Book: I admit, I first learned about “A Discovery of Witches”, the TV show, then about the book. I wasn’t even going to read the book, but I saw it in my local bookshop and after reading a couple of phrases, I decided I will read it before seeing the show. That was due mostly to the writing, which was simple, yet mature and well written.
I don’t want to get into the plot with you, because it’s complicated and I would spoil it, but let’s just say it’s basically a love story between a witch and a vampire. The actual book, once you get into it, is very interesting. It goes into so much detail about things I have only heard of, and that I am no where near close to understanding or having extensive knowledge of. Things like alchemy, Salem witches, Knights of Lazarus, the evolution of species and many more. It’s very well researched (I think it is, but I’m not the best person to ask about it), which is understandable, considering the author is a well-known historian.
The only aspect that bothered me about “A Discovery of Witches” was that I felt it didn’t have a clear structure; it had an inciting incident and the start was strong, but the second part of the book was just preparing for something that will happen in the second book. I just wish it had a better structure and more action. Because, besides the structure issue, I really liked it.
The main characters, Diana and Matthew, are both strong, complex characters, with clear motives and great chemistry. I think I was stuck for too much time in Young Adult literature, because this adult novel feels more real and mature compared to the YA I’ve read recently.
The love story was swoon worthy, although a bit rushed, and I absolutely loved that they stayed together, no matter the challenges they faced. There were no unnecessary plots to keep them apart in order to make the story more interesting, which usually happens in YA.
The end was satisfying, but interesting enough to make you buy the second one to see what happens next. After NaNoWriMo I will start reading it, although I might not be able to resist it until then.
TV show: The first season of the show follows the first book, with some modifications, of course. Now, as in most adaptations, things were not perfect. Although I can understand bad CGI (no money) or bad acting (some people are not that gifted), I had an issue with believable dialogue. I don’t think it was the scriptwriter’s fault. I just believe that some books don’t work in movie format. I don’t know why, but the melodrama and crazy storylines are so much better on paper, than on film. Actually, it might just be that we imagine it better in our minds than it comes out on screen. So that being said, I can’t fault the actors for not delivering their lines in a believable way; they did their job.
Teresa Palmer was the best of them all, portraying a witch in a relatable, yet powerful way. Considering the script, I think she did a great job, and I loved her chemistry with Matthew Goode. Oh my, Matthew Goode, how I love the. He is just so talented and charming and dreamy. I could go on for hours talking about him. He was the reason why this show got my attention in the first place, and I’m glad I fell for it. You must know him, he has been in so many great movies and TV shows: A single man, Stoker, The Crown, Downton Abbey, The imitation game, and many more. Just…yeah, he is amazing.
Story-wise, it didn’t show all the intricate details of the book. I get it, thought, because “A Discovery of Witches” is 600+ pages long, plus most of it was history and science, so it doesn’t translate that well on screen without being boring. I did like the introduction and development of some characters in the TV show, compared to the book (like Satu and Juliette). Also, Miriam and Marcus are much more likeable on screen than in the book.
Personally, I really liked the show, but I might be biased, since I have read the book before watching it. Will you like it? Well, it depends. Did you like Twilight when it came up? You might like this one. I say that because I consider it a guilty pleasure type of show- you either hate or love it. And if you’re OK with a lot of drama and supernatural tales, then you will love “A Discovery of Witches”. If you’re more rational and critical, than probably not. Suit yourself. I will be here, reading books 2 and 3 whilst waiting for season 2 of the show!