Friday, May 27, 2011

For the Love of God...will Somebody Please Get me a Cold Shower?

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read unless you have read "A Discovery of Witches" in its entirety.

Just finished.  And I don't know how to feel about that.  Oh right...I *do* know how to feel about that.  Like this:

WTF????  The book ends and they STILL haven't done the deed?  I'm sorry but that is just stone, cold MEAN Deborah.  Now really.  I'm assuming it's because a) Diana will become preggars on contact and b) It worked for Stephenie - why not Deborah?!  Only it didn't work for Deborah any better than it worked for Stephenie...because I am annoyed.  And I think I could have dealt with it if there had been SOMETHING toward the end of the book.  But there was not, oh no...because we were STUCK in that pain-in-the-ass dwelling with five million house guests who wouldn't leave!  The fact that Matthew and Diana had to sneak out to the apple tree (which was, admittedly, pretty hot) was just a little too 9th grade for me to handle.

Moving on...

I loved the relationship between Marcus and Em and I shed a tear or two while reading about the nice things they did for each other.  (How cute were the cranberries?!)  I finally embraced Sarah because she finally embraced Matthew...but she was on shaky ground for quite a long time.  And if girlfriend gets uppity again, I may have to go back to wanting to give her a crack in the fictitious keester.

Diana was way cooler earlier on in the book.  Toward the end she was a little too Bella for my taste.  She just sat around while Matthew made her tea and rubbed her feet.  And that became a little old as well.  "Um, Hi, Matthew?  It's Carol.  Listen buddy...between your no-sex sex and your constant Diana ministrations, you're kindof turning into - how shall I say this?  Oh yeah, a BIG, FAT WUSS!!!!!!!!  OK got my point?  Great.  Love ya!  Mean it!"

Still love Granny and all the wiseacre ghosts...they made the Madison house bearable.  Nathaniel did NOT.  God he was a pain in the ass.  So was Sophie but she was nice, at least.

The scene where Matthew almost died so Diana fed him and then almost died so then _________ (fill in the blanks because I'm still not sure what they did to revive her; blood transfusion??) seemed kindof there for show...and I felt like it wasn't worthy of other parts of the book.

And Marion? Or whatshername?  (Why can't I remember her name??) Can somebody PLEASE tell me why they keep her around?? Is she related to ANYONE??  Matthew killed her husband?  Or her husband was killed because of Matthew? she there because of Matthew's obligation to her dead ex?  Because she is a pain in the ass.  I tried to hard to like her - and she was amusing at times - but I felt like Marcus could have easily provided the information she gave on a consistent basis.

OK so overall - I really did like it...even though the sting of celibacy is still strong.  But I'll get over it and remember all the good things like Ysabeau, Marthe and Hamish and their monstrous dwellings and even more monstrous attitudes.   There were times I could not WAIT to read it.  And I will read #2 in 2012.  But I can only hope Deborah Harkness might actually read the reviews and critiques of amazing authors like Diana Gabaldon...and use them to do wonderful things with Book #2??


  1. lol I think that we were both finishing the book at the same time!
    I hear you loud and clear about the whole 'no-sex sex' thing - "Despite our obvious need for comfort and reassurance, we didn't consummate our marriage." COME ON!!!! (Too shallow?? Sorry!) And then Matthew's response, "When we're safe. When there's more time." In the past?? When they're back in the present??? WHY am I so obssessed with this???? LOL
    I really did like the book, and the further I got into it, the more I couldn't get it out of my head. I still haven't read DG's review, so I'm curious to see that... I just recommended it to a friend of mine who loved Twilight (I've mentioned her before - the one who thought that Outlander was too hard to read. Huh??), and I think it will be right up her alley.
    BTW, the character's name is 'Miriam', and I have a theory that she is the one who is going to end up betraying everyone because of what happened with her husband. Girlfriend has got some issues - I'm just saying....
    I've finally read through all of your posts, and tomorrow I'm going to go back and read all of the comments. And thanks for letting us know that #2 will be out in 2012. At least it's a lot sooner than OL Book 8! ;-)

  2. OK, I just read the first page of the Compuserve comments, and they were a little mean, if you ask me! (No wonder I've remained a CS lurker and not an actual participant!) :-S

  3. Agreed Cari. Seriously. I was like "Whoa! I hope Deborah Harkness doesn't read these!" But now I kindof hope she does - and that she keeps a thick skin and learns from them - and uses the comments to come out with a fantastic sequel.

