TITLE: The Book of Blood and Shadow
AUTHOR: Robin Wasserman
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2012
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.
This book was like a Da Vinci Code for Young Adults. That comparison has been made a lot but that’s the most accurate description there is. It had everything in it that a Dan Brown book had. Clues to a secret “treasure” and a shadowy secret society.
THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW also had all the ingredients of a good Young Adult book. It had friendship, a first love, and a great protagonist. It also had a tentative love triangle that never fully bloomed. I feel it still deserved a mention since almost all YA books seem to have one.
This book also had Prague! Gorgeous Prague! Exotic and foreign. If I can’t go there, at least I can read about it right?
The narrative jumps from centuries past to present day. It’s a smooth transition and I loved the historical glimpse it gave me. In a sense there were two stories being told, Nora’s and Elizabeth Weston’s.
Wasserman’s does a masterful job of blending the two voices of Elizabeth and Nora in THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOWS and the pace was absolutely riveting. The plot twists made this is a late-night page-turner. THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOWS is a winner.