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Penguin Books

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, Bk 2)

4.5
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£36.00
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Customer Reviews

Hopefully the third book will be better!After reading the first book 7 years ago I eagerly looked forward to the continuation of Diana and Matthew s love story. I bought the second book paying the hardcover price as soon as it was available. Over the years I tried twice to read Shadow of Night. I am happy to report that I finally accomplished my goal. My overall impression is mixed. There were some interesting elements that I liked about the ambiance of the Elizabethan era but I felt the plot got lost in the minutiae. I felt that the author must have rushed the second book to get it published. The plot wasn t as well thought out and some of the twists were very confusing. I am going to take a break from this series before deciding if I will read the third book. All in all I m very happy that I finally completed my mission of finishing this book. I only wish that it had been a better investment.3A slow and steady page turner.Just as with the first book of the series Deborah Harkness makes the story interesting without having a lot of action and excitement. They are a few intense scenes but for the most part the story precedes at a steady pace of Discovery and progression. The characters of Diana and Matthew developed quite nicely in the second book as do the relationships and they have with friends and family in the 1590s.It is easier to relate to the character of Diana in this book then in the previous one. The character has many roles and challenges to face and the author uses this to maintain interest in ways that does not involve constant action and special effects. There is a lot more magic in this book than the previous one but still surprisingly sparse considering the length of the books and the fact that the main protagonist is it witch.Deborah Harkness is it good writer and I am interested in how she maintained a sense of progression even while a lot of nothing happened. By this I mean there was no major antagonist other than the small challenges that Diana had to face regards to her marriage, her abilities, and the constant danger of Discovery and betrayal. With these little obstacles that had to be constantly overcome the lack of CGI worthy scenes were less noticeable but still sorely lacking.There was several emotional moments within the story that made this story into a 4-star one. The ability to manipulate the reader's emotions is a sign of a talented writer. I can appreciate the story for what it is once I put aside my love and dependence for lots of action and humor in my fantasy.I don't think the stories are quite worth as much as I had to paybut that may be partially due to the fact that Kindle unlimited has spoiled me with some quality books that are relatively cheap.There is some sexual scenes within the story that while not explicit are not appropriate for kids. Too many more of them within the book and I would have given the book a rated R.in the end there's a lot of promise and potential for action and a satisfying emotional conclusion in the third book in the trilogy.I do hope that you Nextbook rather than being slow and steady is a little bit more of a thriller. Any case I enjoyed it as a way to broaden my reading palate.4A Journey Back in TimeFINAL DECISION: A fine continuation of the story of a witch, a vampire and their search which takes them back in time. I loved how this book developed their relationship and challenged their characters through resurrection of their pasts.THE STORY: Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, have broken the law of creatures by having a romantic relationship. Jumping off from the events in book one, Diana and Matthew have traveled back in time to Elizabethan England in order to find a teacher to help Diana learn about and control her powers. Although the two seek safety in the past, they find that a whole new host of dangers threatens them and their relationship.OPINION: A long and meandering journey through Elizabeth's England where the fictional characters mix with real historical figures, this book develops both the mythology of the trilogy and also the relationship between Diana and Matthew.I enjoyed seeing these characters approach the challenges that face them. The book, which like the others in the series is over 550 pages, asks for a commitment from its readers. Everything is slow and deliberate -- not boring, not pointless -- and takes its time developing both the characters and the plot. At times during the book, I wondered whether the destination would be worth it. While the conclusion excited me about the finale book in the series, the entirety of the development of the relationship between Diana and Matthew and their own working out of their own challenges from their past snagged me for every page.The book doesn't always go in the way that I expected it to and it is certainly an epic read. It does suffer somewhat from being part of the trilogy and the middle book at that. At the end of the book there is no real conclusion -- because there is one more book. Thus, this book doesn't truly stand on its own and requires reading both the first and third books in the series.WORTH MENTIONING: The historical expertise of the author is put to good use here. The past feels authentic and I enjoyed using this book as a springboard to learn more about the real historical figures depicted in the book.CONNECTED BOOKS: SHADOW OF NIGHT is the second book in the All Souls Trilogy. The book should be read as part of the trilogy.STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.5As an English history nerd I found it fascinating and really enjoyed the historical detailsA few days after finishing A Discovery of Witches I was both anxious and hesitant to dive into the second book in the trilogy. The reviews for book two had not been as for book one, with the sense that the author lost her way, but I persisted and was pleasantly surprised. The second book sends the two main characters traveling back in time to Elizabethan England in an effort to give them a leg up in their search for the mysterious manuscript that started everything and witches who can help Diana figure out her magic. As an English history nerd I found it fascinating and really enjoyed the historical details. I think second books must be the most difficult to write. The world of the story, characters, and plot arc already established as are