    But I do have to say - Diana's comment about Matthew "diddling her all night" made me almost pee my pantalones. Seriously. LOL

  4. Me too - that comment cracked me UP! :-D

  5. I figured you wouldn't like the "no sex" thing - a lot of people are. I on the otherhand didn't mind it at all. It was actually a bit refreshing. So many books people just jump right into bed with each other and I enjoyed focusing on other things because I'm sure the sex IS coming and I don't mind waiting. The anticipation is part of the fun! And I'm sure it won't be PG like it was in Breaking Dawn since this is a book for adults.

    I agree the ladies on the compuserve board were really harsh to the book. Did you read the thread titled "how to write a good witch book" - that's another one besides the main one where everyone is bashing it. On one of the threads I asked if they are more critical of books because they are writers then the would be otherwise.

    I'm super excited about them going back in time and hope most of the book is there since I love historical fiction so much.

    I really enjoyed it overall. It had a different approach and different ideas and kept me interested. I mentioned this before but I've been reading vamp lit since I was 14 (I'm 35 now) and have read SOOO many books and most of them are the same old thing over and over (not to say I don't enjoy them) but this one really stood out to me.

    It definitely has some issues but really what book doesn't (although I can probably say Outlander and Harry Potter are the two series I can't find much wrong with at all! lol).

  6. OK, now I feel really shallow.... lol I agree with you, Brandy, that some books do have the characters jump into bed too soon. I was just kind of surprised that they would marry each other within a month (whether Diana realized that was what they were doing or not!), but then not even consummate the marriage before the end of the book. However, I didn't mean to let that cast a shadow over how I felt about the book in general. I enjoyed it very much! I also love that they have gone back in time (we presume that this went off without a hitch, based on Matthew's notes in his book...), and I'm excited to see where the story will go from here! :-)

  7. I really liked this book and will recommend it to others. Deborah is NO Gabaldon or Paullina Simons.........but really, who is? I found it entertaining enough. Not to mention I super-love discussing a book that I'm reading/have read, with others.

    Yeah, CS was weeeeee bit harsh. One thing that I do agree with DG on is what she said about the characters not being memorable. It's barely been a week since I finished the book, and honestly I can hardly remember anyone. The story didn't really stay with me, but I will absolutely read book 2 in a year-ish.

    Oh, and the "diddling all night long".........that's freaking hilarious!!

    From reading an interview with Deborah, I found out that she is a Gabaldon fan(but who in their right mind isn't?). I guess that's where the whole TT idea fits in. Just imagining Diana "lifting" Matthew whilst they travel.......I just think that imagery is toooooooo funny! Glad she doesn't have a bad back like me.

    Now, with regards to VBB..........yeah, that was kinda mean. Edward stayed away from Bella b/c he thought he would "break her" with his awesome vampire virility. Matthew stayed away b/c..........?????? I don't think he had any idea what-so-ever that she would (obviously will) get pregnant. Not until the end anyway.

  8. I agree with all the comments for the most part - that book needed the hand of a top-notch editor IMO. Overall, the plot was interesting though, and like many, I want to read Book 2. I suspect it will be a lot better; I'm sure the author is reading every review she can get her hands on - after all, it's her first big work, right? Let's all keep our fingers crossed for the next one. :)

  9. OK, it wasn't a great book and I almost gave up on it, but it was good enough to have me reading the next one. so many questions, though. Why does she need contraceptive tea? Vampires can't have bio children and to do the deed is to start a witch/vampire war. And how would the Congregation know? Smell it on them...feel the earth move under their feet when it happens?
    Can they consummate safely in the past? Why will M regress when they get there?
    I'm reading a series by Lora Leigh about humans with animal DNA. Steamy--no blue balls.

