My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
4.5 stars for story
4.5 stars for narration
4.5 stars overall
This is the highly anticipated, final installment of All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. This is a book that you cannot read without reading the first two books of the the series. You would be completely lost. The entire series is wonderful, so I reading or listening to books one and two is no hardship, especially now that you can do the entire thing start to finish.
We start with Diana and Matthew returning to the present, but that doesn't mean things go back to normal. There is still a lot going on. If anything, things are much more stressful for the historian witch, scientist vampire and their family and friends. Ms. Harkness creates some wonderful characters, whether they are ally or villain. I'm of the belief that characters make the story, and Harkness helps to prove my theory with this trilogy. Her good guys are not all good, you can see their struggles and the complexities. The villains are so well developed and give new meaning to psychopaths. I mean, Benjamin could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money.
The story was wonderful, with secrets, danger, magic, hope, fear, politics and more. We watch as Diana really comes into her own with her magic. Matthew takes on more responsibility for the family, as does Diana. Each character has their own part to play in the story. We learn about the history of creatures and Ashmole 782, also known as The Book of Life and other names.
I will say that going into this book, I was a little worried about how the trilogy would wrap up. I've read several great books, where the first part of the series was wonderful, but the wrap up to the series left a lot to be desired. This is NOT the case with this book. The trilogy wraps up pretty well overall. I still had a few questions that I felt were left unanswered, but they were small. Overall, I felt that the series answered the vast majority of the large questions. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.
The narration is great. I've listened to this series from the beginning, so Jennifer Ikeda has always been the voice for Diana, Matthew and the gang. It was great to have her bringing these great characters to life again. I think I liked Gallowglass's voice the best, but then, I've always had a thing for Scottish accents. She did a great job with both male and female voices, and yes, even male Scottish voices. There is also a bunch of French that was pronounced very well, at least to my non-French speaking ears.