{Review} The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

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Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Number of Pgs. 448
Publication date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Genre: YA
How I got the copy: Library

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've been using a new way of reviewing that I saw over at Making the Grade.  It breaks the book down and makes it easier to rate.  The way it works is each category gets a score out of ten points.  Then you add them all up + 50 (50% automatically for each book) and that's your score out of 100.

Plot 7/10: The beginning was so boring I almost DNFed (did not finish) it.  I got to page 40 and was going to return it to the library.  I figured before I made any rash decisions I'd see what Giselle thought over at Xpresso Reads(her review can be found below).  I'm so glad I read her review because it made me decide to keep reading.  She said that around page 100 things start getting good and she was right.  Around pg 100 it's like a whole other book.  So much excitement and mystery.  It reminded me of a mix of Pretty Little Liars and The Divinci Code.  The plot twisted and turned so much I was never right when I tried to guess what would happen next.  The ending was insane.  I hope this becomes a movie.  Also, is there a sequel?

Characters 7/10: I love when a story provides characters that you can't trust.  I couldn't figure out who was the bad guy.  Unfortunately, this was more of a plot driven story though so I don't have much to say about the characters.  They didn't really go through any personal changes.  I love books that have characters with depth so that made me lower my rating a lot.  

Setting 8/10: I loved reading about Prouge and it's dark side.  Nora's hometown made the story feel more real because we got to know the characters before they went to a foreign country.

Pacing 4/10: I almost fell asleep in the first third of the book.  But when the action started I didn't want to stop reading.

Style 4/10: I'm all for foreign languages.  I minored in Spanish for fun.  But the Latin, Chzec, and Hebrew every few pages was too much for me at times.  I do give the author credit for writing what sounded like letters from Elizabeth's time period though.  And she must have done a lot of research for her book to be so believable.  But the actual overall writing style didn't impress me much.

Final Thoughts: If you can get through the first 100 pages without giving up you won't be sorry.  This book has mystery, adventure, and a touch of romance.  I don't think I'll ever read it again, but I'm  so glad I got it from the library.
Total: 80/100 
“You don't even realize you're living in a before until you wake up one day and find yourself in an after.” 
― Robin WassermanThe Book of Blood and Shadow

“I believed in happily ever after as much as anyone, because Jane Austen, Prince Charming, and Hugh Grant promised me it could happen. 
But maybe that particular delusion was universal.” 
― Robin WassermanThe Book of Blood and Shadow


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