Sarah's Reviews > The Book of Air and Shadows

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
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's review
Jun 18, 2012

liked it

Fun mystery interwoven with Shakespeare lore. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I liked cryptograms and was more interested in Shakespeare's life and times. I did find the sections about Shakespeare's life and times interesting, and readable, despite the "Old English" text.

However, every time the characters started talking about cryptograms and ciphers I was completely lost. I know that the author obviously knows a lot about this, but he didn't do a great job of making it accessible to his audience. I basically skimmed those sections and mentally filled in, "using the magic of cryptography and ciphers, the characters figure it out".

I really liked the chapters at the end where one of the main characters "re-discovers" truths about his childhood. I would have loved to seen more of that, and to see more of the fallout of this re-discovery (as opposed to it all being glossed over with, "and that made me a better person" in the epilogue). I think the author could have easily focused more on that and dumped the pages and pages about ciphers that were pretty much gobbledygook to me.
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