The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

68%

38 Critic Reviews

While I enjoyed the prose and most of the relationship aspects and portrayals, I thought The Book of Blood and Shadow had some serious flaws. I think its elements were trying to come together to tell us about life, death, and faith but the unevenness of the novels’ second half failed to deliver the thematic resonance.
-Dear Author

Synopsis

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Robin Wasserman

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ROBIN WASSERMAN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Hacking Harvard, the Skinned trilogy, and The Book of Blood and Shadow. She lives in Brooklyn.



























Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY



























Author Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 450 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Travel, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Book of Blood and Shadow
All: 38 | Positive: 29 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jan 10 2012

Here's something refreshing: a religious-historical thriller with a nifty Mobius strip of a plot—think Nancy Werlin channeling Dan Brown—serving up shivery suspense, sans fangs or fur.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Barry Goldblatt on Feb 13 2012

Wasserman (the Cold Awakening trilogy) has written an intricate and tense tale that combines code breaking, a well-realized and genuinely creepy Czech background, and plenty of believable action and tragic turns.

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Dear Author

Below average
Reviewed by Jia on May 01 2012

While I enjoyed the prose and most of the relationship aspects and portrayals, I thought The Book of Blood and Shadow had some serious flaws. I think its elements were trying to come together to tell us about life, death, and faith but the unevenness of the novels’ second half failed to deliver the thematic resonance.

Read Full Review of The Book of Blood and Shadow | See more reviews from Dear Author

The Young Folks

Excellent
Reviewed by Gabrielle Bondi on Apr 30 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow definitely gets you thinking. The ending is just so distinctly Nora, and I find it a bit rare when an ending reflects the main character so well.

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Locus Mag

Excellent
Reviewed by Gwenda Bond on May 18 2012

Wasserman has delivered a remarkably involving page turner that has important things to say about the mysteries of the universe and the destructive force of belief. It may be in conversation with those books and others, but it’s also completely, satisfyingly itself.

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Verve Girl

Excellent
Reviewed by VG_Giselle on Apr 25 2012

I love this book! It had a lot of intrigue with just the right amount of sleuthing by the main characters to earn a four star rating.

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Dark Faerie Tales

Good
Reviewed by Dark Faerie Tales on Apr 08 2012

The writing was wonderful. I absolutely loved the way the narration was broken up, the fact that the sections, in lieu of chapters, were all varied in length. Nora is an intelligent, perceptive teenager who has been thrust into a mystery that people have died trying to solve.

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365 Days of Reading

Good
Reviewed by Lauren on Apr 05 2012

If you’re looking for a mystery-thriller, The Book of Blood and Shadow is a great choice. It’s smart, complex, and interesting—especially if you’re into history (like me).

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Good Books and Good Wine

Good
Reviewed by April on Apr 16 2012

I straight up loved The Book Of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. I loved the device of Weston’s letters. I love the conspiracy and how everything connected.

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Xpresso Reads

Good
Reviewed by Giselle on Apr 07 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow is not your typical YA novel. It's raw and it breaks rules, with an intense insanity that does not stop until you turn that last page. To say it simply: It's nothing short of brilliant!

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Diary of a Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Rhiannon on Apr 17 2012

Wasserman launches you on a disturbing adventure pluming the depths of history and religion in a very Da Vinci's Code-esque style where vying secret cults and historical myths crash together in surprising and exciting ways.

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Pure Imagination

Good
Reviewed by Pure Imagination on Apr 23 2012

It’s like nothing you have ever read before. Ancient mysteries, secret societies, Prague, a scavenger hunt that your life depends on?

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Reading Rants

Good
Reviewed by Reading Rants on Apr 15 2012

Beat a path to your nearest library, bookstore or e-reader and lay your hot little hands on a copy now!

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Parental Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Parental Book Reviews on Apr 10 2012

It was just too much (too much detail, too much history, too many slow parts).

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whatchYAreading

Good
Reviewed by Christine on Apr 10 2012

If you like thrillers or the books that take place in other countries, enriched with pieces from the past, or even a good mystery, I would recommend this book for you.

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The Compulsive Reader

Good
Reviewed by Compulsive Reader on May 16 2012

Rob Wasserman's latest novel is an engaging mix of history, romance, and mystery. Dark secrets, crumbling documents and relics, and shady secret societies abound in this meticulously written story.

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Electrifying Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Alex Bennett on Apr 10 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow is rich and vivid and emotional and is so many things. Though its pace isn’t lightning fast, it is still a book I would highly recommend.

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Beyond Books

Good
Reviewed by Cat on May 27 2012

In a sea of seemingly similar YA books these days, The Book of Blood and Shadow stands out with it's Outside of the Paranormal Box-ness.

