Customer Reviews for

The Book of Blood and Shadow

Average Rating 3.5
( 31 )
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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The Book of Blood and Shadow was a great read.  The characters w

The Book of Blood and Shadow was a great read.  The characters were well developed, with a great plot line.  It kept me guessing.  
Which I loved.  It was sad that Nora didn't truly know the people she trusted.  And the one you were driven to think she shouldn't trust
w...
The Book of Blood and Shadow was a great read.  The characters were well developed, with a great plot line.  It kept me guessing.  
Which I loved.  It was sad that Nora didn't truly know the people she trusted.  And the one you were driven to think she shouldn't trust
was really the only one she could.  I liked the spin of history repeating it self and how she was drawn into the letters and her connection 
to them.  

posted by lulu1800 on December 24, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

ok read

This book was better than I expected it to be, but not as great as everyone says it is. The book of Blood and Shadow is full of twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It is a mystery, historical fiction, and love story all rolled into one.
...
This book was better than I expected it to be, but not as great as everyone says it is. The book of Blood and Shadow is full of twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It is a mystery, historical fiction, and love story all rolled into one.

Nora is a likable character, but is also a bit dim witted at times. There are so many things that have been going on around her that she somehow never saw or never realized were happening, it is just insane. I got annoyed by her pretty quick.

Adriane is not at all likable, she seemed spoiled and obviously thought she could do whatever she wanted and didn’t care who she hurt in the process.

Max- well- I’m not sure how he fooled everyone so well.

All these people, Chris included, were supposed to be Nora’s best friends but yet she knew nothing about any of them in the end. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed at Nora’s stupidity, or sad that she somehow never knew any of her “friends” at all.

Even though this does not seem like a review with flying colors, overall The Book of Blood and Shadow was a good read. It was both entertaining and fresh. I have not read anything like it before. Now it does have similarities to some popular movies and some would say, another well known book, but I saw it mostly as an original work that is worth reading. I would recommend this book to older high school student through adults. Both males and female would probably enjoy this book. There is violence and references to sex, but nothing graphic.


I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.


Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com

posted by mrsinserra on August 19, 2012

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    ok read

    This book was better than I expected it to be, but not as great as everyone says it is. The book of Blood and Shadow is full of twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It is a mystery, historical fiction, and love story all rolled into one.

    Nora is a likable character, but is also a bit dim witted at times. There are so many things that have been going on around her that she somehow never saw or never realized were happening, it is just insane. I got annoyed by her pretty quick.

    Adriane is not at all likable, she seemed spoiled and obviously thought she could do whatever she wanted and didn’t care who she hurt in the process.

    Max- well- I’m not sure how he fooled everyone so well.

    All these people, Chris included, were supposed to be Nora’s best friends but yet she knew nothing about any of them in the end. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed at Nora’s stupidity, or sad that she somehow never knew any of her “friends” at all.

    Even though this does not seem like a review with flying colors, overall The Book of Blood and Shadow was a good read. It was both entertaining and fresh. I have not read anything like it before. Now it does have similarities to some popular movies and some would say, another well known book, but I saw it mostly as an original work that is worth reading. I would recommend this book to older high school student through adults. Both males and female would probably enjoy this book. There is violence and references to sex, but nothing graphic.


    I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.


    Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Book of Blood and Shadow is okay. It’s got a reasonabl

    The Book of Blood and Shadow is okay. It’s got a reasonable plotline, intelligent dialogue, vivid descriptions of a foreign country and complicated characters that are well developed. Unfortunately the frequent infodumps and the somewhat cartoony villains prevented me from really enjoying the story.

    But like I said, this book has some very good parts and it’s the characters that really shine here. Their personality growth and transformation after Chris dies is quite painful to watch, though it doesn’t evoke that gut-wrenching emotion you have when you really connect with characters. Despite that, I felt they were all really well-written and their actions logical considering their situation.

    The real villain in this story is pure genius. The beginning is slow and some might call it mind-numbingly cheesy, but I found that cheesiness cute and a great way to make sure we didn’t suspect the culprit. Like with all good mystery thrillers you’re never sure who’s guilty even when the answer is staring at you in the face, kudos to a biased—especially if it doesn’t seem like a biased—point of view. I’m rereading the summary now and still shaking my head over how blindingly obvious it is.

    At the same time, once he’s discovered I found the actions of the guilty person sub-par. Considering how close he was to Nora, his about-face is rather sudden and a very large inconsistency in his character. Some might say that because of this he’s very well written concerning how complete his facade was before, but I thought it was rather poorly done, almost as if the author was on a deadline and hurrying towards the end.