  10. Cari - don't feel shallow. That wasn't my intention at all. I mean it IS definitely weird that 2 adults that are married haven't had sex yet but I didn't mind so much because I'm sure it's coming and I'm sure the author did that for a reason.

    Terry that's an interesting question about them consummating in the past. Now that I start thinking about it and what Jennifer said about her being a fan of Diana's - I hope this doesn't turn into some kind of Outlander type thing where Diana gest pregant, they are separated - one stays in the past, the other goes to the future. I would be pissed if she did that and it was too similar!

  11. Just finished it Friday night -- and have to agree with all comments. Liked it, will read next volume, but did get a little tired of Diana's morph into Bellaland at the end. Trying to get my brain around the whole dad time travel thing... does anyone else think that he is actually the first Stephen Proctor from Salem Witch Trial times and that Rebecca is the first Bridget Bishop rather than being ancestors? Just curious.

    P.S. Love the new blog page

  12. Oooh! Another question: What happens when Matthew goes to a past time and place where he already exists? Not allowed to see himself ala Harry Potter and Marty McFly? And if she can get pregnant, will that interfere with her witchy lessons? The thought of childbirth in 1650 would be enough to keep me celibate or at least very very careful.

  13. Same, same same.... I will read the next book, but only if I don't have anything else pressing to read. I enjoyed it, but at some point the house in Wisconsin or wherever they are started to feel like the Weasley household in Harry potter and was WAY too goofy (especially the house huffing and puffing around them like Old Mother Hubbard). I love the dark, streamlined sexy vibe and think she could have melded it with the witchy vibe a little more seamlessly. Looking forward to this pair hurtling through to a sexier time :-)
    Speaking of which, the no sex thing primarily annoys me because it didn't feel true to these characters. Definite BS. You know, something that works for a pair of 17 year olds is not going to do it for a grown woman who's been doing it all her life and an old-ass vampire who's had more partners than a Kardashian sister. I get the whole courtly vibe but Harkness miscalculated.
    And, love the blog offshoot idea! More Purgatory is always a great thing!

  14. Sirena, I love the Weasley House comparison! lol

  15. Just finished reading it and I thought it was pretty good. Liked Em, Marcus, Mathe, Granny. Yasebeau and Sophie a little. Didn't like Sarah, Nathaniel (at all!) or Miriam. I totally agree though that Miriam will probably be the one to betray them all, well Matthew says never trust a vampire.
    No wonder the characters aren't memorable, whenever you try to find anything out it's always - that's their history to tell, or they walk around the answer so you have no idea what was asked.
    The whole no-sex sex was a HUGE mistake. Come ON! One extremely HOT guy, one girl that must have a smoking bod from yoga, rowing, running, witching etc NOT HAVING SEX? Unbelievable. Oh let's just lay in bed together totally naked and hot but not have sex. If this has happened to anyone please let me know - oh ya and your married - to eachother.

  16. Okay, I thought the Matthew-is-dying-so-Diana-must-save-him weird and disturbing and more than just a little gross. I mean really? Was that supposed to be attractive??

    I, too, was a bit flummoxed by the lack of consummation (oh and Matthew? courtship in the 21st century generally comes BEFORE marriage) and felt like the progression of their physical relationship was a bit odd.

    And then there were the things that made me angry; the thing that almost made me hate the book (and if I had been reading it instead of listening to it would probably have made me lob the book against the wall) was when Matthew drops the "oh-by-the-way-I've-settled-1/3-of-my-estate-on-you" bomb and we (along with Diana) discover that Matthew had written the will BEFORE HE CAME BACK FROM OXFORD KNOWING THAT SHE WOULD BE HIS. It just irked me that she had no say not only in marrying him but also in just knowing that their relationship was going that direction.

    Wow...that was a lot of venting. And please tell me she didn't name Diana after Herself...