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Ladybug Storytime

Below average
Reviewed by Kristina on May 14 2012

Even though The Book of Blood and Shadow didn't work so much for me, there are so many others who are calling this book their favorite read of 2012, so definitely still give it a shot!

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Small Review

Below average
Reviewed by Small Review on May 04 2012

There was so much potential, but the overall package just does not work with me.

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JJ Reads

Good
Reviewed by JJ on Apr 16 2012

This book has earned itself a reputation of being the YA "Davinci Code", and rightly so.

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Turn the Page

Below average
Reviewed by Amy on Jan 19 2012

To enjoy this you’ll have to suspend belief and look past the unlikelihood of no one discovering the (poorly) hidden pages in Elizabeth’s diary before now, that a young school girl could decipher an ancient manuscript where scholars have failed, the ease in which Nora figures out the code, how important clues and artifacts have remained safely hidden and untouched throughout Prague over the centuries etc.

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Fluttering Butterflies

Good
Reviewed by Clover on Jan 01 2012

This book really is like no other YA book I've read before! I'm so excited for everyone else to read it and love it as much as I did.

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Chasing Ray

Good
Reviewed by Colleen Mondor on May 21 2012

The Da Vinci Code was a thriller while what Robin Wasserman has written is a book about growing up. That difference is what makes her book so much better and why I think it will resonate with thoughtful readers of any age.

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Elementary, My Dear Reader

Good
Reviewed by Rave Reader on May 14 2012

The plot was great, the mystery was delightfully tantalizing, and it’s absolutely worth reading. I would like to see more of this from YA authors in the future.

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Coffee Table Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Coffee Table Reviews on Mar 30 2012

This book definitely needs to be added to your wishlist. The Book of Blood and Shadow has everything that a book could want to entertain and literally left me breathless.

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Hooked to Books

Good
Reviewed by Megan on Mar 28 2012

Robin Wasserman's book reads like a young adult version of The Da Vinci Code with a few notable exceptions: One, it's written well. Two, she does not rely on cheap gimmicks to keep you turning the page.

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Bookish Comforts

Below average
Reviewed by Rachelia on May 07 2012

Oddly enough, I found myself more enticed by the afterword and acknowledgements - no lie! Going into The Book of Blood and Shadow, I was excited to start reading, but as it turns out, I was even more excited to finish it.

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Bibliomantics

Below average
Reviewed by Stephanie on May 04 2012

I didn’t find any of the reveals particularly shocking or exciting. The time in Prague clue-hunting felt long. I also found the conversations about whether they think god exists or not extremely uninteresting.

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Alamosa Books

Good
Reviewed by Alamosa Books on May 01 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow is the history of this richly dark and unique creature that broods on the banks of the Vltava River.

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Tripping Over Books

Good
Reviewed by Tripping Over Books on Apr 27 2012

The ending was BOSS, and the whole story just pushed a BUNCH of my inner secret society/religious scandal nerd buttons. Really enjoyed this one, guys.

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Tez Says

Below average
Reviewed by Tez Miller on Apr 10 2012

It didn’t work for me. Conspiracy theories, creepy religious sects, historical letters, dead languages – they just don’t work for me. And did I mention that the narrator is “the chosen”? I really despise that trope. In short, the novel is okay, but not great.

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A Cupcake and a Latte

Good
Reviewed by Wendy on Apr 05 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman promises suspense, mystery, romance, history, and fantasy. Readers who love all of the above will find themselves adoring The Book of Blood and Shadow.

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YAkety YAks

Good
Reviewed by Gracie on Apr 27 2012

Heads up, Robin: I’m kind of obsessed with you now and need you to write another travelogue/thriller asap.

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Not Enough Bookshelves

Below average
Reviewed by Alexa on Apr 24 2012

The last quarter of the book does descend into Indiana Jones territory. The writing remained addictive, keeping me up till gone midnight, but I did have to fling my disbelief aside, and just go with it.

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Bookish.Nu

Good
Reviewed by Bookish on Apr 18 2012

This book is simply fun. In my opinion, it has a similar feel to Dan Brown’s novels.It also reminds me – and this may be a strange comparison – of some of Clive Cussler’s novels, if Dirk Pitt was a seventeen year old girl with a talent for getting into trouble.

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A Reader's Adventure

Good
Reviewed by Mariah on Apr 10 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow was more than I ever could have imagined. It left me more than satisfied and hooked the entire time I was reading it.

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Random Pabulum

Good
Reviewed by Diana on Apr 02 2012

I never knew what to expect with this book. When I thought I had it all figured out, the story takes a left turn, and it’s not what I thought it would be.

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Reader Rating for The Book of Blood and Shadow
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 103 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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