Reviews posted this week
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the last book of the All Souls Trilogy. (Some spoilers for the first two books). I have reread the first two books several times so I had this one pre-ordered.
In book 1, A Discovery of Witches, Harkness lays out a world where witches, vampires, and daemons secretly live alongside humans. There are ancient rules governing their behavior because if too many of them gather together humans start to notice. Diana Bishop is a witch but she never developed any powers. She studied the history of alchemy instead. One day when she is researching in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, she is magically presented with a damaged and unreadable book that has been missing for years. She doesn’t know what it is and sends to back but the power unleashed by the opening of the book does not go unnoticed. Now she has the attention of all kinds of magical creatures who think she knows the secrets of the book that witches and vampires think describe their origins.
She meets vampire Matthew Clairmont and as they are drawn together the powers of the non-human species are alarmed. Diana finds out that she is actually a very powerful witch who has been magically altered so her powers did not develop. With some of her powers starting to develop she is able to time walk to 1590s London with Matthew to try to find out from some of the most powerful witches in English history who she is.
Book 2 is called Shadow of Night. Matthew and Diana are in 1590s London with two purposes. Diana needs to study with powerful witches to find out why witches in the present are losing so much ability. They also want to find the magical book before it is damaged to see what it says about the origins of their species. While there, Diana becomes pregnant. Cross-species mating should be impossible which adds another mystery.
Now in book 3, The Book of Life, it is time for answers. Diana and Matthew are back in the present. Pages are collected from the book for analysis of the origins of all the species. There is a lot of political maneuvering in the vampire families to determine whether to protect or to kill the offspring of a witch and a vampire.
It is hard for me to say why I’ve liked this series so much. I think it is the small details of the worlds of the witches, vampires, and daemons. The daemons are hyper, smart, but easily distracted geniuses. The vampires are long lived and control empires both political and business. They are also alpha predators and very, very possessive. The witches want to find out why their powers are fading when they used to be so powerful. Mixing these creatures up and making them deal with each other makes a volatile mix.
Reading this week
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets. (Goodreads)