Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

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 (goodreads).
ARC provided by Netgalley! Merci

Blackwood is an interesting take on the Roanoake mystery while it tells the story of a girl trying to find her place in a town that rejected her years ago. 

I requested this book solely because the summary dealt with the mysterious disappearance of 114 settlers during colonial America. It's just a great mystery as to where 100 people went and what the word "Roanoake" meant, so I knew I had to read a book that explained the disappearances with supernatural elements. The general plot held my attention because it gave snippets of information about the newly disappeared, it kept the mystery fresh. I admit that I wanted to learn more about the original disappearances than the author delivered. I also thought that the ending/plot twist wasn't fleshed out enough to be truly shocking, it was more of a "really? Okay, why not" feeling. 

I really liked Miranda and "newly reformed" Philips. They were both great characters and both entered the novel with their own strengths and weaknesses, they did not depend on each other like some YA couples do. I liked how Miranda was so desperate to leave the small island life and was extremely reluctant to welcome a boy who tormented her back into her life. I also loved the small town feel of the novel. I'm a city girl so books and movies that depict "small-town America" always fascinate me. 

Like I stated earlier, the snippets Bond gave of the newly disappeared kept me interested and helped remind the audience that there was a mystery afoot while two teenagers fell in love. I would have loved for flashbacks to the Colonial days but other than that, the writing style was fairly solid. 


  1. Great review! I have this one for review. May need to read it soon. :)

  2. I think I'm more interested in the original disappearance than the new one. So I'm guessing this one might not be satisfying for me.

  3. Glad to hear your take on this one. I absolutely love the sound of the description, so I know I'm going to have to check it out at some point. I'm glad it's a good mixture of romance and the mystery.


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