Review: Time’s Convert

Posted 6 February, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Time’s Convert
By: Deborah Harkness
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy. So you can imagine my delight with the announcement that there was going to be another book: Time’s Convert. I usually wait until the paperback is out but I could not in this case and my friend gifted it for Christmas last year.

Okay, first can I say that I would gladly read a book all about Matthew and Diana’s everyday lives and the challenges in managing a household with half-witch, half-vampire children. Because omg did their adorable twins, Becca and Philip, stole the show. They’re sooooooo cute with their distinct personalities, of course they’d be super smart and talented as their parents, but their existence continues to be a potential problem for the Congregation despite the changes that occurred at the end of The Book of Life. Yet for all the complexities of Bright Borns and spellbinding and perchance for magic and vampiric predilections, at the end of the day it’s a parenting dilemma of what’s best for their child, how best to raise them. With an odd mythical familiar thrown in there đŸ˜‰

Baldwin continues to be an uptight sourpuss, but what’s new. It’s always fun though to read the great family gatherings, catch-up with old friends, crazy as they always end up, lol.

The other two storylines are Marcus’ memories and Phoebe’s experience transforming into a vampire. Both are interesting in their own right: Marcus, because he was always a bit different in the de Clermont family, with his American ideals and his youthfulness and his rebellious streak of independence. For all of his general easygoing-ness, he hides a very dark and difficult past that comes to the surface as he waits as Phoebe undergoes her transformation. As for Phoebe, it’s interesting to follow as she makes the necessary steps to becoming a vampire, the process that is involved, the changes that are experienced, the pain and challenges involved in cutting yourself from your human life.

So why didn’t I give it full stars? Two things: 1) despite Marcus being informed by the tumultuous period he lived him, I admit, the American Revolution is not a big interest for me in history. Oops, matter of personal preference. 2) I was more interested in Becca and Philip’s antics than Marcus and Phoebe’s respective stories. Again, oops. And maybe 3) it became a little rushed in the end with Marcus and Phoebe’s eventual reunion.

Nonetheless I really enjoyed reading Time’s Convert, learning more about Marcus’s backstory and following Phoebe’s transformation and experiences. It was also fun reconnecting with the other characters I’ve grown to love from the All Souls trilogy. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of the trilogy, it did not disappoint.

Rating: ★★★★½

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