Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley

The Book of Blood and Shadow

Publication Date
April 10th

Random House Children's Books
~ Alfred A. Knopf BFYR ~

Available At

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly story book 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.

Genre: YA Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Book Of Blood And Shadow starts with a hint of what to expect, but then we are quickly tossed back to where the story really begins. By the blurb, we all know that Chris, Nora's best friend is dead, but Robin Wasserman ingeniously shows us the friendship and personalty of Chris so when that inevitable part comes along we actually feel it right along with Nora. It also gives us the dynamics of the triangle of friends turned into a square, showing us how they interact and rely or don't rely on each other.

After that dreadful, bloody night, things start to change. The feel is slightly more depressed, emotional and overall desperate. This doesn't damper the story, it only enhances it. The mystery starts to get heavier, to the point that the reader may have to wear waders, but it's brain-buzzing, exciting and never boring. I found an extreme connection to Nora fused by words. It also helped that as we were learning clues, Nora was as well. My mind was in a constant whirlwind trying to solve the mystery, trying to figure out if the people surrounding Nora were good or evil. Robin Wasserman's writing will have the readers mind buried thick in suspicion as we get a little bit more knowledge from each character. I must admit, that I figured out most of the things(about 3/4 the way through, won't say what, for obvious reasons), but it was still an intriguing adventure that I still wasn't quite 100% sure how it would all unfold. I love being able the piece together clues, some big, others small, The Book Of Blood And Shadows allowed me to do that while capturing my complete attention.

Robin Wasserman's descriptive prose flows with an effortless way, gently leading the reader into a dark, suspenseful story. The words are thick with depth and emotion, the scenic descriptions showing you the old-world beauty of Prague and the story is riddled with action, adventure and something a little sweeter. If the cover doesn't tempt you or the blurb doesn't entice you, then let me tell you that this is a story that will have your head throbbing(in a good way), fingers cramped(from tension), eyes sore(from frantically scanning) and a need to know what happens next. Readers of both genders and all ages will appreciate the mystery and suspense!

I will leave you with a quote from the lovely Nora:

"When you're a kid, there's always a new tower of blocks to knock over, another Barbie to microwave. When you grow up, they take away your toys"

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