Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher:  (April 10, 2012)
Source: Library (Audiobook)

From Goodreads:

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'd been intrigued by The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman since I first saw it on NetGalley. Apparently, I'm an idiot because I never got around to reading (or, in this case, listening to) it until now. 

Boy am I glad I found this as an audiobook at the library. Lately, audiobooks are the only thing I have time for and I think I may have even enjoyed this book more in audio. Emily Janice Card was an excellent reader. Her voices for the characters, particularly Adriane and Chris, really brought them to life in a short span of time. 

I enjoyed The Book of Blood and Shadow because in some ways, it was a totally typical YA. MC and friends are involved in a mystery, must figure out said mystery, chaos ensues. However, in other ways, it was very different than a typical YA. In a lot of ways, the mystery is very personal to Nora and she is disconnected from the "main goal" the other characters have in the mystery. She's set on a more personal connection with the historical person whose letters she has been translating. She wants to find out what happens to her...not so much about the Lumen Dei and what it means for mankind. 

Also, romance is present, but it very much takes a back seat to everything else. Max, Nora's boyfriend, is a quirky and strange person to be the romantic interest. It works for the story, and for Nora. I don't want to spoil anything, so I won't say more than that I appreciated the depth and exploration into the romance and the friendships. Actually, the characters and character development is the main reason I enjoyed The Book of Blood and Shadow so much. 

Overall, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is an intriguing read. I'd recommend it to readers interested in mystery, fiction with historical aspects, and character development. 

Final thoughts: Borrow.

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