"Time's Convert" Book Review
So What Is "Time's Convert" About?
In the midst of the All Souls trilogy, one of our favorite characters, Marcus de Clairmont, finds love and becomes mated. But this is not just any love. For a vampire, mating is the act of falling so deeply in love that it's as if their souls are permanently tied together in an unbreakable knot. Their entire being revolves around that one person. So when Marcus's mate, Phoebe Taylor, decides she wants to become a vampire they are forced to follow vampire tradition. One of these traditions is separation for a minimum of 90 days. This separation to a mated vampire is unbearable, causing all sorts of separation anxiety between partners. Marcus is depressed without his mate and nervous about telling her his darkest secret when she returns. In order to curb these anxieties, Diana encourages him to tell her his tale. From there the reader is sent back to the beginning of the American Revolution following Marcus forward to the present day.
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.— Thomas Paine
3 Reasons I Was Not Pleased
Naturally, if you've read any of my previous reviews on "A Discovery of Witches" you know I love her books and feel she has set the bar quite high in regards to epic love stories and vampire fantasy. That being said I am rating "Times Convert" on the lower end of the star scale and here's why.
- It read like a modern contemporary novel: When mentally comparing this novel to those she has written prior, I found it just didn't hit that WOW factor for me. Her All Souls trilogy constantly left the reader on their toes, not knowing what was going to happen next. However in "Time's Convert" I feel its more appropriate to view this telling of Marcus's life becoming a vampire as a coming-of-age tale. It very much focused on the mistakes he made and some of his more ordinary hardships he had to endure rather than overdramatic problems that I came to love in Harkness's other novels. So if you don't mind a more contemporary fantasy apposed to a dramatic fantasy you will enjoy this book.
- You have to read her other books before reading "Time's Convert": When I read the summary for this novel long before it was released to the public I was excited for how it sounded like a singular separate novel solely focused on Marcus and his journey to present day. It was not. The telling of this novel I found a bit choppy and inconsistent. One chapter we are with Marcus the next the reader is with Pheobe. This is okay, but then we are with Diana and Matthew and there were so many spoilers in regards to their relationship and what happened in the previous novels that if you were new to Deborah Harkness stories you wouldn't be able to start here without spoiling everything else for your self.
- Marcus's telling is to abrupt: This novel is 436 pages long so you may be wondering, "how can a story about Marcus be too abrupt when it's about him?" Well, the answer is simple—it's not just about him. The reader spends so much time bouncing back and forth from history to the present day that I feel Harkness lost the little things that she always thrived at in the details. His telling was like a quilt just thrown together for the point of doing it that I couldn't feel passion for our main character. And there I feel lies the biggest problem with this book.
3 Reasons I Enjoyed This Novel
Though I am only giving this novel three stars I do not feel it was a total waste of my reading time. There are plenty of factors about this novel that is enjoyable and makes it well worth the read. Especially if you are already a "Discovery of Witches" fan!
- All the characters you love are in it: Every character that you may have previously fallen head over heels for in Harkness's previous novels have a debut in this one. Whether it is past or present you will see everyone in your journey through "Times Convert". Even though I felt Diana and Matthews presence in this novel took away from what it could be, I still had those warm and fussy moments peeking into their relationship and life drama. In full honesty, I enjoyed their parts in the book more than everything else and is honestly a part of what helped me finish this novel as fast as I did.
- Character development: Marcus was not the only one on display in regards to character growth. Most the characters in the novels faced some form of a moral dilemma that helped them grow further in ways that I imagine will have big effects on novels yet to come. Character growth and development is a major part of every story in my opinion and Harkness never fails to give every color of the rainbow in ways each character must move forward in their lives.
- It's funny: Harkness never fails to give me a few stomach cramping laughs while reading her books. It's always those kinds of jokes that appear in the most inappropriate/spontaneous ways that make genuinely appreciate her as an author. After all, a good story should appeal to a wide range of emotions, and this novel definitely achieved that.
Thank you for reading my review. Also, leave me some comments below on your thought whether it be on this book or one you think I may enjoy, all are welcome!
If the story doesn't get this book on your shelf then the BEAUTIFUL cover art will! Worth the read and addition to any collection.
Rumor has it that our beloved Gallowglass is getting his own novel called "The Serpents Mirror". Supposedly it goes back to the 16th century following the relationship of Matthew and Gallowglass before the happenings of "A Discovery of Witches". There are no current updates on when it will be released but Deborah Harkness has confirmed that it is in the woodwork and should be coming to libraries near you in the near future. Just not 2018.
Miracles should leave a mark, so we can remember how precious they are.— Deborah Harkness