aesthetic you get from Oxford and their living quarters. I especially love the river that Diana goes rowing on. It surely romanticizes Oxford, and if I didn’t want to study there before sure as heck sign me up now. Harkness just does a truly magical job no pun intended with the setting and tone. The setting changes help to move the pacing along as well which I thought was very well done. Information unfolds naturally as certain events happen and you learn a lot alongside Diana which connects you to the character quite well.
This is definitely a great book to read in the fall and during spooky season. The changing leaves outside the window and the chilly mornings get you right in the mood to dig into this novel. If you enjoy the vampire and witch tropes this is surely one for you with its attention to detail and realism of the supernatural living amongst normal humans.
“It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”
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Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!