Publication Date: April 2012
Publisher: Random House / Knopf Books
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. (from Goodreads)
There is a lot going on in this book. Intrigue and secrets and hidden secrets and lies - friendships and broken promises and in the end, a whole lot of mystery and suspense that adds up to a really fantastic read. I was really impressed with this book's complicated and engaging storyline.
I couldn't help but be reminded of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series while reading The Book of Blood and Shadow. It has that same feel to me. Of ancient secrets of God and the unknown; secret societies and hidden clues. It was very easy to get wrapped up in it's world and taken in by it's mysteries.
What I really loved about this book was how different it is. It's a fantastic tale but it's not really paranormal. It's contemporary but at the same time, it's too far fetched to be real. It's a mystery but there are so many layers to it that you really need to pay attention to catch it all. It's also a book that really could fit any age range. The characters could just as easily have been in their 30s or 40s then their teens. The setting is modern day Prague, which was perfect for the story. While the scenarios the characters find themselves in aren't very believable, their reactions are. Especially Nora. I love Nora! By far, one of my favorite YA female characters.
I highly recommend this book to mystery fans. If YA isn't your thing, pretend you didn't know this book was written for a younger audience because it really doesn't make a difference. The story is one that will appeal to all types of readers, not just young adult ones. The mysteries will drag you in and you will find yourself unable to put this book down until you unlock every one.
As an added bonus, The Voynick Manuscript? The book that leads Nora and her friends on this crazy and dangerous journey? It's real! How fantastic is that?
5 / 5 Stars