This review is also on Living for the Books
At first, The Book of Blood and Shadow was hard to get into. Even with the first sentence in the book being "I should probably start with the blood." That was enough to get me interested but after that it was so boring and confusing. It took me forever to figure out what was going on and who was actually dead (probably longer than it should have).
For the most part this book was a slow read. The pages and pages of Nora translating Latin didn't exactly captivate me, but I still wanted to find out what was going on. The author did a fantastic job of giving away little pieces of the puzzle as the book progressed and maybe if I was more patient, I would have enjoyed the book much more.
Nora was a likeable heroine. Even after all she went through, she was still able to make jokes and get a few laughs out of me. Her grief over losing her best friend and her brother was what made her seem more real to me. It was strongest in the beginning and while it did fade as the book went on, it didn't disappear.
Nora's best friend, Chris is murdered early on in the book and I knew that he would only be around for a short time, but I couldn't help loving him. His relationship with Nora was perfect and I just enjoyed his personality. I have mixed feelings about Nora's other friends. From the start I thought Max was just plain creepy. Something about him just seemed off but I can't quite put my finger on what bothered me about him in the beginning. At first I thought Eli was just as creepy as Max and with good reason. He was basically a stalker, but by the end I warmed up to him because of all the truth that was revealed.
The best part of the book had to be the parts about the Lumen Dei. It was fascinating to read about and the whole mystery that Nora had to solve that involved the machine was what kept me reading until the very end. The ending was also fantastic because it left it up to the reader to decide what happened to the Lumen Dei because it is never stated what happened to it.