reader s expectations. If the first book is a success, it is difficult to top. While Shadow of Night doesn t top the first book, it was much better than I expected and as a result I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.4Loved this trip back in time...Last week I was mostly MIA... Well that's thanks to the fact I had started this book. It's a hefty read just like its predecessor was, and just like the final installment will be I'm sure. Once again I was transported into a world of humans, witches, vampires, daemons and more... And once again I LOVED it.This book picks up right where book one left off. We find Diana and Matthew at the destination of their time walking... the year 1590. Elizabethan England. I am someone who has a lot of love for anything to do with history. I love reading about past eras, whether in fact or fiction. So I was excited to follow this story and devour every single detail I could, not just about the characters but also about the setting...There is a lot of detail packed into these pages. For me I love a book with a heavy dose of detail as long as it adds to the story being told and in this case it was certainly warranted. There is no way the author would've been able to paint such a vivid picture of the Elizabethan era if she didn't spend the page space on building up every little detail from the clothing, the food, the buildings, the etiquette right down to the smells and strange little quirks of the period. I LOVED the detail that Deborah Harkness went into. I didn't begrudge one single sentence of her world building. It was beautifully done. I really enjoyed that the same level of care that Harkness took in the first book with describing the scientific aspects of the story was also paid to the historical aspects in this installment. For me I think what really highlighted the almost unimaginable alien feel of the time period was that we were seeing it through Diana's eyes. Through her very modern, current day eyes. For as much as she is a history buff, she is still from our way of life. Having her deposited into 1590 highlighted just how much the world has changed.Time traveling can be a very tricky plot to both write and follow as a reader. I really enjoyed the authors take on this subject... that said, there is always going to be some threads of the story that do raise question marks and it's certainly no different here. I do wonder about the 'old' Matthew who reappears with apparently no knowledge of the events his future self participated in after Diana and 'current' Matthew return back to the current day. Think about it too hard and there are a lot of 'what if's' there. Also the creatures that are let in on the secret of the time traveling have their future completely re-written, just by the fact they know what they know. But the implications of all of this can't ever possibly be fully covered and explained.On the other hand, the fact that the characters need to be careful about altering history is brought up quite a few times and this is actually one of the parts of the time traveling storyline I really enjoyed. How the author focused on the seemingly smallest things (the set of miniatures for example) and linked through them to chapters set in the current day was the perfect way to tie the story together and keep the pace and story going in the here and now as well as in the past. I loved that we got to check in with characters such as Marcus, Em, Sarah, Ysabeau and Sophie as well as some characters that weren't familiar from the first book but I'm sure will be by the end of the last. This last point also goes for the characters introduced in the past. I loved getting to meet the people from Matthews past that I had heard of, I loved following Matthew and watching him be able to see people that he had lost long ago. There were some very poignant reunions; the chapters spent on their visit to Sept-Tours were my absolute favorites of the whole book.The plot-lines covering the manuscript and Diana's powers all progressed at least in part. As far as Diana's learning of her craft, even though I felt like it was a bit stop/start on the whole, I still really loved the direction this storyline ended up taking. There were some unexpected surprises and reveals about Diana and her powers and it was so satisfying that by the end of this book she had actually moved forward in learning about and managing her powers. The manuscript had a lot of writing time spent on the hunting of it. The actual acquiring of it...Not so much. But that doesn't at all reduce the shocking discovery about its nature and I'm very interested to see where this particular storyline heads next, it's gotten steadily creepier and creepier and I'm sure there's much more of that to come.Finally...The love story. As much as this is a story about creatures, magic and time travel, it's just as much a story of a romance. The relationship between Matthew and Diana is the crux of this series. Everything comes back to them and their connection and in this book everything is taken up a few notches and we start to see exactly what is riding on this love story. Both characters develop and grow along with their relationship and I love that there is progress in this respect. Nothing drives me crazier than a love story that's stagnant. Probably my biggest hope for Diana and Matthew is that they get some form of HEA once all is said and done. I'm still unsure what that HEA will look like, but I am staying optimistic!So yes, this is a long read. Yes, this has A LOT of detail, historical and otherwise and yes it is based on a romance. I feel that all of these aspects make it work as a brilliant second installment in this trilogy. It feels like we are hurtling towards all of these threads of stories being tied into finality and I literally cannot wait until July 15th when the final book is released... I can guarantee I won t be sleeping much that week... I have big hopes.... huge hopes!5Not quite as good as the first one.I was soooo looking forward to reading Shadow of Night because I LOVED Discovery of Witches . However, I did not love this one as much. :(Although I love the detail that makes me feel like I am right there in the book, living the life with Matthew and Diana - the sights, the smells, the textures and temperatures - I felt that this book was unnecessarily long and had too many uneventful stretches. There were parts that I really did like, mostly near the beginning and of course toward the end, but if this had been a stand-alone novel, I'm not sure I would have continued on through some of the mundane middle parts.This novel is