Maria's Reviews > Blackwood

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
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's review
Sep 18, 12

bookshelves: review-books, owned-books, arc
Read from September 03 to 15, 2012

Originally posted on my blog:

I really loved the cover ever since I first saw it. The snake is starting to come alive and is binding her, which fits well into the story. And if you look closely you can see the number 114 on her arm. That, of course, is a reference to the 114 people who disappeared on Roanoke Island.

(4/5) The writing really had a storytelling feel to it and I like how it added to the sombre feel of the world.

(5/5) The book is set on Roanoke Island and I don't know about you but I always love tight-nit towns and islands. In Blackwood the setting had a very sleepy and dreary kind of feel to it (I hope I'm getting across what I mean by that) and I really loved that tone.

Miranda really loves the Waterside Theater and The Lost Colony plays they do, I honestly couldn't help but be charmed by this theater (the theater actually does exist, now I wanna see The Lost Colony play!!!). I've also always been fascinated and curious about the Roanoke Colony. Miranda actually perfectly put my thoughts about it into words:

"Disappearing was some trick to pull off, even hundreds of years ago when there were more wild places left. The standard theories involved bad endings and tragedy. Even on such a humid night, not knowing - knowing that no one would ever know the truth - was enough to give her a small shiver."

So I really did enjoy the setting of Roanoke Island with its deep mystery of the disappearance of the colony. Despite my interest, I didn't really read a lot of fictional works about the lost colony (maybe I should try reading actual facts, but where's the fun in that?), though there was the Blue Bloods series and this one episode of Supernatural.

(4/5) The plot was really engaging in the beginning as you start wondering where the 114 people in present time disappeared to. Around the middle I found the plot got, I don't know, a little odd I guess - the part where we got into the meat of why the people disappeared. The book picked up smoothly after that and the ending was good but the revelation could've been pulled off better.

Main Character:
(4/5) The folks of Roanoke Island constantly pick on Miranda Blackwood. Apparently nothing good comes out of the Blackwoods, plus it doesn't help that her father is a drunk. Because of this, Miranda is closed off to others and mostly keeps to herself. She tries to provide for her and her father and was very independent, but you could tell she was also very lonely. I had a grasp of what kind of person Miranda was right from the beginning and I give the author props for that.

Other Characters:
(5/5) I'm not sure if Philips should also go under main character (I think he was just as important as Miranda plus their P.O.V. was evenly split). Philips is the Police Chief's son and a well-known troublemaker. Little do people know that his antics were done so he could purposefully be kicked out of the island to escape the voices he hears in his head. Philips was very kind but he was also mischievous. And I really loved his close relationship with his mother, Sara (who was a good character too!). As far as characters go, there weren't really much central ones except for:

Philips' Parents

Dr. Whitson - dubbed Dr. Rosewell because of his crackpot theories on The Lost Colony

Bone - Dr. Whitson's son who constantly torments Miranda

Sidekick - Miranda's lovable golden retriever

Of course there were a couple of others (like Miranda's dad), but I think these are the most important ones.

(3/5) We didn't know who the villain was until around the middle, it was pretty surprising for me (either that or I'm just slow). I think the villain over-stepped cliche bad guy territory because they were concerned about something besides their world scheming goal but more could've been done to make them more of an original character. Though I did like how the author tied this character to the The Lost Colony mystery.

(5/5) Miranda and Philips had so much chemistry. Right from the beginning I was rooting for them, plus their relationship seemed so believable!

Other Comments:
I loved all the mentions of The Vampire Diaries TV series (big fan!) in the book.

(30/35) I loved the dreary and sombre feel of the book, the plot had me from the beginning and it was a haunting take on the mystery of The Lost Colony.

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