Christina's Reviews > The Book of Blood and Shadow

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
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's review
Jun 18, 12

bookshelves: audiobooks, fantasy, historical
Read from May 17 to June 01, 2012

A suspenseful story that winds its way through the streets of Prague, in both present day and the 1600's. I loved the dramatic opening: Nora is in shock over the bloody murder of her best friend Chris; the only witness, Chris' girlfriend (and Nora's other best friend) Adriane is catatonic with grief, unable to tell anyone what happened; and Nora's sweet boyfriend Max is missing, accused of committing the murder! Wow! But then we jump back a few months in time, and the book just slows down a lot. We get to know these characters from when they first met--Chris, Nora knew in childhood, before her older brother died in a car accident, so he knew her "before." But she meets Max in a special research class where the three of them are assisting a professor by translating 16th century letters from Latin. Nora gets caught up in the story of the subject of her letters, a young woman in Prague whose father is some kind of scientist/alchemist. Nora discovers clues, buried in those old manuscripts, often encoded in obscure Latin, to the possible existence of a mysterious machine that could lead to all sorts of supernatural knowledge, even of the divine. Nora gets entangled in the search for this machine as well as trying to prove Max's innocence; the two are intertwined, and Nora's and her friends' lives quickly are endangered by various thugs and secret society members who either want the machine for themselves, or want to stop anyone else from recreating it. I think I would have liked this book better had I not listened to it in audio, because I had to listen in many short bursts of time, so it became choppy for me and hard to follow the many flashbacks and forth in time; also the various Latin phrases were a little hard to understand in audio only, I think I would have liked better getting to read them myself. But I thought it was very well written. It is sort of a "Da Vinci Code for teens"; I would recommend it to readers who like mysteries and decoding ciphers, as well as historical novels and suspenseful action thrillers.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Kimberly (new) - added it

Kimberly A. Let me know what you think of this one. It's getting some pretty mixed reviews.

message 2: by Kristin (new)

Kristin prague must be the new black in YA after daughter of smoke and bone hehe ; )

Christina yeah! Interesting to read two books set there. This one is so-so; maybe because I'm listening to it in small bits on audio, but it's confusing me. I like the premise though.

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