I thought after all my vampire-related posts this week, now would be a good time to discuss A Discovery of Witches. And then I remembered that I’m out of vampire puns, which is a *bit* bat… get it, cos if I was Dracula and I was talking with an accent, “bad” would sound like “bat”- ok, ok, that was terrible. I give up, on with the review…
So this book is an interesting one. At first, when I started it I though *oh great a vampire book for adults!* and by the time I finished it I was like *oh bloody hell it’s a vampire book for adults*. Because that’s one of the main issues with the book. It’s like a YA book that never grew up. In theory, that should be great- it should be the Peter Pan of New Adult literature- but it isn’t. Instead, it’s like an overgrown child trapped in an adult’s body, with weird temperamental mood swings, stuck in that transitional phase where you can drive a car, get married, but not watch a movie rated 18.
When I was halfway through and couldn’t get into it, my friend said she liked it because, she said “it’s like Twilight for adults”. And when she said that it totally clicked why I didn’t like it. I mean it’s got all the trivial things of Twilight, like:
- Eating toast- seriously- why is this woman obsessed with toast so much?
- Exercise- I’ll admit I liked the idea of Vampire Yoga, but the descriptions are not as funny as it sounds. Anyway, if that kind of exercise makes you interested in this book, then never fear! There’s plenty of rowing to make you all excited.
- Research- lots and lots of exciting research- which, even if you enjoy doing, isn’t as fun reading about second hand, I assure you.
Very exciting stuff. It reminds me why I never wanted to grow up. And on top of that, we’re not spared all the angsty drama we get in teenage books. Seriously, it’s loaded with all the tropes you get in a YA book. I mean the main character is a plain Jane, *special snowflake*, who’s in insta-love with the hottest guy ever. Funnily enough, these tropes don’t get better when the main character’s older- in fact it makes her seem even more ridiculous. I mean, she’s *literally* an Oxford professor, but she hasn’t figured out the difference between lust and love yet?
And even if you’re one of the rare people that likes insta-love, I have to tell you that unfortunately, the love in this book is far from a mind-blowing romance. Because there is nothing mind-blowing about their love. It’s staid and boring and as far from mind-blowing as is humanly possible. Oh, unless you count how mind-blowingly daft the main character is to run off with the guy she’s been dating for no time at all (yeah, I totally support people trusting complete strangers, especially when said-stranger admits they’re hundreds of years old and a vampire… *heavy sarcasm*). It’s the same old same old dressed up in old, staid, professor-y clothes.
Yet, in spite of all these trashy tropes, I think the author actually believes there’s something profound in these books. Somewhere between all the rambling about what a great historian the main character is, the author also throws in some weird stuff about how she came to have her phenomenal powers (as I said, she’s a textbook special snowflake) and how the world works- or something. And there’s stuff about Witches and other creatures… But honestly I stopped paying attention. Convoluted made-up science magic is never a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I like good world-building- but in my opinion, the key to every great idea is simplicity. And that is above all what this book is missing.
Rating: 1 banana
It’s far from fangtastic (sorry I couldn’t resist!)