    Often the hardest part of writing is descriptions, and the book fails on this point for me. While there’s no doubt that there are beautifully written picturesque as well as sinister depictions of Prague, the fact that they’re dropped on us as infodumps really sours the mood. Same goes with how we find out about the so-called secret societies, and it happens too often for my liking.

    The secret society villains were also kind of funny. Often I got the sense that whenever they appeared they were supposed to evoke a sense of breathless terror in the reader, but all I felt was disappointment that I couldn’t feel it, mostly because there was little-to-none and all-too-vague hints about them. They were too cartoony and cutboard-cutout bad guys for me.

    Overall I’m sure that if I’d read this at a younger age when I wasn’t the cynic I am today, I’m sure I would have enjoyed this better. As it stands The Book of Blood and Shadow is not too bad but not too good either. For new readers, I suggest trying out the Cold Awakening series by this author first because it's much better written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Book of Blood and Shadow is a historical-murder case-with hi

    The Book of Blood and Shadow is a historical-murder case-with hints of magic involve. It talks about a young girl, Nora Kane, who lost her older brother tragically. Once she enters high school the only two people who can put her back together is her two new best friends: Chris & Adriane (who eventually become a couple).Then Nora gets her own boyfriend: Max. Everything seems to be going dandy. Nora is brilliant at Latin and spends her days (alongside Max & Chris) translating. More specifically Nora is translating Elizabeth Weston's (Historical person) diary entries to her brother. Soon an unsolved mystery is unravelled that is starting to mirror Nora's life and what is happening in the late 1500's is now happening in the twenty first century. Bad things are starting to happen: Chris ends up dead. Now it up to Nora, Adriane, Max & Eli to solve Chris's murder, unravel the mystery, figure out who Nora is and put an end to what is happening. All of this leads them to Prague.

    This novel has a brilliant plot concept. It part History and part magical fantasy. The author knows the past and it really shows in how she writes. It even states in her bio that she "once studied to be a historian". This isn't the authors first book. She wrote the Cold Awakening Trilogy & Chasing Yesterday Trilogy. Both of which I have not read yet, however I have on my tbr pile.

    As I read the novel I got to learn of Historical people that I had never once heard about (Elizabeth Weston, Edward Kelley, ect). The author states in her afterword section that "not much is known about Elizabeth Weston's youth" and "using my (her) imagination to fill in the blanks". Which I thought was pretty cool. I got to learn about people I have never heard about. To learn more, click here!!

    Robin Wasserman is an amazing author. I love her writing it is absolutely stunning. However even though the idea behind this novel was really good, I was not jumping up and down for joy about it. I did not hate it, however I did not love it either.

    It is fast pace and four hundred pages will go by in a jiffy, however I thought it was too long. It could of been shorter. The problem with The Book of Blood and Shadow is it has too much information. To much details a reader has to remember. So much details that I felt the imagery for setting and minor characters got over looked. It got confusing at times and I would easily forget the slightest details and then when it was mention a hundred pages later I would be like: what??

    There was too much telling then showing. I could not really get clear imagery of Prague. I just felt like a bunch of tourist names were listed off which made it hard for me to imagine them in a foreign country.

    I thought the character development for Nora was brilliant. That was where this book strive. Nora's loss of her old brother was really well done and you could definitely feel her pain. You could also really see the resemblances between her and Elizabeth. The translated diary entries were practically my favourite part of the novel. They intrigue me and kept me wanting more.

    The killer behind Chris's death was a little to obvious to me. It was not really hard to guess who did it. I was a bit annoyed with Nora's constant non acceptance of who could of killed Chris. However I guess if I was in that situation I would do the same.

    My absolute favourite part of the whole novel was : Eli & Nora's relationship. I absolutely loved how the two interacted. The dialogue between them was brilliant and how they slowly went from strangers to friends was awesome.

    Overall it was an okay read.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

    An enjoyable read, but one that was commonplace. My Overall Tho

    An enjoyable read, but one that was commonplace.

    My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the e-galley to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

    I had heard a lot of really good things about this book and so I was really excited to read this one. However besides knowing that people seemed to love it, I went in not really knowing all too much about this novel.

    Although I might not have enjoyed this novel quite as much as other people I know, I will say that I really enjoyed this novel and am glad I read it. Robin's writing was incredible and she created a story that drew me in from the very beginning. Fans of suspense will love this novel.

