Saturday, October 6, 2018

Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness

I finally finished Time's Convert yesterday afternoon, after two weeks of reading a little bit, setting it down, then coming back to it. I wanted to take my time, and enjoy it, since I've been waiting some time to get back to the world of Diana and Matthew de Clermont.  

So I'll just blurt it all out: I enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away by it. 

There. I said it. 

Settling into this novel felt a bit like revisiting old friends, and I was pretty happy to be back with Diana and Matthew, and Ysabeau, and the whole world of the de Clermont vampire family. It was pretty great to see how Diana and Matthew are fairing as parents to Becca and Philip, their adorable twins--who are a mix of witch and vampire. Where their talents will lie, no one knows. And the rarity of these two little people (witches and vampires have never been able to have offspring, and normally avoid each other) means that there will come a day of reckoning for their parents and for both of them. That is an underlying tension in the novel, but I kept saying to myself "They're just babies, so there's plenty of time."  I suspect, and I hope, Deborah Harkness crafts a compelling tale of adult Becca and Philip.  

But, the big part of this story concerns Phoebe Taylor, a warmblood, and Marcus MacNeil, a vampire. They're in love, and were featured in the first three novels that make up the All Souls Trilogy. Now Phoebe has decided to become a vampire, so she can wed Marcus and live with him for, well, a very long time. It's not just a matter of biting someone, draining their blood, and bingo! vampire presto. There's a protocol to follow, and Phoebe and Marcus aren't allowed to see each other for 90 days after Phoebe has turned. After the 90 days, they reunite, and she officially claims Marcus as her mate. But within those 90 days, she has to learn how to move through the world as a vampire. There's a lot to learn, and it's not easy. 

Marcus stays with Diana and Matthew, who is his maker, and in vampire families, that makes Matthew Marcus' father, and Diana his step-mother. Another big chunk of the novel is about Marcus; who he was as a human, how he was turned by Matthew, and what he's done until present day. It's an interesting tale that centers on the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the horrible childhood Marcus had at the hands of an abusive and alcoholic father. You get to know Marcus very well, and follow him on his journey as a young vampire. He makes plenty of mistakes, and gets in trouble with his family over and over again. Much of what he does haunts him, and he is concerned when Phoebe does drink from him, she will be disgusted at his deep secrets. Cause when you're a vampire, when you drink blood, you see everything about that person--no secret is hidden. 

There really wasn't much tension in this novel, and that was good and bad. The trilogy was so damn good, in part because Diana and Matthew as a couple were so forbidden, and Diana was struggling to accept her family history as witches, and come into her own immense power. There was none of that in this story, which I kind of missed. But seeing Diana and Matthew as parents, and happily living their lives (as well as they can as de Clermont) was sweet. It was all enough to keep me turning pages, and enjoying what I read. But it wasn't OMG THIS IS SO GOOD I CAN'T STAND IT!

Thank you, Deborah Harkness for another peek into the wonderful world you created. I am ready for more!

Rating:  4/6 for the continuing tale of the de Clermont family, and their fascinating experiences living through some of history's most dramatic and legendary moments. 

Available in hardcover, audio, and ebook. 

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