Review: The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and Shadow cover
Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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.

I am going to admit right from the start that I am never going to be able to give this book enough justice in this review, because it was just that spectacular. The Book of Blood and Shadow BLEW me away from start to finish. It had so many good things going for it: descriptive settings, fully developed characters, a mystery that ceaselessly twisted and turned, and smart, talented writing that puts nearly any other book to shame.

One of the things I loved about this book was how it was slow building. Normally, when a book is slow to start, I become a little put off, but Robin Wasserman made it work perfectly with the story, because not only did she take that time to truly build the characters up, but also even in the beginning the mystery was being strung together, the reader nor the characters just didn’t realize it yet. This leads me to the plot.

The plot in this was kick-a##, no lie. It contained so many twists and turns and surprises that I had no idea where the book was going to end, which made me love it even more. I especially enjoyed how well developed everything was. From the mystery behind the book to the letters Nora translated to the romance she had with Max to the friendship she had with Eli, everything was just perfect to the point where I do not even want to talk about any specific point; because this is one you book you just need to experience on your own. Trust me.

The characters in this were another high point. Nora managed to win me over from the start. She was smart and quiet, yet she was daring and relentless. I loved how dedicated she was to her work with the letters as well as to her friends. Best of all, I loved how seemingly ordinary she appeared throughout, because it truly allowed me to sink even more into the story. In addition, to her character a variety of other ones were introduced a well: Chris, Eli, Max, and Adriane. The former two of the four I loved to pieces. Chris was oblivious in ways that I will not mention, and while they made me angry at times, I still adored his character. Eli was wild to tell the truth. I never knew where his character was going, but I did know one thing: he adored Nora. In addition, it did not hurt that him and Nora had great chemistry as well as tension. Max and Adriane, however, where characters I wavered between liking and not liking. They were secretive and always manipulative, but they still managed to bring a lot to the book.

Lastly, I have to say: Robin Wasserman is an INCREDIBLE author! Prior to this, I have never had the chance of reading anything by her, but boy, if her other books are anything like this one, I need to read them ASAP. I loved how descriptive her writing as, and how it managed to pull me into the settings as well as the characters heads. I especially adored how everything in this book was necessary. They were no fill even with the 400 plus pages, which was just awesome, in my opinion.

The only aspect I did not like about the book was the ending, but it was selfish on my part, because I only didn’t like it because I wanted more. However, from the ending, I have a small feeling there will be more. Hopefully book #2 is on its way.

Brilliant as well as well written, The Book of Blood and Shadow was truly magnificent. It’s one book I can’t suggest highly enough, and come its release, I’ll definitely be talking it up at every chance I get.

Grade: A+

The Book of Blood and Shadow (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) will be released April 10, 2012!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

More about the book/author: website/tumblr/twitter


  1. I got this book at ALA, but I haven't read it, yet. Sounds like I need to move it up my reading list!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this so much as I didn't really get on with it.

  3. wow people seem to like this one

  4. Great review! I am so glad that you enjoyed this book. I am reading it now. It started off very slow, and now I can't put it down. I can't wait to finish it!!

  5. This book sounds like a great story, I hope read it this year. Great review!

  6. Wow...that good huh? I need to pick this one up!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  7. I've heard this book was a "YA version of the Da Vinci Code"! It certainly seems like it from the reviews I've been seeing. Thanks for the review :D I definitely have to pick up this book sometime!

    grace of NC Photo Booth


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