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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,132 ratings  ·  317 reviews
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 in
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Strange Chemistry
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,132 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey

This had a very interesting premise. As someone who resides in the state of Virginia, my interest was piqued when I read the blurb and I knew I had to pick this up. The first 50% of the book was absolutely captivating; I couldn't put this down and I just had to know what was going to happen. While I didn't hate the ending, I did feel it was a bit jumbled and not quite what I was hoping for. I know for the right reader this will be a fantastic book, but it fell just a bit flat for me. If
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
DNF @ 20%

No rating since I didn't get very far, not a big fan of the writing style. RTC
Everyone likes a good mystery and one of the most mystifying events in American history has to be the disappearance of a colony of settlers from Roanoke Island, VA in the late 16th century. The entire settlement of 114 people just vanished. All that was left was the word CROATAN carved into a tree.

The disappearance of a colony of settlers makes a fascinating premise behind Gwenda Bond’s new book Blackwood. Basically, this story was a modern day retelling of the Roanoke Island disappearances. At
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of YA romantic fantasy, historical based, dark fantasy
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical-based Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Recommended for: Fans of YA romantic fantasy, with historical basis, and hints of paranormal/horror

My Thoughts: So, when I accepted this book, I saw “lost colony of Roanoke” but not “romance”… So I was a bit hesitant about reading it once I had realized it was defined as such. However…

Miranda had a firm policy of never being the silly girl – the kind who went to see what noise that was, or who would believe
There aren’t that many YA stories written around the legend of the Roanoke disappearances, or at least not many that I know of, so I’m always excited when I stumble upon one. Such was the case with Strange Alchemy by Gwenda Bond. I hadn’t heard of this book prior to it being reworked and rereleased. Formerly titled Blackwood, two teens are at the center of this book, Miranda Blackwood and Grant Rawlings, and they’re somehow tied and fated to be together when the centuries-old mystery of the disa ...more
Colleen Houck
I really loved the idea of a traveling tattoo. Super creepy. I've always been fascinated with the disappearing colony of Roanoke. This was a cool explanation of how it might have all happened. Also love the dog! There are not enough dogs in books, I've decided. My favorite scene was the end which I won't spoil for you. =) ...more
I tried to get into this book. I made it by God's grace to page 160 and could not go any further. I thought with it talking about the Lost Colony it would be a fantastic and interesting book. It was far from it. The characters were so bland and boring. It just didn't peak my interest what so ever. ...more
Sheila Goicea
This full review can be viewed on my blog along with others at:

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Release date 08/01/2017!

Miranda has never cherished her family's name. Blackwood held something sinister within its ancestry, but no one really knew what. Because of her last name, Miranda is accustomed to being ostracized---no thanks to the help of Grant Rawling's accusations towards her openly at school.

When 114 islanders
Wing (bibliomeds)
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Read my full review here: https://bibliophilicmedstudent.wordpr...

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while ever since I was approved of the ARC. So out of the blue, I decided to start it last night, aaaand I finished it at 4am [#proud]. I simply could not put it down! The writing was super easy to follow, the characters I adore, and I love all the pop culture references and quirky dialogues. I’ve been wanting to read more YA paranormal and mystery and THIS BOOK WAS IT! It has got a nice blend
I have always be intrigued by the mystery that surrounds the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island and when I saw the cover of Blackwood and read the synopsis I knew I had to read this tale. Author Gwenda Bond offers her unique twist on this mystery. I found this tale to be dark, gritty and creepy! It grabbed me at page one and the mystery kept me turning the pages.

The tale begins when we meet Miranda Blackwood; she is working at the local theater where they replay the tale of the missing colonist for t
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
3.5 Stars

This was a bizarre book with a side of creepy, let me tell ya.

