Book of Blood and Shadows by Robin Wasserman



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.  Picture and description from Goodreads.com


I had a hard time trying to decide what I wanted to rate this one. I thought the adventure and the characters where fantastic. There are several things happening, a lot of suspense and mystery. On a more personal level I seem to mentally check out when heavy religious talk is brought into stories. I also do that with a lot of romance stories as well and I can't explain it. I can be really enjoying a story, but come across a scene that just gets too heavy for me and I just mentally seem to lose my place, get distracted and find myself having to come back to the story again later. It's the weirdest thing.
This story does not have any heavy romance in it, but it does get heavier in the religious stories as the story develops.
I loved the opening chapters of this book, blood on her hands, and a huge mystery that needs to be solved. One thing I can say is that this would make a fantastic movie. Like Angels and Demons kind of a movie, lots of action, secrets, mystery and adventure in foreign countries. An fantastic mixture of history and modern day mystery.
I appreciated the breaks in the story with the Latin letters that she was translating. I liked the historical feel they added to the mystery.
The story is very fast paced,  a lot of things unraveling and developing through every chapter that you don't want to put it down because you need to find out what happens next.

Beside my own personal detachment I had during parts of the story I still recommend it to my readers. This is one I am going to have to try to pick up again soon.

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