September 13, 2012

Antiques Book Show: Showcase BLACKWOOD by Gwenda Bond

Now Playing: Strangeness and Charm - Florence + the Machine

Hello readers! If some of you have been as persistenly active as I am right now in Twitter, you'll know that several authors (either sophomores or newbies) have been releasing their great books out this month/last week/next week, etc.

Today, (since I'm only nine days late to the party), I'll be reviewing Blackwood by Gwenda Bond (an e-ARC version though)

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads says:
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.

In fact, when I heard the blurb a few months back, I was stamping my feet in anticipation. The tale of Roanoke Island and the way they carved 'Croatoan' has always fascinated me (not to mention, that one Supernatural episode that dealt with the tale, I was about to take it and put in my soapbox, running around like a headless chicken declaring demons were real. Hey, I was ten!)

Blackwood, is paranormal with a mystery scenario and contemporary romance. At first, I was excited thanks to the blurb so I went and got myself approved for the galley. The writing in the beginning, kept me enthralled. The story was being set up, effortlessly and some creepy moments where people were kidnapped, and then began forgetting lapses of time, I was ready for some demon vs. human action! Alas, the main villain isn't a demon, but he's a sort of necromancer. I use sort of because necromancer is more kind to him since a) the man didn't figure out any type of spell, he was stealing the work of a woman dead long ago and b) he felt more puppeteer and as if there was someone controlling him. After a bit, the story went in a cycle of figure the mystery out, get captured, a different part of the mystery comes into play, get captured again until the climax which was pretty cool. Though, the ending for me, I was 'meh'.

There were some cool parts to the story though! The Alchemist storyline (you know, they tried to make lead into gold way back when, but it was atually magic?) was interesting, if a little unexplored and a bunch of morons too while we're at it.

The FBI on a tiny island. OMFG, that was hilarious. And also, the FBI sucked at their job at points, it was super ridiculous (in a parody way, I bet you Ms. Bond deliberately made them incompetent because that's funny).

Phillip and Miranda were definitely... quirky. I've honestly never read characters like them before. I mean, for Phillip, you'd think that he's a 'bad boy' etc, but he isn't. I mean, not really. He values his family, even if they are a bit of a hindrance to his mystery solving and Miranda. WOW. You know how there's always sassy girls with (sort of) bad mouths. Miranda is a broken girl, hiding behind sass and doesn't use swears (but does say frak). She was a refreshing change of female characters in YA and pretty awesome.

Personally, I recommend this as a light read, something that you can breeze through in like two hours.

P.S Miranda's dog? Absolutely rocked. Read it for him if you wanna see dog hijinks that's hysterical.  

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