published by: Random House Audio/Knopf Books for Young Readers
publish date: April 10, 2012
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.
There seems to be a bit of trend going on in YA right now. Here we have The Book of Blood and Shadow that takes place partly in Prague. There's Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor which also takes place in Prague. Most recently on the YA scene is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo which again takes place in Eastern Europe/Russia. Interesting eh?
The Book of Blood and Shadow tells the story of Nora a high school student that is taking part in a Latin translation project at a local college with her friends Chris, Adriane and Max. After long hours together in the library and encouragement from lovebirds Chris and Adriane, Max and Nora start dating. This is an aspect of The Book of Blood and Shadow that I was fairly impressed with. I didn't feel like it was an insta-love situation. Their relationship seemed genuine and realistic.
The lives of the foursome are shattered when they are attacked for what they have begun to learn in their Latin translation of an old and mysterious book. Max disappears and a cryptic note to Nora says that he is in Prague and needs help. Adriane and Nora runaway from a school trip to Paris and search Prague for Max. They become embroiled in a centuries old mystery and battle over control of a device said to channel God.
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. I read so many mysteries and thrillers that it's pretty hard to surprise me, but there were a few at the end that got me. This book is appropriate for most YA. It might be a little advanced for under 16 just because a lot of it was in other languages and there was a great deal of historical information being thrown at the reader. However, because of that, I think a lot of adults would probably enjoy this book too. I also highly recommend the audiobook. The reader did an excellent job with all the foreign languages and if you're a reader like me, and tries to sound them out, she saved me from that laborious task!