Maailmanloppuövereitä välttääkseni ajattelin toisinaan sallia itselleni lipsahduksen tiukasti määritellystä kirjallisuuskaavastani ja arvioida satunnaisesti myös sellaisia teoksia, jotka eivät genreen kuulu.
Lipsahdusten sarja aloitettakoon Deborah Harknessin A Discovery of Witches -kirjalla. Törmäsin Luettuja maailmoja -blogissa arvioon kirjasta, joka on näemmä juuri suomennettu varsin mitäänsanomattamalla nimellä Lumottu. Oma arvioni on kirjoitettu reilu vuosi sitten ja kirjan alkukielisestä versiosta, mutta ajattelin sen olevan siitä huolimatta ajankohtainen nyt monien suomalaisten lukijoiden törmätessä teokseen ensimmäistä kertaa.
Deborah Harkness: A Discovery of Witches
Viking Adult 2011
Dr. Diana Bishop is a historian of alchemy and a witch in denial. Her traumatic past has made her bury herself in science, studiously attempting to ignore the existence of anything magical. But when her research work brings her to Oxford, she accidentally comes across a bewitched manuscript that pretty much every creature (meaning witches, vampires and daemons) in the world desperately wants to get their hands on – including the 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. And soon it seems that this unexpected union of a witch, a vampire and a mysterious manuscript might change everything, both for the main characters and possibly for the whole world.
It takes the reader a while to get drawn into the story, but soon one is tempted to read the rest of the book on one sitting. First of all, there is the vampire love interest that is as mysterious, brooding and possessive as anyone could wish – but instead of having repeated high school over and over again, he is a highly educated geneticist that seems to have had his fingers in most major historical event of the past millennium! And then there is the Dan Brown-esque mystery where history, alchemy and mythology are woven together into a complicated puzzle that leaves the reader wanting to know how it all comes together in the end.
The author, Deborah Harkness, is a history professor, a historian of science and a wine blogger (the latter becoming obvious from the way her vampires adore wines and discuss them endlessly, occasionally boring the not-so-interested reader) who obviously writes about what she knows and does it well, too. A Discovery of Witches could be seen as entertainment for the educated; Twilight for those whose emotional and intellectual state has evolved past that of a 16-year-old. With its supernatural, romantic and historical elements the novel is basically a combination of all recent bestsellers – and will no doubt become a bestseller as well.