Review No.84 – The Book of Blood and Shadow

The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman

Atom, 2012

It begins with a book – a indecipherable manuscript in the hands of an obsessive professor – and a research assignment Nora never wanted in the first place, translating the letters of a famous alchemist’s long-dead daughter. When she stumbles on the book’s solution hidden there, she thinks it is a passport to academic success. Instead, her best friend is brutally murdered and her boyfriend goes missing, leaving behind a trail of bloody secrets and devastating lies that will lead her into ever deeper into a dead woman’s myth.

This book drew me in with an intriguing title and an excellent front cover, but didn’t quite match up to my expectations. The plot was too uneven and not always convincing, and though some sharp twists kept it moving at a reasonable pace, the writing wasn’t tight enough to make it really grip me. I did like the complexity of the characters and their relationships, with Nora as a strong narrative voice. The Book of Blood and Shadow isn’t a pulse-racing thriller, but it was an intriguing read that managed to keep surprising me.

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