Friday, October 12, 2012
Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow, Robin Wasserman
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. Goodreads
The Book of Blood and Shadow was unlike anything I've read in YA in a long time. The first page grabbed me, and it didn't let go until the end. I loved the confused, off balance feel, especially to the first part of the book. I will say this; I wasn't that fond of any of the characters. But that may have actually been on purpose. This book was driven by plot, not characters. They were more like pieces of the puzzle.
I've heard several people call this a YA Da Vinci Code, and it really does have that feel to it. So if fiction framed around Christian/Jewish religions tend to offend you, this book probably isn't for you. Personally, I did have a problem with the way Nora views God, even though I understood it.
However, if you're just in the mood for a great suspense/mystery that is a little darker than some YA, I definitely recommend this book. It is extremely well written, and once the action starts, it doesn't stop. The only reason I can't give it 5 stars is because of some language and suggestive content.
Rating: 4/5 stars
YA notes: Language, suggestive content, religious controversy.