To begin I was pleasantly surprised that this book kept my interest at all, after just reading the synopsis that came with it.I just felt reading it, that it had a done to death formula, a misfit girl with some daddy issues and a rebellious boy, who used to make fun of said girl, but now finds her to be the best thing like ever. It didn't help that my favorite character was probably the dog, that I kept wishing would star
Ceillie Simkiss
This was much more heartwrenching than I was expecting, in the best way. Read my full review HERE! ...more
Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳
Date Reviewed:
10 June 2017
This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here.

Thank You Capstone & NetGalley for giving a copy in exchange for an honest review.

In Strange Alchemy, history is repeated when 114 citizens in a town suddenly disappears in the same location where it first happens many years ago on the same island of Roanoke. I stumbled across this book randomly on NetGalley while I was binge watching Amer
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Strange Alchemy
March 23, 2017

Gwenda Bond’s first book Blackwood has been reimagined and brought back to life with new vision.

Roanoke Island, the legend of the Lost Colony—and the 114 colonists who vanished without a trace more than four hundred years ago — still haunts the town. But that’s just a story told for the tourists. When 114 people suddenly disappear from the island in present day, it seems history is repeating itself—and an unlikely pair of seventeen-year-olds might be the only hope
Mogsy (MMOGC)
I do so love paranormal stories with plots that incorporate strange and/or mysterious circumstances surrounding real historical events, and this book certainly fits that description. Considered one of America's oldest and biggest unsolved mysteries, the Lost Colony of Roanoke was an attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in what is present-day Dare County, North Carolina. 114 colonists ended up disappearing without a trace, with one of the very few clues being t ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers


Ana's Take:

On Roanoke Island, hundreds of years after the disappearance of the infamous Lost Colony’s 114 (one of America’s oldest mysteries), the sudden disappearance of 114 people in the present day is the set up to a story that mixes history and fantasy as well as alchemy, curses and romance.

Two teenagers are deeply connected to this mystery. Miranda, a lonely girl from the infamous, cursed Blackwood family (discriminated against by all)
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Blackwood was really just an okay read for me, I had a hard time investing myself in the characters from this novel.

Opening Sentence: The first time Miranda Blackwood checked the back of her closet for a portal to another world she was eleven.

The Review:

Blackwood was one of those novels, I’m not sure entirely why, that the cover just called out to me and because of that I really wanted to read this novel. I had high hopes for Blackwood but in th
Karina Halle
DNF at 29% – no rating

I’ve never given a DNF to a book before. Even ones that were excruciating to get through, I’ve kept going. I’ve realized there are so many awesome books to read and there’s no point wasting your time. I will still find it hard to give up on a physical book that I spent lots of $$$ on, but an e-version doesn’t feel quite as devastating to let go of.

What were my issues with Blackwood, a book with a terrific concept that it failed to execute properly?

- Slightly juvenile writin
Sep 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Scialbo e trito. (Approfondirò più avanti.)



It failed to capture my attention from the very beginning: first the exposition on the history of Roanoke Island, then a short glimpse of Miranda, the main character, in a chapter that really comes alive only when the black ship appears (before we've even got to care a little bit about the character, since we're just told a few facts about her, and nothing is shown), then a short chapter in italics told from other point of views that introduce
Beth Fred
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
The concept is brilliant. It's unique for a YA paranormal romance. Nothing about this concept is ordinary. I enjoyed the freshness of the idea and some of the unique elements--like the villain's weapon, a bedazzled rifle, but this book fell short of my expectations. I started off liking the main characters, but I don't think I really like Miranda by the end. She made a decision that I suppose was courageous but really just seemed cold and calculating, and she didn't even seem to struggle with it ...more
Laura Martinelli
I’ve heard a lot about Gwenda Bond from the various authors that I follow online, but she was always an author that I’d read the synopsis of her book and just end up putting back on the shelf. I don’t know what it is, but there’s always something about the synopses that just turn me off on the book. And having read Blackwood, I’m still unsure if I want to give Woken Gods a shot. (I will also admit to being incredibly busy this month, which is why it took me so long to get through this book. Amon ...more
Sep 26, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Note: ebook received via Netgalley. Thank you, Switch Press.

