Review Detail

4.5 5
Young Adult Fiction 2910
Wowza Tale
(Updated: April 16, 2012)
Overall rating
Writing Style
I first found out about this novel in Justine magazine and knew I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed! There's so much to love about this book which starts with this sentence:

I should probably start with the blood.

That sentence grabs you and takes you on one amazing ride through a story that is part Revolution, another part Da Vinci Code. But let me tell you, I read The Da Vinci Code and The Book of Blood and Shadows is written much better.

While translating the 16th century letters of a woman, sixteen-year-old Nora Kane is thrown into a world of mystery, murder, and secret societies. The whole conspiracy theory of an ancient device, Lumen Dei, that is rumored to let someone actually communicate with God, is intriguing. What really makes this story though has to be the letters and how they closely end up intertwining with modern day Nora.

Where do I even begin on what I loved about this story? First, it's beautifully written with characters I cared about. Nora is brilliant but also kind of a social outcast. Chris, Adriane, and Max are her best friends with secrets of their own. I love how Wasserman weaves in Nora's world without it being a backstory dump. The rhythm sets you up for what the reader knows will happen later on.

This historical/religious thriller also isn't afraid to question. I love that. After I read this story I had to discuss with others how far would you go to find out if a theory, in this case, a religious device, was true or not.

The lush settings include a brief time in Paris add to the story too.

At the end of the book is a link to the author's website where you can find out more about the people behind the characters and the truth behind the story. Yes, I went and read up more.

This story brings YA novels up to a whole new level. Intelligent, lush, and nothing short than amazing, I highly recommend it.
Good Points
1. Amazing tale
2. Revolution meets Da Vinci code
3. Beautifully written
4. Love how author was able to intertwine the lives of Nora with 16th century Elizabeth through letters
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