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Sid's favorites for the month are:A Discovery of Witches by: Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches is by a first-time fiction author and is set in present time. The fantasy element comes in when we discover that the makeup of the world’s intelligent creatures is only around 90% human with the other 10% comprising of witches, vampires, and daemons. It’s the story of Diana, the last witch in a long line of Bishop witches who can trace their history back to the Salem Witch Trials. She has spent most of her life denying her magical abilities and just wants to be normal. When she discovers a mysterious lost (and magical) manuscript in a library, the story just begins. The library fills with magical creatures, including Matthew Clairmont (a 1500 year old vampire) also looking for the manuscript. Matthew appoints himself as protector of Diana against the horde of witches, vampires, and daemons who want to know the secret of the missing manuscript. This is the first book in a series and has both romantic and thriller elements. I particularly loved the Bishop family house where Diana’s aunt and her female partner (both witches themselves) live. I won’t spoil the surprise but it’s certainly no ordinary home and the events that take place there provide some of the most humorous moments in the story. This novel will definitely appeal to fans of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, Charlaine Harris’ s Sookie Stackhouse series, and any Buffy and Angel fan. It also has hints of Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I’m looking forward to the next installment. Be warned, it has a cliffhanger ending!
The Graveyard Book by: Neil Gaiman
I have always been a Neil Gaiman fan so once again he cast me under his spell with The Graveyard Book. The story evolves around Bod (short for Nobody), a boy who grows up living in a cemetery. Although obviously aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy this tale for all its twists and turns and its very human characters. Gaiman is not afraid to be dark and foreboding but is also good at being lighthearted and childlike. While not as griping as Coraline, The Graveyard Book has, perhaps, more heart. The subtle details and effortless characterization bring the world to life as the fantastic events propel the darkly humorous, scary, and touching story forward to its tension filled conclusion. This is a children’s book that will not disappoint its adult readers.