Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Blood and Shadow” as Want to Read:
The Book of Blood and Shadow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Blood and Shadow

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  5,246 ratings  ·  953 reviews
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 dea
Library Binding, 448 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Random House Children's Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Insurgent by Veronica RothCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareDeadlocked by Charlaine HarrisReached by Ally CondiePandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Can't Wait Books of 2012
2,509 books — 15,639 voters
Insurgent by Veronica RothCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenPandemonium by Lauren OliverRapture by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2012
1,317 books — 10,646 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,246 ratings  ·  953 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Book of Blood and Shadow
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
The claims of this being like a YA Da Vinci Code are not false; mysterious documents, coded messages, religion, murder - it easily reminded me of this well loved book by Dan Brown which is a favorite of mine. The Book of Blood and Shadow is cryptic and dangerous, with a phenomenal writing style - I loved every single minute of this novel!

It all starts with the Book. The Voynich manuscript to be exact. This book is, in fact, real, and deemed as the most mysterious book on earth that no one has of
Emily May

I imagine that The Book Of Blood And Shadow will impress most of my friends, it just so happens that this is one of those books that appears on occasion which is well-constructed, well-written, clever and absolutely nothing that I want to read. I've seen this before and will surely see it again in the future, thankfully I'm getting better at spotting them early on - the only reason I finished this book was because it was provided by UK book tours for review purposes.

The story is about Nora w
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
After a promising start, The Book of Blood and Shadow turned out to be my biggest disappointment in 2012. I never expected to have to struggle to finish this book. In fact, when I ordered a copy, I was pretty certain it would find a place among my favorites, but the more I read, the more disappointed I became. I’ll start with the good…

Characters and relationships are Wasserman’s strong point. I loved getting to know Nora, Chris, Max and Adriane in the first part of the book, loved finding out ho
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
“Never date a guy who can fit into your jeans- Adriane often warned me- failing to mention that it was because I might someday need him to save me from a secret society of murdering Renaissance Faire rejects.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Sigh…. And we were doing so well.
OK, up until about 80% this book would have been a 5 star book. I was happily ignoring the mental far-fetchedness of the plot because I loved the characters and the setting and the writing. But even I couldn’t suspend my disb
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. It’s tense and exhilarating and I felt immediately drawn into the story. As it opens, the main character Nora is reeling in the aftermath of the gruesome murder of her best friend Chris. And then we are immediately thrown back into the past, where we get to see just how amazing and complicated Nora's relationship with Chris really was. Instant grief! Instant Intrigue!

There’s also a very nice romance between Nora and the quiet, nerdy Max that’s neither
Trina (Between Chapters)
Hmmm... I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It's okay but in the end I feel unfulfilled? I never waned to DNF it though.

The boyfriend was a complete douchekabob. The plot was drawn out and honestly I didn't know what was happening a lot of the time. Audiobook narrator was good. A bit reminiscent of The Conspiracy of Us and The Da Vinci Code.

Not much rep (a couple of racially diverse side characters) and lots of triggers that I can't remember all of (death of sibling and friends are the main
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-e-book
This was an exciting read with a murder mystery, suspense, romance, and betrayal.

Nora lives with her fractured family, still reeling over the loss of their son, Andy. Andy drank and then drove, killing him and one of the most popular students in their high-school. This in turn caused Nora to become a social leper in school. Nora was able to transfer to a more prestigious school, on a Latin scholarship. Her father was a teacher of Latin and instilled in his daughter a love of the language from a
4.5 stars

“Better to be slain by an arrow than
by the words of the one I most trusted”

When I received a galley for The Book of Blood and Shadow I was quite pumped as there had been some great reviews for it. But I was also quite worried as I only received the galley a few days prior to its publication date; I’m not the fastest reader and I had not been having much luck lately with books, a lot I found a struggle to get into or ended up being disappointments. But I’d hoped this would not be the ca
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
The half of it set in Prague, where all the ostensible action takes place, kinda sucks. The protagonist loses her positive personality traits and the writing becomes far less clever and witty. The second quarter keeps interest alive by stalling/hinting at what’s to come and the protagonist isn’t on her way to irritating the ish out of me yet. I think what this book shows is that Wasserman can write with great wit about family, friendship, and loss – but not particularly well about romance, intri ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I’d split this book in several parts and love each for different reasons. There’s the part with her laying down her history AND that ending (all on its own) that was awesome. The way things start one would think that one knows how thing turn up. You’d be wrong. That she took her time explaining who she was and who they were assured that I see her story through. And that ending? NOT BAD! I love how things went because it dealt with that long, twisted, complicated ride Nora had found herself
Jay G
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel:

