Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Stake your claim or cast a spell to win Deborah Harkness' The Book of Life!

With the summer reading season coming up, the chance to catch up and/or finish up a series of books is hard to resist. It's especially difficult when at last all of the titles are in one particular format.

For example, the third book in The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness entitled The Book of Life will be available in paperback by May 26, making all of them relatively easy to slip into your beach bag for those hot and humid days ahead.

Of course, that's not the reason you should read any book but it does certainly help if your home library is paperback friendly. This is a series that appeals to my genre tastes, as it tells the story of  two rather unusual academics who joined forces as well as hearts to seek out a long lost manuscript.

 One of those academics is Diana Bishop, a history scholar who has put aside her family's legacy of witchcraft due to personal tragedy. As she happens to get closer to discovering the true power of a mysterious document known as Ashmole 782, her refusal to use magic is meant with serious skepticism and possible danger from others in the magical community.

Diana finds an unlikely ally in Matthew Clairmont, a genetic researcher whose knowledge is enhanced by the fact that he's a 1,500 year old vampire. In A Discovery of Witches,  they first met and realize that their combined curiosity and abilities could offer both knowledge and protection from their mutual enemies.

Part of that plan involves time travel, which occurs in Shadow of Night, taking the two of them to Elizabethan London in order to find out more about Ashmole 782 as well as stumble upon some of the supernatural doings of the day(and yes, Shakespeare is involved,folks!).

Their return back to modern times and the consequences that follow that journey conclude in The Book of Life, which I'm sure fans of this trilogy are happy to hear is about to be out in paperback next week. With that in mind, the good folks at Penguin are allowing me to hold a giveaway for a paperback edition of The Book of Life(U.S. only) which starts today and ends on May 25.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at this post,with an e-mail address, that answers this question; if you have only one choice,  what would you be-a witch or a vampire?

I'll state the pop culture pros and cons of both, starting with witches. Being a witch is not easy, given the long history of persecution and bad press involving broomsticks and gruesome faces. However, they can be true heroes, using their array of powers to protect the world from the forces of evil.

A fine example of that is Bonnie Bennett of The Vampire Diaries, whose bloodline is highly coveted amongst allies and foes alike. Despite her initial fears of not being strong enough, Bonnie has proven time and again that her special brand of determination is the fuel that make her magic the most formidable:


Yet, even among witches, there are frenemies who use their talents against others of their kind out of jealousy or spite. That's going on now in the current season of Penny Dreadful as Vanessa Ives is being targeted by a secret coven whose head mistress is desirous of the unholy attention that Vanessa wishes dearly not to have in her life:


As to vampires, since the 1970s there has been a redemption option made for them as their long life span and powers make them ideal crime fighters.

Whether the enemy is supernatural or simply human, having a vampire at your side to stop them is quite the asset. Shows like Forever Knight, Moonlight and Blood Ties have had their mortal leads work with immortal partners(sometimes falling in love with them as well),showcasing the best of both those worlds:


Speaking of bad vampires turned good, the best known one is Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who was the star of his own spin-off series to boot. On either show,the risk of him losing the soul that grounded him in goodness and allowed his dark side named Angelus out to play was a plot point put into play many times.

 Not too many that it got old,mind you. Rather, it was sort of twisted fun to see him break loose from that nice guy image and give the current Big Bads on the scene a run for their money:


So, make your pick,people and there are no right or wrong answers, it's what feels best for you. Just keep in mind that this is an U.S. only giveaway and the deadline is May 25, one day before The Book of Life is out in paperback. As for my choice, I think that I would go with witch. While I adore vampires, witchcraft offers so many more possibilities for power(not to mention the chance to met Stevie Nicks!):

7 comments:

Stacie McArthur said...

I would be a witch. I have no desire to live forever. I would love the possibility to have the ability to help people and the world for the good.

Kristen Bouwmeester said...

I would chose to be a witch.

Mr. Hand said...

I am already a witch, but I'd rather be a vampire. I don't necessarily want to live forever, neither do I think it would be realistic to expect a vampire actually would. But it would be cool to have the power, live indefinitely, and get caught up in a buncha sexy supernatural intrigue. ted.hand@gmail.com

BTW my research on Pseudo-Dionysius and the Christian Cabala was inspired by Harkness' "Conversations with Angels" book, in particular her discussion of John Dee's annotations to Dionysius.

Angela said...

I'd like to be a vampire for the accumulation of knowledge and wealth.

virtualval2001 said...

Witch! One that can fly!

virtualval2001 said...

Witch! One that can fly!

L said...

I'd love to be a witch with an elemental inclination for air!