As most of you would know, especially if you have been following me on Instagram, I ❤️ the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I adored A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night was amazing, but with The Book of Life... it has always been the problem child. So when I finished rereading The Book of Life (BoL) last night, my mind just wouldn't stop trying to figure out what the deal is with that book. Why is it that I don't love this book when I find the first two absolutely amazeballs?
Then this morning it hit me. It's all those darned loose threads that are just dangling, unfulfilled and tantalizing in their promise. Still not convinced? Then let me elucidate . . .
Gallowglass: his sudden abondonment of Diana before Matthew's return, and his absence during the rest of the book (until the big rescue), is so out of character for him. His love for Diana is never resolved to the readers (i.e. me!) satisfaction. Does he overcome it? Does he find love? Perhaps he ends up with an adult Rebecca? No, wait, that's way too Twilight, just ignore that. However, I need to know what happens to Gallowglass!
Gerbert & Domenico: these two are real pieces of work, and yet even though we know that there is a plan afoot, we have no final confrontation so that Diana can get the justice she seeks (and deserves). Just what are they planning now, and how does it involve Diana and Matthew?
Satu: okay, this may be just a nitpick, but what happened to her after BoL? Did Diana unbind her? Okay, that wouldn't be likely as Satu loathes Diana and would be out for revenge, but did Sidonie find out about her missing powers? Yet another unfinished thread.
Nathaniel & Sophie: this couple played a prominent part in ADoW, and yet they barely make it into the forefront of Diana and Matthew's life in BoL. What happened to them during SoN, when the Congregation was after Margaret?
Ghosts at Sept-Tours: Yes, we finally see Philippe, Emily, and Rebecca! For all of about 2 seconds. Unfortunately until Philippe's little chat with Diana towards the end of the book, there is nothing ghost related in the story after the intro with Philippe and Emily - excluding Peter Knox's demise. A big tease me thinks.
Book of Life: now that it resides in Diana, is she immortal?
Scientific revelations: what does happen when the creatures reveal themselves to the scientific community, thanks to Chris and Matthew's research teams discoveries? What is the fallout from the rest of the world finding out about vampires, daemons, and witches?
Diana's promise: this is the biggie. I had been eagerly waiting this since reading it in SoN when Diana told Philippe;
. . . and it didn't pay off! That's right, all we got was a letter from Philippe thanking Diana for being there with him. Then, we didn't even get a secondhand pay off as Diana had no memory of being with Philippe during his last days, so I therefore concluded that it still hasn't happened for her. I wanted to see that so much. Very disappointed with that.
As far as all these loose threads are concerned I feel that we need another book, or three, to finish off everything. I know The Serpent's Mirror is due out next year (and I'll definitely be pre-ordering that!), but I think that's about Matthew's adventures in past centuries, when he was a spy, assassin, and warrior. It may answer a few questions, or give us a lot more, but we definitely need another instalment set some time after The Book of Life so we can finally get to the bottom of all those teasing tidbits that lead us nowhere.
So those are my thougths on The Book of Life, and how it left me wanting more. If you loved the All Souls Trilogy, let me know what your favourite book was, and whether or not you would like to see future books set in this world?
Thanks for dropping by, and until next time,