Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Part of a series? Nope
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: April 10th, 2012
Length: 432 pgs (hardcover)
Genre: YA suspense/thriller
Source: Library e-book

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.

Opening Line:

I should probably start with the blood. 

Automatically I'm thinking, "BLOOD?! NOICE. Do tell!"

SQUEE-worthy: Some call this The Da Vinci Code for the YA set, and I have to say I agree. It's definitely got a Dan Brown vibe to it, but maybe more Angels and Demons than Da Vinci to me. It's got secret societies, mysterious artifacts, murder, and the use of history and Christianity as motifs--PLUS, Latin and inarguably hot guys thrown into the mix. (That last component is a REAL nice perk!) Seriously, how can you go wrong with so much awesomeness?? Also, the TWISTS. Oooohhh, the plot twists. It was definitely equal parts suspenseful and mysterious. I was kept guessing the whole time, which is no easy feat for a paranoid reader like me.

"Meh" Moments: I honestly cannot think of a moment where I was like, "Meh, I'm bored." This book seriously sucked me in and didn't let go until the last page. Granted, I do admit that it does have a slightly slower pace than most YA suspense/thrillers, but I liked that Wasserman provided enough backstory and rich detail to make the tale feel complete by the end of the novel. I mean, it is a standalone novel after all, and I think Wasserman did an excellent job weaving everything together: from the backstory, to the historical elements, to the atmospheric detail, to the high-stakes, action-driven scenes.

For fans of: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

Buy or Borrow? I borrowed the eBook version from the library, but this book is DEFINITELY on my To-Buy list, if only for the cover alone. (#coverslut)

Let's chat!

Since this book takes place mostly in Prague (one of my dream destinations!), what are YOUR dream book destinations?

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