February For Weird Fiction The Haunted Reading Room's Reviews > Blackwood

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
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's review
May 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: may-2012-reads
Recommended to February For Weird Fiction by: Net Galley and Great Minds Think Aloud

A truly riveting tale of contemporary Roanoke Island, Virginia, “Blackwood” interweaves YA issues (loneliness, outcasts, the cool crowd vs. those shunned, alcoholic parents, misunderstood adolescents, and more) with the history of the Island, and with Supernatural overtones. Miranda, Phillips, and Bones are endearing and comprehensible characters, who seem like our friends, or even ourselves-easy to elicit empathy, despite their flaws and foibles.

What made the story even more appealing for me is the way in which Gwenda Bond intertwined the centuries-old mystery of the “original” colony on Roanoke Island-the villagers who were “there,” then three years later “not there,” with no trace or survivor remaining-as if they had simply been removed from the face of the earth-all 114 of them. Now, 114 more Roanokers have “disappeared,” gone missing, the night that Miranda has seen a vision of the audience for the “Lost Colony” stage play being swallowed by a Ghost ship. Her own father is among those who have disappeared, and it may be up to Miranda, and her fellow pariah Phillips, son of the new Chief of Police, to hunt for clues to the newest baffling mystery of Roanoke Island.

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