Monday, October 29, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow (YA)

The Book of Blood and Shadow. Robin Wasserman. 2012. Random House. 448 pages.

I thought this one started out with a lot of potential. The opening chapter was great, I thought. I definitely wanted to love this one, but, by the end, I had lost my enthusiasm. (I do think others may enjoy this one more than I did.) This unsolved mystery case, which spans several centuries, begins as a translation project for several college students, Max and Chris, and a high school student, our heroine, Nora. The guys are assigned one part of the project, Nora another. Her project includes translating the private letters of Elizabeth Weston. She's looking for clues as to what she has to say about her father's work, and/or her brother's work on this mystery book. Nora becomes involved in her project and Elizabeth's life starts to fascinate her. (Nora's friends aren't always excited to hear about it.) But Nora's "unimportant" private letters become extremely important, but it takes attempted murder (the professor), theft (of the letters), and murder (of her very very best friend) for it all to become clear to her. With each chapter things become more and more complicated. It has plenty of action and suspense plus secrets, lies, betrayals, etc.

If I had cared about the characters more, I think this one would have been a better read for me. The mystery with its dozens of clues wasn't enough to hold my interest. I do think it may work for others better.

Read The Book of Blood and Shadows
  • If you like mystery/suspense/thriller novels with puzzles, mysteries, riddles, codes to solve, etc.
  • If you are looking for a gothic/horror read
  • If you have a special fondness for heroines and heroes that love Latin 

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


BlackHeart 9:19 PM  

I have to admit that cover is really awesome. It makes me want to pick it up and give it a try. I just might check to see if the library has it.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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