mostly set in the past. The attention to detail is amazing! Beautiful descriptions of the voluminous clothing, intricate hairstyles, wonderful castles, markets and countrysides. I can't imagine how much research must have gone into writing this. If any of it happens to be incorrect, it's convincing enough that it would be difficult to dispute. I mean it's not as if any of us can time travel back to the 16th century in order to do a little fact checking.I will definitely read The Book of Life , but I am taking a break and reading a couple of new releases that I have been waiting for before I dive back into The All Souls Trilogy3History and present marry well.The second book in the All Souls Trilogy picks up where the other left off with our heroes traveling back in time. Most of the story takes place around 1590 but the future (or present) is never too far away. I liked that most about this story; it never let you forget that everything happening in the past was connected to the current or present struggle.Before I dive in further, I will say that I was perplexed by the possible existence of werewolves after reading the first book, but the second book clarified it for me. Not a big deal to some, this clarification helped me enjoy this story much better.So, we have Diana and Matthew taking on vampire clan relatives, the School of Night and other London societies, witch covens, and even creation. There s a lot happening in the story, but not a lot happening for long periods of time. This story seems to focus on the universal theme of relationship drama, which usually boils down to communication issues. Diana with all her magic and Matthew with all his might, these two get caught up in a lot of drama that could have been avoided. But, that s the story being told and if you love these characters, it all sucks you in.In this book, I found that many of the side and supporting characters were my favorite parts. Being the cultural and theological enthusiast I am, I loved the collaboration of like minds despite their faiths. Seeing the cooperation between Pagan, Christian, Jewish, and more was refreshing.Where the first book teased you with sensuality without leaving you wanting, the second book takes you into the bedroom of a deeply committed couple and holds nothing back. While not suitable for teens and below, this isn t an explicit romp of how much can the author get away with? Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but there was still something, not quite tangible, that kept me from loving it. In any case, I must finish this series at some point. Just like the first, this is a good read for an adult couple as long as they are both into dark themes.4Consider my rating a 2.5Shadow of Night follows on the heels of A Discovery of Witches. In some ways Shadow of Night is the better book the text flows more smoothly, not every single character is cranky all the time, and the pacing has improved. However, it has a few flaws of its own.First, the time-walking; I have a few problems with how this was carried out. For instance, the historical Matthew conveniently vanishes with future Matthew visiting. I can see how this was the only way Harkness could have the story she wanted, but it s such a bald-faced deus ex machina. Matthew of course knows the famous historical figures of the time, including queens and emperors, which seems awfully stupid for a creature whose very existence relies on everyone else not noticing that he isn t aging. Matthew and Diana also seem to have picked a very unstable and dangerous time to visit; I never really figured out why they thought that was a good idea. They re supposed to not make changes to the past, but how could they possibly not when they re dealing with such powerful people? And yet of course they don t end up changing too much despite everything they re doing that the time-appropriate Matthew wouldn t have. There s also the inevitable historical trope of the headstrong woman vs. the overprotective man in her life.Diana is still a Mary Sue, right down to taking in a street urchin on a whim who then becomes a treasured member of the family. The unique familiar. The need for a highly unusual set of teachers. The jealousy or adoration that everyone feels for her. (Yes, even the relevant emperor becomes besotted with Diana. Don t tell me you re surprised.) She s also still ridiculously easy for people to manipulate; she does a lot of stupid stuff but of course since she s a Mary Sue, these things don t come back to haunt her.What I really want to know is how on earth Matthew-from-the-future and Diana could possibly expect historical Matthew to not notice (after modern Matthew goes back to the future) that he s been out of commission for ages. I don t care how much his friends are determined to shield him from that knowledge, it s going to be really hard to avoid people, say, asking him where his wife is, given that they got to know everyone. It just doesn t add up. Again, it s a hand-waved deus ex machina.2Really boring bookI thought it was going to be as good as the first one but I was wrong. This book is very boring and confusing. I really struggled to finish it because nothing interesting happens, well maybe a couple things but for the most part it s all the same. Too much description, excessively in my opinion. Half way through it and they re still stuck on the same conflicts without any solutions.I usually have no issues on reading long books but this one felt more like a have to finish it because I d already spent the money.Not recommend it at all!2Not as good as first novelAfter the set up that takes place at the end of Book One, I though that Book 2 dragged a bit. I felt that the plot we were awaiting was completely forgotten and that our beloved protagonists just chose to live lives in the past. It wasn't until the end of the novel that they woke up and said "oh yeah, I'm from the future. I should get back there." Reading this novel felt like watching the Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. A long stretch of events that were extraneous and took away from what we were waiting to happen: the battle with the Congregation or the bad vampires/witches... Anything. On the upside it was interesting to see famed historical characters brought to life. That part made the novel tolerable.3
Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, Bk 2)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, Bk 2)

4.5
Error You can't add more than 500 quantity.
Regular price
£36.00
Sale price
£36.00
Regular price
£58.00
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Save 38% (£22.00)