Book Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Posted January 8, 2014 by Melissa in Book Review | 3 Comments

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 432
Publisher: Knopf Books | Random House
ISBN: 978-0375868764
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book, Audio
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
Source: Purchased for my Personal Library


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.

My Thoughts

The Good:

  • I really enjoyed the gothic feel of  The Book of Blood and Shadow and the mystery that Wasserman immersed us in.
  • The setting was unique and fascinating…how many books can you name that are primarily set in Prague?
  • The writing style and descriptive narrative flowed quite well despite the slow pace…I wouldn’t say this was a book that I couldn’t put down, but it was certainly a book that I loved picking back up.
  • All of the main characters are nerds and language nerds at that. Even the “popular girl” is really masking an inner nerd:) I could not help but like them.
  • The glimpses into historic Prague and Elizabeth Westons life were incredibly interesting.
  • Eli – such a mystery but one that you’ll really want to unwrap.

The Not So Good:

  • By the end I was feeling that this was all a little far fetched and had to do my best to suspend disbelief (It was actually very easy to do!)
  • I never actually “loved” any of the characters or really felt connected.  That said I did really like and admire them even though I didn’t have that full connection.

Final Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this read…complex characters, a fascinating mystery and amazing setting…all in all a winner! I recommend this to those who don’t mind a slower paced book and who love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon (The DaVinci Code) series.  I know I’ll be on the lookout for my next Robin Wasserman read.


Was It Worth My Time?

4 Timepieces


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3 responses to “Book Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

  1. I want to read this one just because of the setting Melissa! PRAGUE! I’ve always wanted to go there and I hope someday to finally make it. It just seems like such a gorgeous, atmospheric city. Glad that you were able to suspend disbelief pretty easily even when some of the events tested your capacity to do so, and that this one was a winner overall!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Interview: Sara Larson + DefyMy Profile

  2. It’s been ages since I read this but it seems like I felt the same way. I liked it all, even though it was a bit far fetched. It had a great setting and very interesting characters even though it was hard to completely connect with them (though I might be wrong, I don’t really remember what I thought of them). Glad you enjoyed!
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: The Devil You Know by K.H. KoehlerMy Profile

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