Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Book of Blood & Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood & Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Atom
Published: January 2012

Rating 4.5/5

The cover on this different – the title is framed by a blue swirl with the illustration of a girl running down what looks to be a bridge – very appropriate for the book, and also eye catching.

Nora Kane is a high school student, and Latin scholar – she’s one of the best Latin translators within her year and gets given a translation task by her task master.  She is to translate Elizabeth Weston’s letters in the hope that they may shed some light into another project which Max and Chris are designated to translate.

Nora is has a friendship triangle going on – her first best friend is Chris, followed closely by Adriane, who is more of Chris’ friend than hers – which proves itself when Adriane and Chris become an item and Nora looses a piece of both her friends in the process.  Max, who also translates on similar projects slowly becomes Nora’s new love interest, and things are looking good – until someone breaks into the chapel where they are based, and events spiral out of control as Nora becomes increasingly fascinated by Elizabeth’s life and letters.

I don’t want to spoil the story by giving away too much information…but there were elements for me within the story which I rumbled fairly early on….and others which made this a page turning unstoppable read.  The storylines are woven so well together that it makes for addictive reading, with everything fitting together very neatly…most of it out of my grasp to hazard a guess at what the outcome might be.  I didn't find this as complex as The Da Vinci Code, or similar books...but then this is a YA and it still had me guessing as to the ending and exactly who did what.

My favourite character from this is Nora – she starts off as someone who views herself as invisible to her family and most people around her…her parents are locked into their own grief after the accidental death of their son, and they have unwittingly left Nora to cope with not only the loss, but the feeling that she is no longer enough.  Nora progresses so much and comes into her own as a character, especially towards the end when she accepts the reality of what has happened.

I think this is potentially my longest review to date – but that’s because I enjoyed this book a lot. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to enjoy this story, and I was really pleasantly surprised to find out at the end in the author's notes that not only are most of the characters based on real historical figures, Robin Wasserman has kept their names, and woven a story within history….that makes this book extra special in my opinion.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is published by Atom as a paperback original on the 19thJanuary 2012, £6.99
Source – Many thanks to Atom – an ARC was received in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

grace crawford said...

Great review! I am so glad that you enjoyed this book. I am reading it now. It started off very slow, and now I can't put it down. I can't wait to finish it!

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