Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 18, 2012 | 1 Comment

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin WassermanThe Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Published by Knopf (4.10.2012)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 432 pages
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

3 Stars

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.

My thoughts

I must say I kinda waffled when it came to rating this one. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship going with this  book, alternating between being intrigued and bored out of my freakin’ mind. My attention span wandered and I couldn’t connect to the characters at all, which really dragged the story down for me. A few times I considered giving up, but I’m glad I didn’t. The last 20% or so made up for the rest.

When I picked this one up, I had absolutely no clue what it was about. I went by the cover without reading the synopsis – not gonna lie, thought it was about vampires or something. Go ahead, have a laugh. Ha, ha. I certainly feel silly now! There was no paranormal aspect at all.

The story dragged a lot, at times in the beginning I didn’t really know what the hell was going on or what the book was even about. I wasn’t interested in historical letters written by dead people – because, let’s face it, history makes my brain go into a mild coma. But it was all so mysterious, and after things start happening – accidents and murders – my interest was piqued. This story reminded me a lot of The DaVinci Code. Clues and dead-ends, lies and betrayal.

Even though I was mystified, I still couldn’t really get into it until the part where two of the main characters broke into somewhere. It reminded me so much of the part in National Treasure where Nicolas Cage and the woman (whoever she is) have a fake argument to get into the office to see the desk. It was awesome! I did really like the whole treasure-hunt feel going on.

After that part there were about another 100 pages of boredom, and BAM! The truth comes out, and wow. That was a twist I never saw coming. The deceit! The treachery! If you didn’t know already, I love being surprised. The end really brought this book around for me and made me re-think the low rating I was going to give it.

quotes“Ah, your  words say you hate me, but your face says…” He narrowed his eyes and gave me an exaggerated once-over.
“You hate me.” He shrugged. “At least you’re consistent.”

“You’re alarmingly good at acting the bitch,” he whispered. “It suggests practice.”
“And you’re alarmingly good at acting whipped,” I shot back. “Food for thought.”

I love these, if she had interjected that kind of humor into the whole story I may have loved it.

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
May have been because it was an uncorrected proof, but the sentences were horrifically long and hard to follow. Sometimes I had to re-read a sentence several times to understand because it was just one big run-on.
Characters: 2/5
I never connected.
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3/5 starfish
Lacking something for me, but still worth the read.
Jessi (Geo)

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