Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published September 4th 2012 by Strange Chemistry



On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance. 



Essentially a good mystery with a bit of spooky history thrown in. Ever since I watched Haven I've been curious about the Roanoake disappearances. I thought there would be more evidence as to the whereabouts but it all went slightly in a different direction than I was hoping.

A stand-alone story.

Miranda grew on me. Initially I didn't take to her. Mostly I felt sorry for her, especially for the suffering she went through because of her father and his drinking habits.

She grew on me after his death although after investigating his hidden box and finding the weird weapon I would have taken the time to do more searching. Especially as she had so many questions regarding her mother.

She also gave Phillips the benefit of the doubt. This wasn't a romance with a bit of story involved, this was a story that would lead to romance once it was done. So many books these days put too much emphasis on getting the smoochies in instead of getting on with the story.

She did grow as a character but I didn't get any outward, as in looking outside her state, country, world. Because she'd never left her hometown I thought this was strange. We get the scene where she tries to go over the border but if she's spent so long on her own without friends I wouldn't expect her state of mind to be so positive.

Phillips, the second main character, had an interesting side to him. Between him and Miranda solving the mystery I thought they'd make a great team.

I didn't like they way the story went. A little too odd, and really contrived. I don't mind bending history but the way all the characters came back after disappearing and they aren't who they were before, well, it didn't gel with me.

The snake on her cheek. This wasn't really needed in the story. Great pains were taken to help us be intrigued by this but we could have solved it a different way.

Thank you to Strange Chemistry for allowing me a copy before the book release. I'm sorry it sat on my shelf so long before being able to offer a review.

Available from Amazon:

CB Note to readers: This is a new type of review I'm starting aimed to get to the point and exclude waffle. Points are easier to read. If you prefer this than the usual review please let me know!
It's been a while but I'm back reviewing now!

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