- Publisher: ATOM
- Format: Paperback | 448 pages
- Dimensions: 127mm x 196mm x 28mm | 350g
- Publication date: 19 January 2012
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1907411445
- ISBN 13: 9781907411441
- Sales rank: 85,356
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and a boyfriend she adored. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands. Chris was dead. Adriane couldn't speak. 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's determined to follow the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. But Chris's murder 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.
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Robin Wasserman is the author of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Hacking Harvard, and the Skinned trilogy, which bestselling author Scott Westerfeld called "spellbinding." She has a master's degree in the history of science, and is fascinated by Renaissance philosophy, religion, magic, science, and the interplay among them. She lives in Brooklyn.
By Hannah 25 Jun 2012
I'm not sure where to begin my review with this book. I absolutely lapped up this novel, but all my thoughts aren't really processing with the rest of my brain at the moment, and I can't actually find the words to describe how brilliant this novel was.
The Book of Blood and Shadow begins from the very beginning - where Nora and her best friends Chris & Adrienne, along with Chris' college roommate Max, are helping a crazy old man translate Latin and finding clues in a book for something that doesn't quite seem to be in reach. Then all of a sudden Chris turns up dead, Max has disappeared and Nora's positive that it wasn't him that killed Chris. Determined to find Max, and at the same time drawn to a series of letters written by poet Elizabeth Weston, Nora finds herself in Prague with Adrienne, hunting for pieces of a machine meant to control the world and bring man closer to God...or the other way round.
One of the great things about this book is that it's not in a rush to get anywhere, like most novels are. Yet at the same time it's intense and fast paced and never left me bored once. Each time you think something has happened, there's another twist and another turn. I almost don't want to review the book, simply because there's so much about it that you could let slip, and then I'd be like the person who told everyone Dumbledore dies at the end of HP6. Oops.
This isn't like most YA novels. It's a read for adults as well, and the plot is absolutely so wacked out it's unbelievable, but totally believable at the same time. There are twists and turns. Part history, part mystery, part modern fiction, part `I'm gonna trump Dan Brown on the religious thriller', part romance, part just freaking amazing. The religious aspect of the novel as well isn't huge, and it doesn't play a major part in the novel. It's the essence of it, sure, in the sense that the Lumen Dei is a concept that man can get closer to being God on earth. It's an age old legend that has carried down through the centuries since the 1600s, where men believed that the only way to be truly one with God was to hold His power - to pretty much be God on earth. Then there were the people who didn't want this to come about. All a tangled web that one girl's father managed to get caught up in and dragged his family into at the same time.
At first I felt a little confused with the characters. Nora is a wonderful and strong character that I could easily relate to. She's taken the death of her brother hard, especially because it means that the relationship she has with her parents has become estranged. The one thing she's good at is Latin, and she throws herself into it, not just as something to prove her worth to her father, but to keep herself busy. And she likes it. Nora questions things, she doesn't automatically make rash decisions and she doesn't become engrossed with Max straight away, and it's not the gushy type of love as well that you see in most books. I really liked Nora, she's someone I would be friends with myself. The way she found herself connecting to Elizabeth Weston was a really good way for the reader to be able to understand why Elizabeth was writing the letters to her brother. All Elizabeth's emotions and thoughts tended to mirror Nora's.
As for Chris, Adrienne, Max and Eli, the other main characters in the book, sometimes it was hard to grasp them. All the characters were fantastic and made the book what it was, but sometimes it felt as if the others were disconnected and weren't rounded. Nora's relationship with Chris was one that I found difficult, especially at first, as it seemed that they were the couple, and it had me confused at times, until later on when Nora and Max get together and it's made clear that Chris and Adrienne are seeing each other. It's really hard to describe why I didn't feel as connected to these characters without being spoilery again, but I assure you, if you read this book you will understand.
One of the best things about this novel for me was probably the setting. Prague is the most amazing city I've ever been to, and I absolutely adore it. The way that Robin described the city was in such detail that I actually felt as if I was back in Prague again. It's a wonderful feeling, reading about all the places in the book and actually being able to visualize them properly, and know exactly where the characters were!
The Book of Blood and Shadow for me was one of the best books I've read in a while. It was completely different from anything I've read before. It made me think, it made me question. I was completely captured by this book, and though I've not read anything by Robin before, I will definitely be seeing what else she has written. I'm sure that if it's anything like tBoBaS, then it'll be a great read!
By yvonne Sharpe 29 Jan 2012
This book is so bad rubbish about trying to find a machine that will take you to god and letters from some girl that are so boring and the French translation and I think Greek and I think Italian is rubbish I am a teenager and most of the time I could not understand what they were on about and references to Jews so much rubbish save your money don't buy it.such a disappointment..
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 13, 2012: "Readers who enjoy fast-paced, bloody, historically inflected thrillers in the vein of Dan Brown will be riveted."Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2011: "Here's something refreshing--a religious-historical thriller . . . serving up shivery suspense, sans fangs or fur . . . A classy read that repays reader effort." Review, Justine Magazine, February / March 2012: "A must read for fans of "Revolution" and "The DaVinci Code" . . . fast-paced and vivid."Review, "A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy "blog, SchoolLibraryJournal.com, March 28, 2012: "I fell for "The Book of Blood and Shadow" at the first sentence . . . part of the wonder of "The Book of Blood and Shadow" is the twists and turns it takes . . .a favorite book read in 2012."Review, The Horn Book Magazine, March 1, 2012: "This is a thorough mixture of contemporary American adolescence, the sixteenth-century occult, and atmospheric, historical substance, all dished up with a convoluted plot in "DaVinci Code" mode.""A lushly drawn mystery of manipulation and desire."--Holly Black, author of "Black Heart""Genuinely thrilling. This is the historical conspiracy you've been waiting for."--Maureen Johnson, author of "The Name of the Star""From the Hardcover edition."