I tried really hard to get into Strange Alchemy. I found my attention wandering fast and nearly made it so far as the 1/3 mark before stopping. Nothing of particular interest was happening. There were hints of the interesting and intriguing, but the characters were not entirely behaving rationally for the situation and felt as much a hindrance to my enjoyment as the pacing.

The author does a decent job of creating teenage outcasts, but t
~2.5 stars. This was such a weird story. I liked some aspects of it — Miranda and Phillips were likeable characters with a cute romance, and the set-up of the mystery was kinda creepy — but I feel like it became more of a muddled slog towards the middle. Some of it just got too over-the-top in what seemed almost like a parody of horror elements, and then one part of the villainous plot was just foiled so easily. Also, everybody who learned about the existence of magic/alchemy/whatever-you-want-t ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gwenda Bond is a great middle grade author. But this is technically YA, and ready like a middle grade with very cringey characters and writing. The plot trusts honestly didn't even really shock me or keep me going; by the end, I just wanted it to end. Not a satisfying ending, and not a satisfying read tbh ...more
Gwenda Bond's YA debut Blackwood is based on the true story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. Now I have to admit that I knew practically nothing about the legend of Roanoke before starting this book, the little I did know actually came from another popular YA book but since I didn't really enjoy that story I was never inspired to look up more information about the legend. That all changed when I read Blackwood though and I've since spend some time looking into the facts surrounding the Lost ...more
Truthfully, be it because history isn’t my forte or because I live in Canada, I had no previous knowledge of the real-life disappearance of 114 settlers from Roanoke Island before starting Blackwood. Alas, to say I was interested in the premise of this novel, which is loosely based on the facts of the mystery and expands on the supernatural-esque intrigue, would be an extreme understatement.

Miranda Blackwood, a Roanoke native and the town freak, wakes up one morning to discover that her father
Ole Imsen
I'm a big fan of history, so I was immediately drawn in by the historical connection this novel has. The Lost Colony at Roanoke Island will be familiar to anyone who's ever had an interest in the "mysterious disappearances sub genre" of history, and Bond really does use it to great effect in her novel. I was especially pleased with the appearance of one historical figure who is connected to magic. It seems so logical when you read it, and it brings the supernatural elements from history to the ...more
Originally posted at

The mystery surrounding the Roanoke Colony, also referred to as The Lost Colony, has always fascinated me. Over one hundred settlers vanished from the small settlement of Roanoke; never to be seen again. The only clue left? The word Croatoan carved into a wooden post. Where did the settlers vanish to? Did they assimilate into surrounding tribes? Were they forced to flee to Croatoan Island, now known as Hatteras Island? Or were they kil
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

To this day no one really knows what happened to the 114 people who mysteriously disappeared from Roanoke Island so many years ago. The current inhabitants of the island have capitalized on this mystery and have centered things around it for the tourists. So when 114 people suddenly disappear, everyone thinks it is a publicity stunt at first. But two teens from very different backgrounds know different and they set out to find the missing. W
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, history, magic, romance
I’ve come to appreciate books from the publisher Angry Robot the same way I’ve eventually warmed to Baen: unapologetic genre fiction that provides reliable escapism, free of pretentiousness. I was excited to hear about their YA imprint, partly because of my own literary ambitions but mostly because I’m all for more fantasy and sci-fi in YA lit. I gave Strange Chemistry a try with an advance reader copy of this book, and while it didn’t really blow me away, it’s definitely a good start for the au ...more
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Gwenda Bond is the New York Times bestselling author of many books. Her latest is the first official Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds. Next up is a rom-com duology, Not Your Average Hot Guy (Oct., '21) and The Date from Hell, coming from St. Martin’s Griffin.

Her previous work includes the Lois Lane series (Fallout, Double Down, and Triple Threat), which brings the iconic comic book characte

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