Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages: 416
Received: from publisher for honest review

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.

I really didn't know a lot about the Lost Colony until I read this book. I found it completely intriguing to learn about it as I read this story. There was actually a nice little introduction explaining the Lost Colony before you begin reading - which led me to read up about it online

I loved the mystery of the whole vanishing people, curses and the unexplained. And even alchemists are invovled! Oh and the cover is to die for - the snake is amazingly creepy - especially once you learn about it.

Miranda has experienced the Lost Colony over and over again, by being a part of the stage crew for the play that her community puts on about the missing people from the hundred year old story. Then suddenly her world is turned upside down and she is living the reality of the curse of the Lost Colony. 

I found in fascinating that Gwenda Bond could mix such an amazing mystery with a wonderfully written romance. The writing was very witty and had a lot of pop culture references that I loved.

Miranda and Phillips have this crazy relationship develop over the course of the story. They are thrown together when all hell breaks loose on Roanoke Island. Neither really know each other well, but the fates have pushed them together to figure out this mystery and to set things straight. It just helps that they have a little chemistry of their own going on during the course of events. They are like a daring duo of creepy crime fighting with their own dog sidekick named Sidekick. 
"This was a boy who lent himself to wondering about."
Overall, I love the concept of the book, the interaction between Miranda and Phillips, the creepy villain that comes to haunt her and the plot twists (some I saw coming and others I didn't). Also, the recent news about MTV developing this book into a TV series, has me hoping to see Miranda, Phillips and Sidekick live up to the book.
About the author:
Gwenda Bond's debut young adult novel, BLACKWOOD, is out now from Strange Chemistry, the new YA imprint of Angry Robot Books. Her second novel, The Woken Gods, will be released in 2013.

She is also a contributing writer for Publishers Weekly, regularly reviews for Locus, and guest-edited a special YA issue of Subterranean Online. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the Washington Post, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts' program in writing for children and young adults. But readers of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet may know her best as everyone's Dear Aunt Gwenda.


  1. I enjoyed this Crystal and am glad you did too :)

    1. Such a good read. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  2. Neat concept and Miranda sounds like a neat mc.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. It was a really interesting book. :)


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