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 thought this book sounded interesting from the very beginning, but I had no idea just how awesome it was going to be. The Book of Blood and Shadow isn’t like any other YA out there, I promise you. It’s dark and even a tiny bit creepy. It’s YA meets The Da Vinci Code, seriously. There’s an ancient mystery, betrayal, and cold blooded murder. Are you beginning to get an idea of how awesome it is?
The book starts with Nora telling you about her best friend’s death. So you are on the edge of your seat from the first moment. Then Nora backtracks and gives you the story leading up to Chris’s death. So I knew it was coming the whole time but I still found myself holding my breathe while reading that chapter. It was so heart wrenching and brutal. That’s just the beginning too!
This is one of those books that you can’t really say much about for fear of ruining something. The mystery is intricate and weaves through every aspect of the story. It’s usually pretty easy for me to figure things out ahead of time, but for more than half of this book I had no idea who to trust. I loved that! There’s twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.
Robin Wasserman does not hold back either. She isn’t afraid to inflict unimaginable horrors on her main character and oddly I found that very refreshing. Nora was unbelievably strong so she could take it. The writing is incredible. It’s poetic and it really set the semi terrifying (for the characters, not the readers) mysterious tone of the story. I’m definitely going to be reading more of Robin’s books.
The Book of Blood and Shadow is a must read. I guarantee it will be on my favorites of 2012 list. It’s like nothing you have ever read before. Ancient mysteries, secret societies, Prague, a scavenger hunt that your life depends on? Why are you still reading this review? Go read the book NOW!