Nora, her bestfriend Chris and boyfriend Max, stumbled across some shocking discoveries while working as Professor Huffman's assistants searching through old letters and manuscripts from 500 years ago. Then Chris is murdered, sending Nora and Chris' girlfriend, Adriane, to Prague in search of answers revolving around a strange machine called the Lumen Dei in the hopes of proving Max's i
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you liked Indiana Jones when he goes to look for the ark of the covenant and he fights Nazis and religious nutcases then you will love this book. It is about 4 friends who along their teacher stumble upon a mystery hidden in a book that has been dormant for almost 500 years , it will destroy some of them and take the rest into a journey where the spiritual and violence love side by side , alongside with historical references to a mysterious poetess who through letters that were written 500 ye ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Blood and Shadow is not an easy read. It's complicated and intricately woven, perhaps even a little convoluted in places. It's not all action and takes its time. There are a lot of scenes where Nora is simply translating and decoding Latin manuscripts and a few parts I raised my eyebrows at. The old lady in me was quite distressed for the poor teachers who have three of their students run away during a school trip abroad. Several times I wondered why no one just went to the police. T ...more
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This book is essentially The Da Vinci Code for Young Adults. It has everything that you would expect, adventure, intrigue, puzzles, religion, and murder. Even though my brain is still trying to catch up, I really did enjoy the wild ride.
Nora is a high school senior and wanting to add something exciting to her college applications she agrees to work with her friends who are in college transcribing old letters. What she doesn’t expect is to have her senior year plagued with murder and overseas run
I honestly cannot bring myself to give this book a rating...out of fairness for not finishing or ability to express my disappointment.

I could not finish this book. The writing style grated my personal preference. The sentences were too long with too many commas and breaks. Some sentences were 10 lines long and had so many commas that I had to re-read many pages and paragraphs 3 times. I got lost in what the author was trying to say.

I think what has taken me so long is that the story line is stil
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I really liked The Da Vinci Code when it came out. So much so that I read Foucault’s Pendulum and Holy Blood, Holy Grail and even wrote a college paper on the Knights Templar. To say that I enjoy conspiracy theory is an understatement. You guys, I am SO glad that The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman is published in 2012 and not 2003 because with how deftly Robin Wasserman handles secret societies, I would have inevitably been disappointed in the ...more
*4.5 stars*

my face upon finishing this book:

[image error]

Suffice it to say, IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING!
Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review.

I decided to read The Book of Blood and Shadow (TBBS) because reviews described it as the YA of The Da Vinci Code (TDVC). I really liked TDVC so I thought TBBS would be exciting too.

It wasn't.

TBBS and TDVC were similar. I could definitely see why the comparison was made. They both have:
+ a death in the beginning
+ characters framed for crimes
+ characters traveling across Europe for answers
+ characters who know esoteric things
+ a mystery from history to solve
+ secret organizat
Books are TARDIS
“You don't even realize you're living in a before until you wake up one day and find yourself in an after.”

The Book of Blood and Shadow started off as a 5-star read for me. I was won over by our Latin-translating intrepid lead characters. I was equally won over by the mystery of the real-life Voynich Manuscript around which this fiction revolves. I was also in love with the collegiate feel of the first quarter of the story and the quirky friendships between the group.

Once the fantasy mystery
Jackie "the Librarian"
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This wants to be The Da Vinci Code*, full of thrills and chills and teenagers, but it flopped for me.
So, college students in NYC start deciphering old medieval letters, and then violence and a trip to Prague. And creepy hooded guys who know martial arts. (How they can get away with running around unremarked in those monk robes, doing mayhem on anyone getting close to their protected secret thingy, I don't know. You think they'd be less conspicuous in jeans.) And the golem... huh? Because of the
Tanja (Tanychy)
DNF at page 198.

I should probably start with a lie.
If you look at the synopsis it promises you a Prince Charming, aka Max. But he is all but that.

