Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin WassermanRelease Date: April 10, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Edelweiss
IBSN: 9780375968761

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!



  1. WooW Can I say this Review totally sold me??  You had me at “YA meets The Da Vinci Code” I love these ancicent mysteries and this paired up in a YA enviroment? Awesome! I didn’t give this book much though but your review? Awesome!” I like dark and twisted stories so this one will be up on my TBR right now!! WOOT 
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  2. I have been hearing so many awesome things about this book. I think I need to get it asap!! Fantastic review!!!
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  3. This sounds intense!! I remember the chapter sampler had me at the edge of my seat but I had no clue how awesome this book sounded. It sounds like a fast paced action movie sort of read. Want!
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  4. Whoa it SOUNDS so creepy! I might have to check this out…ahhh!
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  5. This is a standalone, right? I tried reading her sci-fi series but couldn’t get into it. This sounds great, though!
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  6. This one looks so good! I’m really looking forward to reading it. :)
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  7. This book was just incredible – such a great mystery and such great characters. I loved Nora’s strength too.

    Lovely review, Lori! :)
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  8. haha I love your last sentense!! 😀 And after this review I think I should definitely pick this book up! Because seriously, I didn’t like the cover much.. still don’t. And as much as I try not to judge a book from it’s cover… well, obviously I can’t 😛 So thank you Lori for this amazing review!! :) 
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  9. This is one I totally wouldn’t have picked up on my own but you’ve completely convinced me, I MUST read this!
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  10. I want this book now. It just sounds so perfect and it seems like a book, I’d really enjoy. Great review! :)

  11. Every review I see just makes this book sound more and more awesome! I need to move it to the top of the TBR, for sure! I’m glad to hear the author doesn’t shy away from the dark realities of her story — it’s so frustrating when they do that.

  12. Amazing review. Your first sentence says it all. This one is already on  my personal best books of 2012 list.

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