Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

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The Book of Blood and Shadow
by Robin Wasserman
Published April 2012
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads: It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the
Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

The Book of Blood and Shadow is unlike any book I've ever read. I was too young to jump on The Da Vinci Code bandwagon, and that seems to be the most apt comparison. If The Da Vinci Code is anything like this book, then I understand the rabid fans it produced. 

The Book of Blood and Shadow doesn't start out fast-paced or even terribly exciting. Instead, Robin Wasserman lets us get to know the main characters: Nora, Max, Chris, and Adriane. Nora is the wry and observant narrator with a dry humor that made me smile many times, even when I was in the middle of an intense scene. Though the slow beginning wasn't exactly exciting, it was crucial in assuring that the rest of the book would have major impact. Guys, I got pretty emotional during this book and it's all because I got to know these characters before they were thrust into impossible situations.

Once The Book of Blood and Shadow picks up pace, well, then you might as well resign yourself to not putting it down until you finish. There are twists that will make you go "WHAT?" and then, "Of course." Wasserman does such a fantastic job describing Prague, but I never felt bogged down by the descriptions. So pretty much, there's no putting this book down once you get past a certain point. 

I loved The Book of Blood and Shadow, and if there is a sequel (anyone know if there is?) I will definitely be reading it. As soon as I possibly can. So much goes down during the novel that I will probably be thinking about it for days to come, which is my favorite type of book.


  1. I remember seeing this cover around when it first came out, but never picked it up. It sounds intriguing. I love that it is set in Prague and books that linger days after you finish them are the best ones. Great review!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

  2. This was definitely a difficult book to put down, once it really got going! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Nice review :)

  3. I haven't read The Da Vinci Code either, but I've heard it this and Blood and Shadow are similar. I love when you don't see a twist coming and are left amazed with how well it was pulled off. I'm definitely going to check this one out. Great review, Taylor!

  4. I've never read this one, but I've definitely heard good things about it, so it's nice to see such a glowing review. Wonderful review, Taylor...I look forward to reading many more great reviews from you! I'm your newest follower :)

  5. I loved how you mentioned that the author took her time in building up the characters - we don't get that too much lately. I haven't seen this book before but I'll be sure to check it out. Great review, Taylor! Oh, I'm a new follower as well. :)

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

  6. That's a good question, I'm not sure if there's a sequel, but if there is I want it! I really enjoyed this one too. It's a book that made me think. But I loved seeing all the different places it took us too.

  7. I loved this one too, Taylor! I felt so bad for the main girl (I can't remember anyone's names anymore, it's been a while since I read this) being duped, but I was excited for how things seemed like they were going for her and a certain fellow in the end. Great review! :)

  8. I have seen good and bad reviews about this book. Some people loved it while others really just disliked it. I can't decide if I will like it or not. It sounds like an interesting book. I'll probably give it a shot sometime. Great review! :)

  9. Omg I loved this book so much! I also met the author at BEA and she was so sweet! The beginning is slow but I was still so captivated by the atmosphere and vibe it was giving off, it's like you KNOW something is just about to jump out at you and it does (I even remember it was at page 104! haha). So happy you enjoyed it!

  10. This sounds like a great read. When I read the synopsis, I was eager to hear your thoughts on it--happy to know it's just as great as it sounds. I will definitely look out for this one.

    Thanks for the great review and stopping by my sister and my blog : )

  11. I've heard a lot about this one but still need to read it. I'm so glad you enjoyed this so much - great review! I really must get to it soon... :)

  12. I don't think there is a sequel although I would definitely read it too. Like you said, this book was a slow start but it really worth it in the end. The story was just so complete and awesome and I really enjoyed it too!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert


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