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The Book of Blood and Shadow

The Book of Blood and Shadow - Robin Wasserman 1.5 stars

I can understand why this book is considered somewhat of a YA Da Vinci Code. However, this one lacks the quick pace, suspense and interesting details that the Da Vinci Code uses well.

Overall The Book of Blood and Shadow is long-winded and dull. The author included far too much information that just did not matter. It took hundreds of pages for anything to truly happen and even when it did it was not very entertaining. All of the constant translations of the letters and other pieces did nothing to heighten the entertainment value, in fact it often slowed the story down. I simply did not care about the Elizabeth from hundreds of years ago, her letters were as dull as the rest of the plot.

The plot involving teenagers solving this big mystery that people around the world have attempted to solve for years felt highly unlikely to me. Adding to the fact is the main character, Nora, is one of those characters that is supposed to be ultra smart but actually is stupid. The girl misses things right in front of her face and for all her whining about being distant from people etc. she trusts rather easily. The brooding lead Max felt like a farce from the get-go and Nora's relationship with him was forced and unbelievable. Plus, once she becomes involved in a relationship she turns into the typical whiny, annoying YA females that make me roll my eyes.

Another thing that bothered me was the way the author wrote about Prague. One of the features of the book I was most excited about was the location of Prague, but Wasserman wrote the city in such a negative way. It is a beautiful city and the descriptions used by Wasserman did the city no justice at all. Yes, all cities have bad areas and negativity, but this felt like Wasserman did not like Prague at all. Wasserman could have taken her long-winded style and described the city in lush detail, negative and positive, but she chose not to do so.

Overall, the book was not an entertaining read and I would not recommend it unless you enjoy the long-winded, takes forever to get going style.