The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman
Ooooh, look, it’s my actual copy of the actual book with the cover that isn’t as pretty as the American release. However, now that I’ve read it the cover does bare a certain relevance.
Below is an accurate visual representation of me when I realised what was going on:
I just… I just need a minute ok? While I get my thoughts in order, here’s the blurb:
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.
This book has the most amazing opening line EVER. “I should probably start with the blood.”
It pretty much did have me at hello.
I’ll admit that after the initial line it got a little slow but by the time I’d gotten to page 100, it had convinced me to see it through to then end.
All you really need to know about this is that it’s awesome. Pretty much this is the equally as awesome baby sister of The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones. Being a huge history nerd I was all over this, particularly when the setting changes to Prague. There;s a moment in a synagogue that really resonated with me because I felt exactly that when I was in one myself on my trip to Poland.
“But this building was five hundred years old, on a street whose stones had been laid five hundred years before that, in a city founded in the ninth century. Seventy years is noting; seventy years was yesterday. Seventy years ago, this synagogue had been a synagogue with rabbis and services and bored kids running up and down the aisles tugging at startchy collars and sneaking outside to get mud on their fancy Shabbat dresses. Kids who were in their eighties now or were nowhere. The synagogue was beautiful, all stained glass and vaulted ceilings.”
That was pretty much the paragraph that I needed when I was walking around the Jewish Quarter in Krakow.
All in all,I loved this, Nora was a little naive at times which annoyed me but were completely realistic and the beginning was a little hit and miss but other than that: excitement, angst, mystery, international travel, secret societies, religion, murder…. This book has it all.
In fact, this is the sort of thing we need a movie adaptation of. Now. This may actually be the first book of 2013 to get the Nick Fury Seal (well, except The Madness Underneath but we can’t talk about that yet.)