Kelli Lee's Reviews > The Book of Blood and Shadow

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
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Apr 30, 12

bookshelves: did-not-finish, young-adult, mystery-thriller

Failed to reach the 100 page marker, the crucial spot where I make the executive decision on whether to continue or not to continue reading a book I'm iffy about. 41 pages was all it took to realize The Book of Blood and Shadow and I are so not simpatico. Not in the least.

Here's a breakdown of why:
I understand why the word "Blood" is in the title, its purpose. For Nora toils away, sweating blood, while translating Latin texts. Très exciting, no? Has anyone reading this had the pleasure of riding Spaceship Earth (mega golf ball) in Epcot Center? While "time-traveling" through human advancements, one scene in particular showcases monks translating and copying Bible scriptures by hand. One such monk is snoring away (loudly I might add), head planted on desk, passed out due to sheer boredom no doubt. That's precisely what I was avoiding and why this book and I parted ways. Just not my cup of tea.

I fully realize the "action" picks up a few hundred pages in. At least that's what many a reviewer claimed. But if I'm not gelling with a book, not hooked, not even digging the translated material, then I know I definitely won't have the intestinal fortitude to continue reading. Also, I noticed this book has been compared to National Treasure. Well, hmmm, while that's an opinion, I have to add in my two cents, and this is coming from a National Treasure devotee, I call Pinocchio on that comparison. Just don't see it. Granted, I did only read 41 pages, but still. There is nary an action scene, intrigue, adrenaline-fueled quest-y adventure (which started from the get-go in said movie I might add and didn't cease), nary a chase scene after chase scene . . . Aside from the first two pages (not so much with the adrenaline-fueled quest, but intrigue-y). Now had the book continued on in the same vein as those, well, this would be a wholly different review.
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Reading Progress

04/30/2012 page 10
2.0% ""Under the best of circumstances, middle school is a sixth-circle-of-hell situation, sandwiched somewhere between flaming tombs and flesh-eating harpies." Amen, sister. Or the Hellmouth, which is the term I personally use."
04/30/2012 page 32
7.0% "Wow, didn't take long. I'm approaching that point of no return called boredom. Ever closer. I'll keep reading though, to my 100 page marker. But- transcribing texts and reading all about it and how amazing MC is at Latin and more Latin is supposed to be fun? In what world? Ever been on Spaceship Earth in Epcot? Even the monks scribing away passed out from sheer boredom. That's how I'm feeling about now."
04/30/2012 page 32
7.0% "Okay, first of all, the reviews touting this book to be Davinci Code meets National Treasure, um, wow, Pinocchio much? Second of all, I'm a fan of both of the aforementioned, and National Treasure was nonstop action from beginning to end. This is not. Just sayin'."

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle Interested to see where you fall with this one. A lot of middle reviews.


message 2: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee I know, me too. The middle-of-the-roaders all harp on the fact that the story takes eons to get moving. That the first part drags. I fully expected to be bored. B-u-t, thus far I'm digging it. We shall see. I'll keep you updated. :)


message 3: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle I have no clue why this is, but because the book eventually goes to Prague I can't shake Daughter of Smoke and Bone off my mind whenever I think of it. Maybe it's the lengthy title. However from your status updates it's clearly not as . . . high quality.


message 4: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Oh yeah, I'm right there with you. I think it's because of the title. DOSB this is not. I think I'm about ready to abandon it. For some reason it's annoying me. Maybe because it tricked me with an interesting first page prologue. Then wham, immediately flashes back to Latin translations. Zzzzzzzz zzz


message 5: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle Appears that the boredom got to you to.


message 6: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Yessiree, Boredom seized ahold of me it did.
So my library hoarding continues, this book being one of 5 new releases I picked up earlier. This one fell by the wayside fairly quickly, so I have more time to read the rest. Hey there Bright Side, I'm looking your way. And hopefully the remaining 4 aren't devastatingly boring like this one. Ruining my kick-ass book streak it did.


message 7: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle My awesome streak is coming to a schreeching halt. It's like the Breeze. It was going at 1,000 miles an hour, and then a rock (in this case Nightshade by Andrea Cremer) got in the way, she trips, flips in the air ten times, and it falls flat on its ass. So formulatic after 50 pages!!!!!! All this cliche-ness is making Skin Hunger seem so much more attractive - one of the most original YA books I've read in - well, a very, very long time.


message 8: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Oh Skin Hunger. Saw Emily May's review on its sequel and with that became very interested. Now that you're giving it your seal of approval, I'll have to zip it to the top of my TBR list. By the by, Love the Breeze metaphor.


Emily May I felt exactly the same. And I don't really think it does pick up that much after 100 pages, not enough to make the first part forgivable anyway.

And yes, Skin Hunger - I'm telling you, this series needs to be read :)


message 10: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Emily wrote: "I felt exactly the same. And I don't really think it does pick up that much after 100 pages, not enough to make the first part forgivable anyway.

And yes, Skin Hunger - I'm telling you, this serie..."


For the most part I end up feeling the same way about a book as you. This one proves that. Shoulda listened to it is all. And Skin Hunger has been moved to the top of my TBR list.


message 11: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle Yes, Skin Hunger is great! Can't say it's absolutely fantastic (40 pages can only tell somebody so much - well, some books tell more than others such as this one did), but the direction it's going is great!


message 12: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Rinehart Darn, the cover alone was pretty intriguing.


message 13: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Tell me about, Jennifer. So were the first two pages. And then bam! Intrigue gone translating Latin texts here to stay. You know, I honestly would've been fine with the translating, but review after review after review warned the same thing: nothing happens, story drags until a few hundred pages in. I just can't. Wasn't interesting enough to begin with.


message 14: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Rinehart I don't understand these reviewers who will slog through a whole lotta boring set up. I'm brutal, if you don't have me at Chapter 1, I'm out.


message 15: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee That's why I like you, Jennifer. My sentiments exactly!


message 16: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Rinehart Thanks, Kelly, back at you!


message 17: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Wright I've been hesitant about reading this one. I can't wait to see what you think.


message 18: by Kelli (new) - added it

Kelli Lee Kenya wrote: "I've been hesitant about reading this one. I can't wait to see what you think."

Kenya, I did "read it". Well, 41 pages and that was more than enough. Too slow for me. R-e-a-l-l-y slow.


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