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The Book of Life (All Souls #3)

[A quick note: I wrote this review about a week ago (a week after reading the story) so it’s now been several weeks since finishing this series. And I’m STILL thinking about it. It isn’t very often that I find a series that sticks with me for so long. Something about this series just resonated with me. It was fabulous. I don’t have physical copies of this whole set yet. I’m planning to get hardcovers or perhaps wait to see if any book box companies do a special set, which I would buy in a heartbeat.]

“𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫, 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭, 𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰, 𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐭. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐲, 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐛𝐢𝐠 𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐡. 𝐒𝐨 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐧, 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧𝐞.”—Deborah Harkness

The finale of the All Souls Trilogy was bittersweet. I never wanted this series to end. NEVER. It has become a top favorite. Who doesn’t love a badass, smart, educated, powerful witch?! As for the third book, there was plenty of action, magic, and romance. There was even a bit of character redemption—which is my favorite! Like the others, it was difficult to put down, and every time I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of those stories that stays with you. It’s immersive.

After embracing her magical abilities, Diana is more powerful than ever, but she still needs to find the book of life. Back in modern times, she’s confronted with all the problems she left behind, and more. I appreciated some of the new struggles presented between Matthew and Diana. Yet again, they were tested as a couple. My favorite part was towards the end: we see Matthew in distress and Diana as a more-than-capable damsel ready to rescue him. I always appreciate a reverse damsel-in-distress moment.

“𝐓𝐨 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐝, 𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐰𝐞𝐫.” —Deborah Harkness

The plot takes us to a couple of new locations, like Yale. I loved getting to see Diana’s friend Chris from the first book play a more active role. This story has such a great cast of characters. I’ve fallen in love with so many of them. Gallowglass is still a top favorite. I also appreciated seeing Marcus and Phoebe’s budding relationship. And can we talk about Baldwin’s character arc? He went from hated to…appreciated?

The overall complexity and elegance for the plot of this trilogy impresses me on so many levels. I liked seeing things come to a head after such a long build up. It was great to see some of the events mentioned in the first book (ie the brutal vampire murders) come to light. I will say the final book was a bit more plot based vs. character based. But that’s okay. There was still enough personal growth to satisfy me.

And now for the negatives…

While I really enjoyed book three, it didn’t quite live up to the first two. Mainly, it felt a bit more choppy and jumpy. There wasn’t the same level of historical detail and research that I came to love in the first two books. It felt like a rush to get the story over. It is for this reason that I ranked it slightly lower than the others. Moreover, there seemed to be a few loose ends that could have been tied more neatly? No one wants to rush through a finale.

Overall, this series is a MUST for history lovers, magic lovers, and vampire lovers. Matthew and Diana have become my favorite vampire couple. I still want more of them. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟒.𝟓/𝟓⭐️


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