Saturday, August 18, 2012

Early Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

Book: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
Genre: Paranormal / Mystery
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Where Did I Get This Book: For Review, From Strange Chemistry
First Sentence:
"The first time Miranda Blackwood checked the back of her closet for a portal to another world she was eleven."
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.

The concept behind Blackwood was genius. The vanishing of the settlers has been a mystery that people have been speculating about for hundreds of years. It’s one of the most famous mysteries in American history and is the perfect opportunity to spin an amazing paranormal tale- which is exactly what Bond does. Blackwood is packed full with excitement, mystery and general creepiness.

I loved both main characters (Miranda and Phillips). They both had such a determined spark that made them easy to fall in love with. Plus, they both possess the snarky gene, which happens to be one of my favorite qualities in characters.

The setup of the book confused me at times; mainly when the author would switch perspectives. Let me try and explain this. Every so often the author would switch perspectives to an unknown character; usually one of the missing people. These sections would be italicized and talked about random things, like going out with girls the night before, opening doors and eating donuts. Let’s just say I found it incredibly confusing. Not only do you not know who you are reading about, you don’t really know what you are reading about. It certainly threw me off and interrupted the flow of the story.

I also felt like the plotline got a little over ambitious as the book progressed. Things became entirely too complicated. I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys, but I felt like the author was pulling in all these different elements towards the end that weren’t all that necessary. It just ended up jumbling things in my head and making it difficult to focus on the key points of the story.

But, all in all, I found Blackwood to be terribly exciting. Sure, there were little faults with the book, but in the grand scheme of things I enjoyed it. I wanted, needed to know what was going to happen to Miranda and Phillips and that kept me turning the pages. I can forgive being slightly confused at times and the choppiness of the pacing because the story kept me wanting to read it.

Oh and one last thing I noted, it is mentioned in the book that Miranda's mom loved Blondie and her favorite Blondie song is Heartbreaker. I'm pretty sure there is no Blondie song called Heartbreaker - that's a Pat Benatar song. Could it be Heart of Glass?

Favorite Quotes:
Moms were psychic and evil.
Miranda's mom had taught her that while eyes were important, music was the real window to someone's soul.
His body trembled against hers. She held on, afraid that if she let go he'd be gone forever.
Miranda tore through the woods like a chupacabra chased her.
"You're eyes," she said, waving her hand next to her own. "I can tell when you aren't alone in there."
Letting other people have this much power over you is dangerous.
"No. We are our families. Both of us. We are the baggage twins. That much, I get."
"Bullfrak," Miranda said. "It's for power. If you're pretending this is about something else, even to yourself, then frak you, you delusional murdering excuse for a nutty professor."
"Morning, creepy people."
He touched it. He danced with her. He wanted her. She officially had devil cooties.
His forehead rested against her own. She expereinced a weird sensation - an eaiser time breathing, a harder time breathing.



Lisa Mandina said...

I kind of felt the same way towards the end, like all of a sudden we had all these other things going on, that weren't necessarily needed. But I did like the book too. You can check out my review here.

You won't believe this Fishing Lodge Alaska Website said...

Wonderful ghost story. Wonderful family saga. Interesting mystery. This is not a light, easy read (although I tore through it very quickly). This is a thoughtful chewy story and I am so glad I read it.

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