17: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness ★★★★☆
This book left me with two interesting thoughts, the first being, “I’ve finally finished it” and then “Where is the rest?”
I can understand why some people would not like this book, as it is at times cheesy, especially on the romantic front but I guess that could also be due to it being the author’s first novel. But for me the sheer intricacies of the daemon, vampire and witch world, combined with the use of historical material, although adjusted, make in an excellent book.
The comparisons to Twilight are ones I find most interesting, simply because I do not see Diana to be anything like the weak-willed character of Bella, and thank Heavens for that although at times it seems as though Diana is a bit too perfect, but just when it becomes intolerable a flaw presents itself, usually in terms of her stubbornness.
It is the characters who make me so happy to read this novel, because they are not perfect, they are not easy to understand and despite the romance they are often horribly unromantic.
Diana is stubborn, clever but seems to be horribly naive despite everything, and her evolution as a character is interesting, although due to her easy love for Matthew some might find her to be de-evolving.
Matthew is interesting because he is a refined monster, a vampire who feels deeply, but is a warrior all at the same time, and it is quite an interesting blend of qualities. His loyalty makes him lovable, but his anger makes him a force to be feared.
Hammish is one of my favourite characters, with his slow humour and his cautious nature, along with his loyalty to his friend.
Simply put it is obvious that each character has been carefully crafted and well thought out to suit the plot, and the story.
There are moments which made me cringe, such as the witch-water the first time which really seemed cheesy, and the moments in the lab which were interesting and all at once baffling. I found the different languages, which often went unexplained to be rather confusing however despite all these flaws, brief and fleeting in their entirety I loved this book and really can’t wait for 2012 to come because I need to know what happens next.