    I found the premise of this novel very original and very intriguing and I will give it points for that. I also loved the character Eli, which is weird since I don't think you were supposed to. I also never like Max and I think you were supposed to...so I must conclude I'm just weird.

    Anyway, I loved how Robin created her characters. They were all three dimensional and I loved reading about them. However, despite how well-written this book was, there was something missing to really make this one stand out to me. If you want to read an enjoyable book in one sitting, I wouldn't recommend this one. This one requires more of an investment, but one I think is worth it. In short, if you see this at the library, check this out you won't regret it.

    In Summary: An enjoyable novel, but one that I didn't absolutely love. Well-written, but it lacked something to make this really stand out.

    The Wrap-up: I enjoyed this novel and enjoyed Robin's writing style. I will definitely look into other books by this author. I didn't love this one, but it was enjoyable and I'm glad I read it.

    Love,

    Danica Page

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    This book is being touted as a DaVinci Code-like story, and it d

    This book is being touted as a DaVinci Code-like story, and it definitely did have that same feel to it. I had some trouble getting into this book though. I think the problem, for me, was that the story just started in the wrong place. There was so much time spent with Nora and her friends, the other main players, conducting their research, which, granted, was at the heart of the central conflict. And I did get that these things really needed to be revealed in order for the rest of the story, the danger, and the conflicts to make sense, but I felt like these things could have been revealed a bit differently. I would have liked to see the story start at the moment of Chris's death. The author could have then gotten us immediately into the danger, peppering in some flashbacks, perhaps, in order to acquaint us with what's happened leading up to this scene. The way it was done though slowed things down for me more than a little.

    I liked Nora as a character, and I loved Chris, but I wasn't crazy about Max or Adriane. Adriane and her attitude often really got on my nerves. My favorite part of the story was the mysterious guy that follows them to Prague. When they met him is when my interest was really captured. He was interesting, mysterious, and I knew there was more to him than we were led to believe.

    One aspect I really did enjoy about the story was the treasure hunt-like clues and search. That really got me involved in the story and kept the suspense going.

    All in all, after a slow start, the story eventually grabbed me and the story delivered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Whoooo...okay. I've been dreading writing this review because I

    Whoooo...okay. I've been dreading writing this review because I know it's going to be really scattered and mostly because I'm really unsure of how I feel about this book. You see, the parts I loved, I really loved...and the parts I didn't...well, they made the book almost unbearable to finish. It was so difficult for me to really get into and thus, took me almost three weeks to read.

    "The Book of Blood and Shadow" is being described as a YA Da Vinci Code, and that's exactly how I felt when I started reading it. Conspiracy theories, religion, history? Sign me up! I devoured the first few chapters of this book excited to get to the meaty mystery that was promised to come. Unfortunately, when I put the book down, it was very hard for me to pick it back up again. First though, let me get into the things I just loved about this book.

    I absolutely loved the writing. The premise was highly interesting, and written so well. I read this on my Kindle and I found myself constantly highlighting passages, especially at the beginning. I've always been a sucker for first lines and starting paragraphs, so naturally when I read the beginning (which you can find in my Teaser Tuesday post), I was hooked.

    Um yeah! AMAZING. And Ms. Wasserman does not disappoint as the book continues. I liked how it was written for YA but at the older end of the YA spectrum, and although there is a romantic plot line woven into the overall story, it's not a focal point.

    I really enjoyed the characters, also. Nora, our heroine, was absolutely realistic and although she gave off a very apathetic vibe, it was hard to dislike her. Maybe I'm just a sucker for smart chicks and she definitely fits the bill. The supporting cast was also well written and very well realized. Wasserman revealed the personalities of her characters at a great pace and even at the end, added new developments to them that didn't at all seem forced or out of left-field.

    But speaking of pacing...I could absolutely not deal with the pacing of this book. Parts that offered some background were given entirely too much page time and thus I found myself skimming points of the book. It was so hard to go from "Ok! Yes! fast-paced! I want to know more!!" to essentially not even caring about what's going on a few pages later. It was all too scattered and I really feel this book would have greatly benefited from more edits, especially when it came to the epistolary side story about Elizabeth Weston.

    Overall, there was just too much "stuff" clogging up that story that I cared about - to the point where I let the book sit and sit until I picked it up again, out of guilt. I do think that Robin Wasserman is an excellent writer, and the story itself has a fantastic premise, but I'd be reluctant to recommend this book to my friends. I would, though, be more than willing to read more by the author!

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