Tuesday 9 April 2013

Book Review -Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Title: Blackwood
 Author: Gwenda Bond
Series: N/A
Published:  4 September 2012 by Strange Chemistry
Length: 416 pages
Source: Publisher
Other info: This is Gwenda’s debut.
Summary : 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.

Review: Many many years ago, 114 people disappeared for no reason from Roanoke Island. Modern day Roanoake, anotoehr 114 people have gone. Miranda and Phillips are two random teenagers, both outcasts due to her connection to the island and his hearing voices of the dead, who take on the task of finding out what happened to them, both the many years ago and today.
I love books with modern takes on history and legends. Especially legeneds that I haven’t heard of. It’s set up really well. The opening scene tells both the legend and gives a quick view of Miranda. The whole opening was really exciting, and a fantasy/mystery book was starting to come along well.
Miranda, I liked. She’s determined to find out what happened, mainly because her father got killed at the same time as these new people disappeared. Phillips, I found a bit annoying and I’m not sure why. Roswell and Bane, I really didn’t get at all.
I t was all about the two thirds mark when things srarted happening that weer really weird. I liked the introduction of John Dee and the alchemists but we get told things and go in multiple ddirections that didn’t always make sense and were quite hard to  follow. The ending, I was just...what.
The writing was ok. There’s a lot of Fraks, which makes the actual F word look really out of place.  The pacing is good to begin with, but towards the end, it’s hard to understand.
I’ve read a few things with Dee and Elizabethan-era magic crossed over with contemporary things. I like this mix, both in general, and here, and the mystery and the setting works.
Overall:  Strength 2 tea to a book with really nice ideas that I couldn’t get into.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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