Friday, September 7, 2012


Blackwood is a YA supernatural novel by Gwenda Bond.

All the residents of Roanoke Island know their famous legend: Back in 1587, 114 people mysteriously vanished without a trace, besides a cryptic message marked in rock, from the Lost Colony.

Now, it’s just a story for tourists and a relatively successful play that Miranda likes to work on and watch night after night. It’s one of the only places the seventeen-year-old outcast feels sort-of welcome.

But she can never escape the fact that she’s from the island’s most infamous family and the daughter of the town drunk.

As much as she may want to.

When an event that eerily mirrors the situation in 1587 occurs, Miranda is suddenly dodging more than the ordinary insults.

Now she’s inexplicably being sought-after by federal agents and long-dead alchemists as she and an old familiar face named Philips, a teen criminal that hears the voices of the dead, begin to uncover centuries-old secrets…

Blackwood has a moody air around Miranda and there is an alluring quality to the creepy story of the Lost Colony, almost instantly. I say “almost” instantly because at first I didn’t feel the spookiness was wholly effective, but it didn’t take too many pages to convince me otherwise.

As Philips and his ability arrive back in Roanoke Island, following an extremely eerie mass disappearance, the atmospheric feeling skyrockets – as does the mystery!

Blackwood is a tense, suspenseful, tremendously unnerving novel that is lightened occasionally by an awesomely large wealth of modern TV references. But it is entirely touching and emotional as the climatic conclusion thunders to an end!

Here, Gwenda Bond provides us with a new story and likable leads that aren’t whimpering romantics or unrealistically stoic. Blackwood is an impressive, dark, yet undeniably fun, debut!

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