The Book Of Blood And Shadow Robin Wasserman Book Review

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I really liked The Da Vinci Code when it came out. So much so that I read Foucault’s Pendulum and Holy Blood, Holy Grail and even wrote a college paper on the Knights Templar. To say that I enjoy conspiracy theory is an understatement. You guys, I am SO glad that The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman is published in 2012 and not 2003 because with how deftly Robin Wasserman handles secret societies, I would have inevitably been disappointed in the aforementioned books. Since you know, a really great book can ruin other similar books for you.

The Book Of Blood And Shadow Robin Wasserman Book Cover

The Book Of Blood And Shadow

Nora, main character of The Book of Blood And Shadow goes to a private school to escape her dead brother’s legacy at the public school. There, she is BFF with a boy named Chris who knows about her bother and his girlfriend, the garish Adriane. Chris graduates and enrolls in local college where he assists a crack pot professor in translating Latin texts. Nora, still in high school, does an internship with the professor as well and so does Chris’s roommate who is Nora’s eventual boyfriend, Max. One night Nora translates a very old letter penned by Elizabeth Weston who comes to prominence in the book.  The letter connects to the Voynich manuscript which is kind of a big deal and oh yeah the translation sort of results in murder and some international travel as Nora and crew race to find the identity of the murderer AND to assemble this artifact called the Lumen Dei.

I am pretty sure The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman was written for me. No joke, it contains THINGS I LOVE: Conspiracies, secrets, BETRAYALS OMG, cryptology, history, chemistry and BIG HUGE PLOT TWISTS. Plus, the vast majority is set in Prague which is like #1 on my places to visit. Y’all I was shocked at how quickly I read The Book Of Blood And Shadow, it’s practically a doorstopper at 432 pages.

A large part of my shock is because the language in The Book Of Blood And Shadow is not at all breezy. Like, I would say that Wasserman’s style feels sort of literary and I actually really like that. It reads as though there’s a certain polish and elegance to the words. But, I was never bored with it. Although, I imagine that the hunt for the Lumen Dei machine had a huge role in this.

I straight up loved The Book Of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. I loved the device of Weston’s letters. I love the conspiracy and how everything connected. I loved how imperfect the characters were and how I thought a few of them were definitely terrible people. I loved how much I was into Eli (TRUST). Friends, THIS is what I want more of in YA: awesome writing, historical ties and most of all MORE PRAGUE PLEASE.

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.

Other Reviews of The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman:

A Reader Of Fictions
The Readventurer
Bunbury In The Stacks

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This book sounds like it is definitely up my alley. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Da Vinci Code but I really liked Angels and Demons. Plus I love to read about Prague (it was a big draw with Daughter of Smoke and Bone). I like the way you describe the writing style too. Sounds like a good crossover book for adults. I’ll have to make sure I order a copy for my library. Not just so I can read it of course…:)

    Thanks for your review!

  2. I liked The Da Vinci Code as well and OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK! I finished it last week and Wow! It was awesome and creepy and totally intriguing. I loved everything about it and I agree with everything you said. I liken it to The Da Vinci Code in my review too! 🙂

  3. hmm, I liked Angels and Demons more than Davinci code, But a veteran of Davinci code, angels and demons and Lost symbol, I can safely say I am a secret society nerd. So i should definetly check out this one.
    And how is Foucalt’s pendulam?

  4. Yes to Eli! I was annoyed by him at first, because whoa straight up creepy how he followed her everywhere. But then I was amused by him; he actually sort of fulfilled a comic relief role. Then he was just awesome.

    How much did you want to push Adriane over while she did one of her crazy yoga stretches, which, unlike Nora, I totally think were for attention?

  5. This book is about secret societies??! Sold! I am so reading it. Ok, confession time, I only read that part of your review and then I had to come down here and comment. Im going to read the rest now and I will be back momentarily.

    Great Review! I love that this book has conspiracies and plot twists and the fact that they use letters. I love when there are clues, or items like letters to help unravel a mystery. This book sounds awesome! Thank you for introducing me to it 🙂

  6. I enjoyed this one too. And I loved Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons even more. I loved the research she must have done to make Prague come alive. I really want to visit there now, just because of this book. I also thought the language was complex — not for your average teen reader, but there are plenty that will eat this one up. Great review!

  7. Hahah, loved your review! Glad you liked it, this is one of the titles I’m looking forward to the most this year. ;D


  8. this book was SO GOOD and I am SO happy you enjoyed it!! and I like the Da Vinci code, too, when it came out and even liked the movie. I looove secret societies.

  9. I recently finished this book and I loved it too! It seems it’s reminding a lot of people of The Da Vinci Code and rightly so. But hey, don’t be ashamed of your love for TDVC even if TBOBAS blew it out of the water!

  10. I’m glad that you ended up liking this one so much, April! I know I was pretty meh about it, but I do think that it has an audience out there, and obvs you’re it! =)

    You’re right, the writing was almost poetic, and not at all the type of writing you expect when reading a mystery or thriller. It was actually the writing that kept me from thinking about it as a thriller, and restricting my thoughts to it as a mystery. I’m just glad to find someone else who read Foucault’s Pendulum!

  11. LOOOVED The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons and Digital Fortress and The Lost Symbol…can you tell I am a Dan Brown fan? Secret societies, mysteries, and world travel are kind of my thing (though I haven’t actually been outside of the US — but one day soon!).

    I am definitely adding this book to my TBR list – right now! 🙂

  12. So, after that epic FAIL of a blog post comment on your last post, I’m here to try again, because, you know, people lied when they said THIRD time’s the charm cos it’s really the second 😉

    Your review is insightful and funny, but, more importantly, it makes me want to pick up this book when I had come into reading this review with a mild interest in the actual book. I dig historical ties and watching it play out into the plot, and then THE CHARACTERS. I’m mostly looking forward to meeting them, because they sound like really cool peeps.

  13. OMG I need to read this! Conspiracies? Huge plot twists? History? Betrayals? What more do you need in a good book? With such a huge recommendation from you, I’ll definitely be checking this book out!

  14. Loved it! It was really intriguing and I wanted to know more. I really liked Nora and Elizabeth Weston. Plus this book and Daughter of Smoke and Bone made me want to see Prague.

    My favorite conspiracy and/or treasure seeking book is The Eight by Katherine Neville. The search for an ancient chess set plus cameos by Catherine the Great, Napoleon, and Benedict Arnold. The history nerd in me loved it.

  15. Your enthusiasm over this one is making me want it in my hands RIGHT NOW. I never did read The DaVinci Code (I was pretty young when it came out) but I do like conspiracies, so I’m thinking I’ll really enjoy this one. Thanks for the review :]

  16. This book sounds really awesome! I also enjoyed Dan Brown… is that a bad thing?


  1. […] Carol Oates (unsolicited) – I quite like JCO and am looking forward to reading this one!The Book Of Blood And Shadow by Robin Wasserman (unsolicited) – AHHHH nothing thrills me more than a finished copy of a book I loved. […]