I should probably end with truth.
This book is full of nonsense if you ask me. They are teens and they are left to their own devices. Parents are absent in general. Police is also there, but like it is not. Adriane is a bit crazy, I mean that girl barley survived, her boyfriend was killed and next thing she does is go to Paris?!? Like really?
Then t
monica kim
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 - This was a fun standalone mystery. Basically, a YA Da Vinci code (except I didn't like The Da Vinci Code and actually enjoyed this). I kept thinking I knew how things would play out, but then it'd throw me for a loop. The author also does a good job of making it reasonable that Nora and co would be the ones to be cracking these codes instead of utilizing the Amazing Teen Genius/Savior trope, which I appreciated. I do wish the ending had been more fleshed out. ...more
Erin Downing
Oct 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have my hands on this manuscript, and it is gooooood!
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalleybooks
I am going to admit right from the start that I am never going to be able to give this book enough justice in this review, because it was just that spectacular. The Book of Blood and Shadow BLEW me away from start to finish. It had so many good things going for it: descriptive settings, fully developed characters, a mystery that ceaselessly twisted and turned, and smart, talented writing that puts nearly any other book to shame.

One of the things I loved about this book was how it was slow build
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
So, to begin this review, let me restate the synopsis: Nora, her best friend and his friend are all working with a professor to break the code and decipher the Voynich Manuscript. Then the professor is attacked, her best friend killed and things go south from there. There is a journey to Europe, hopping from city to city, midnight rendezvous, hooded people and lots of scrumptious danger. Throw in betrayal and heartbreak and you’ve got the marvelously addictive The Book of Blood and Shadow.

Got th
3.5 stars

This is a review of the audio book which I enjoyed over a two week period.

This book would definitely appeal to young adult fans of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons. It has a similar premise of a mysterious manuscript, secret societies, and some sort of religious doomsday machine called the Lumen Dei. It also takes place in Prague and the city as a backdrop to the story really adds to the intrigue. Picture young Americans abroad for the first time in a foreign country and i
I am Bastet
If you liked The Da Vinci Code or National Treasure, you might like this book. It has a lot of the same kind of searching through history to unlock some tantalizing, buried secret. A bit of that journey relies on heavy coincidences (even heavier than in The Da Vinci Code) and a couple of pretty ridiculous paths filled with clues, but once the mystery gets going, it's not a bad one.

Unfortunately, that historical mystery was the only thing I enjoyed about this book. The beginning was long and fail
Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
3.5 stars

This book was definitely intriguing!

I really enjoy stories where we are told that an event has taken place, in this case the murder of Chris, and then we go back and we see the events leading up to the crime. And I do appreciate when this is done all in one part of the story without constant time jumps as that can sometimes be confusing for the reader.

I will say though that this story, for me, did get a little bit long winded in parts and also a little bit confusing. I was definitely in
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Robin Wasserman by accident (with the Cold Awakening trilogy) a couple of years ago, when looking for Scott Westerfeld's books. I haven't read anything by her since then, so I'd forgotten what a fantastic writer she is.

Part of my attraction to this book was the setting. I'm fascinated by Prague, and it's near the top of my list for cities I'd visit if I were independently wealthy and could spend my days traveling. Wasserman certainly does the setting justice: the dual storyline, wit
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
ABSOLUTELY fantastic. Review coming soon (I'm not going to read another book all weekend until I catch up on my reviews) ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Free Books, .99, ...: The Book of Blood and Shadow Giveaway 1 21 Aug 21, 2012 06:44PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Picks: The Book of Blood and Shadow 1 9 Jul 11, 2012 09:16AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Unwritten Rule
  • Endangered (Ape Quartet #1)
  • Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)
  • Top secret
  • Naïla de Brume (Filles de Lune, #1)
  • Forsaken (The Demon Trappers, #1)
  • Compromised
  • Fateful
  • Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)
  • Kringe in 'n Bos
  • Cinder: Chapters 1-5
  • Fiela se Kind
  • The Dark Glamour (666 Park Avenue, #2)
  • Almost Perfect
  • Good Girls Lie
  • The Fifth Petal
  • Perennials
  • The Last Queen
See similar books…
Robin Wasserman is the author of the novels MOTHER DAUGHTER WIDOW WIFE (June 2020) and GIRLS ON FIRE. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and several short story anthologies. A recent MacDowell Colony fellow, she is also the New York Times bestselling author of more than ten novels for young adults and teaches in the low-residency MFA program ...more

News & Interviews

Psychological thrillers that will leave your head spinning. Cold cases, detectives hot on a trail, unreliable narrators, and a dash of poison...
146 likes · 85 comments
“But things don't just fall apart. People break them.” 42 likes
“You don't even realize you're living in a before until you wake up one day and find yourself in an after.” 25 likes
More quotes…