Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Author:  Robin Wasserman
Publisher:  Random House
Date:  April 10, 2012
Source:  Half Netgalley, half purchased!
My grade:  A+

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 Review

Ok, so here’s the story.  I was reading this book and ended up having to put it down for a day and a half (pure torture!) because I took my kids to the zoo and then we cleaned the house the next morning.  When I went back to the book, it had “expired” on my Nook.  So I went to Netgalley to download it again and, lo and behold!  It had been archived by the publisher!  But the problem was that I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about this book since I put it down.  I ended up going and buying it at Barnes and Noble since it had published 2 days before so that I could finish it.

If that little tidbit doesn’t tell you just how compelling this story is, then let me attempt to give you lowdown.  I had been reading reviews that called this book the DaVinci Code for YA.  I had scoffed at those and then I started reading The Book of Blood and Shadow!  Holy cow!  It really did read like the DaVinci Code!

Now, the storyline is worlds away from the storyline of TDVC.  However, they both have a religious mystery, secret societies, an unsolved murder and people other than the police trying to get to the bottom of it since the police are clueless about said secret societies.

Once the murder happened, this book was non-stop.  I did not want to put it down.  It’s a good thing that we went to the zoo before the plotline really picked up, because I think if I had been in the middle of that part of the book, we would have skipped the zoo.  For reals.

I really liked Nora.  She was a cool heroine.  She was smart, but there were times when she was still just a teenaged girl.  I really loved being able to get bits and pieces of the story through the letters that she was translating from Elizabeth.  That was one of the coolest parts of the book.  It was almost like having 2 protagonists.  Seeing the present day through Nora and the past through Elizabeth and then seeing the 2 stories mirror one another in places and fill in gaps in others was just brilliant.

It was also thrilling to have so many places to put blame for the murder.  It was like you could trust almost no one.  I found myself many times wanting to shout out the character equivalent of “Colonel Mustard did it in the dining room with a rope!”  Of course, I would have been wrong every time, but it didn’t stop me from guessing and questioning.

This was just the type of book that I love.  It was a mystery with a supernatural twist.  It read very much like Harry Potter, where you spend the book trying to piece together the clues with the characters.  And yet, I was still surprised by the big “reveal”.  Then the book ended and left my mind reeling.  What a rush!

My grade for this book is an A+.  If you like non-stop mystery novels that make you feel like you’ve just exited a killer roller coaster, go get this book now.  Drop what you’re doing and go on!

Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for allowing me to read half this book.  Thanks to Barnes and Noble for creating Nook and letting me immediately download and read the rest of it.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting. I love books that really bring places to life!