16054217Title: The Book of Life

Author: Deborah Harkness

Publisher: Penguin Viking Adult

Publication Date: July 2014

Genre: Adult Fiction/Fantasy, Paranormal

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three



Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Historian Diana Bishop and Vampire Matthew Clairemont are back from the past, ready to face the most disturbing thing they have ever faced.

Book Three picks up where the second book The School of Night leaves off. Diana and Matthew, having traveled back to the present time from their long ago England, are faced with love, loss and reunion. They continue to try to find the missing pages to the Book of Life, running into friends and foes from the past.  The most dangerous of all being Benjamin, Matthew’s deranged and very evil vampire son who swears to not only find the Book of Life, but to destroy Matthew in the process and learn how a vampire can breed. And how this includes Diana.

Benjamin, true evil. He was maddeningly real and sick. Harkness does a magnificent job weaving together Benjamin, a madman who is not just power hungry, vengeful and spiteful, but takes it to a whole new level. I was afraid of him. And I’m just reading it! Some truly creepy scenes and dialogue accompany Benjamin, raising the steaks to an intense high. He has some of the most cringe worthy lines (I’m not going to tell you what they are because it will spoil everything, silly!)

The book kept me reading for long long hours. I couldn’t put it down. I mean, my husband called me, attempting to ask me what I wanted him to bring home for dinner.

Didn’t even hear the phone ring.


The ending is satisfying, the story fulfilling. I am not shy to say I do have a horrible crush on Matthew, vampire, reader, wine lover. Honestly, I’ve never gotten a great feel for Diana, even from The Discovery of Witches. To me, the other characters in the book are more vibrant and eager to be known. Even by book three, Diana is still at arm’s length. But that’s never bothered me or kept me from loving the books.

There’s more time with secondary characters, and some wonderful surprise visits from some old friends. I loved the ending and how it all closed up.

The one thing I will say is I found it a bit jarring to be thrown in and out of Diana’s point of view. The chapters go back and forth between Diana in first person and then the group in third. I understand why Harkness did it, but the changes distanced me from the story. It’s such a minor thing to gripe about, considering the entire book/series/story is perhaps one of my favorites ever.

Overall, The Book of Life is filled everything the rest of the books have. Love, magic, vampires, colorful characters, romance, danger. Lots of secondary characters, lots of different stories.  I’m sad to see everyone go.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to start from book one again!


Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream