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Blackwood de Gwenda Bond
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Blackwood (edició 2012)

de Gwenda Bond

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16030131,575 (3.46)1
Teenagers Miranda and Phillips may be the only hope of discovering what happened to 114 people who went missing on Roanoke Island in a mysterious repeat of the disappearance of the islands lost colony hundreds of years before.
Membre:MelissaMarr
Títol:Blackwood
Autors:Gwenda Bond
Informació:Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot) (2012), Paperback
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read

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Blackwood de Gwenda Bond

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[This review is of the new edition of this book, now called Strange Alchemy. But I own a copy of the original.] This is a nifty supernatural thriller/historical mystery, with a dash of romance. A clever premise to explain the disappearance of over 100 people from what became known as The Lost Colony of Roanoke, in 1590. Teens Miranda and Grant get caught up the mystery when 114 people from the present-day town on Roanoke Island all disappear in one night. Miranda fears she is connected to them because of her family history, and the fact that she was warned she can never leave the island...and Grant has been brought home because of his unique gift: he can hear the voices of the dead! Together they team up to try to solve the mystery and save their friends and family, before it's too late and dark mysterious forces take over. Very cool mix of mystical and mystery, past and present. I also have a copy of the original version of this book, called Blackwood, and they're both fun to read. The change to dual-narrator first person POV for Strange Alchemy puts you more into the action, but I liked the third person version too. I definitely wish they'd kept the original cover art; it's so much cooler to see a girl's face covered in a spooky snake tattoo (integral to the plot, as well as visually fascinating) than to see a generic fog-enshrouded woods. And also the original title kind of stands out more, in my opinion. But hey whatever works, it was nice that the author got a new publisher to take on her first book and keep it in print. Read either version if you can get them. Great supernatural story! Sweet romance, too, very low-key. ( )
  GoldieBug | Apr 13, 2020 |
Good story, fast-paced and it kept my interest until the end. The romance felt a bit rushed but that's pretty standard for YA novels. I did enjoy the historical aspects and the new twist on the Roanoke mystery. Plus the ending was just creepy, disturbing and pretty cool. ( )
  J_Colson | Nov 30, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book, except...

...I felt like the author didn't give us enough chance to know either Miranda or Phillips, the two main characters. By splitting the viewpoint between them, we were shorted. Unlike other reviewers, I am not surprised by Miranda's confused reaction to her father's death, because children of alcoholics often are very conflicted about such things. But I was confused by some of her reactions to Phillips. I wanted to understand better where she was coming from... and their painful miscommunications, while realistic, didn't help me. I wanted to give it more stars, but I couldn't. Lots of interesting plotting, but too much re-explanation, not enough letting the characters express themselves. ( )
  tigerb | Apr 7, 2016 |
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 the end it took me a while to finish this book. I just had a hard time getting into these characters so that really bogged down the read for me.

Miranda is a dreamer and often loses herself in her daydreams and TV shows. She often wishes that she were anywhere but on the island off the coast of Virginia where she grew up. The island just happens to be the same island, Roanoke, that many people disappeared from hundreds of years ago. During the tourist season, Miranda works behind the scenes on a play that tells the story of the disappearance. One night, her daydreaming catches up with Miranda when she sees a ship sailing from the audience towards the stage. She interrupts the play and generally makes an ass of herself but she doesn’t care. Miranda has always lived as a black sheep of the island because of her last name, Blackwood. Blackwoods have a tendency to be a strange folk and people generally make fun of them.

Miranda ponders if what she saw was real, while no one else seemed to see the big black ship overtaking the stage. As she gets home, the dogs in the neighborhood all go insane. Miranda finds it strange but has no idea why and ignores it. The next morning she wakes up to find out her dad never made it home. She doesn’t worry too much since he is the town drunk, he is more than likely sleeping it off at the police station. She goes to pick up her father when she discovers that many people from the town have disappeared overnight. She believes her father to be among them until she learns the tragic news that her father was actually murdered. Miranda is devastated but she doesn’t dwell on it too much because she wants to know if her fathers’ murder and the disappearances have anything in common.

Phillips is called home by his father, the Police Chief. Phillips left the island to get away from the voices in his head but because his father calls for his help and the fact that he sees Miranda on TV does he decide to finally come back. He finally got rid of the voices and he really didn’t want to go back but he also wants to know why 114 people disappeared. Phillips is drawn to Miranda and together they try to uncover the story of the Blackwood curse, Phillips voices and why everyone just reappears as suddenly as they disappeared. (*Off the topic rant* I really hated his name for some reason. If it was Phillip I probably wouldn’t have had a problem or if he was called by his last name I think I equally wouldn’t have had a problem, but add an ‘s’ to Phillip and I just kept screwing up his name everytime I read it. It just seemed like a really odd first name to me. Sorry to any actually (first name) Phillips out there.)

I love a good paranormal/fantasy story but I had a hard time just believing this one. The witchcraft/alchemy story was explained but I felt like there were just too many loopholes. And the potential for an insanely incestuous relationship really grossed me out. The writing was good and I really enjoyed the unique story that I haven’t really read. Blackwood did alternate between Miranda and Phillips POVs.

Overall, this was really just an okay read for me. I struggled at times with the characters and the massive amount of questions that kept coming up with the storyline while they received no answers as to what was going on. Read it if you like history and want to know what this author interprets as the reasoning for the Roanoke Island/Croatoan disappearances.

Notable Scene:

No Blondie, but she approved of the bands she knew. She hit shuffle mode and play and learned something else about Phillips. He kept the volume cranked way too loud. Jumping at the blare, she dropped the iPod on the vanity. Retrieving it, she looked up into the mirror, expecting to see nothing of note. Just her own tired face. Frazzled hair. Dark circles. Etcetera.

The strawberry-colored snake crawled along the top of her cheek toward her temple. Unmistakable. A birthmark, but not hers. Her father’s.

No one heard Miranda’s scream.

FTC Advisory: Strange Chemistry provided me with a copy of Blackwood. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 22, 2014 |
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley.

Since I love historically themed books, this one really got to me. I liked it very much, especially since the subject of the Lost Colony interests me. And the mystery surrounding Miranda (the female POV character) and her curse was definitely a nice concept to read about.

The story was written nicely, following a plot that spiraled ever upward, toward the grand finale. I must say that the grand scene could've been a bit more impressive, but other than that, I don't think the story lacked anything. It wasn't extremely fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. The characters were realistic and made me turn the pages until the end.

*Miranda was the last Blackwood, who bore the curse placed on her ancestor long time ago, before the Lost Colony was lost. A curse that could root itself within her, and make her do things she'd usually abhor. She was a brave young woman, who took care of the house and her ever drunk father. She was also an outcast, hated by everybody because of a curse she didn't have any power over. If she could've, she would've left the Roanoke Island and never go back. But she couldn't. I liked Miranda, because she didn't back out of a difficult situation. She always wanted to help her friends(the very few she had), to find love and be accepted by society. In the end, I think after what went on, she'd get her happy ending.

*Phillips was the boy who ran away from Roanoke Island because he carried his own curse upon his shoulders. But when a mass disappearance of people occurs on the island, and he sees Miranda's face on TV, he knows he has no choice but to go back and help her. Because he felt she was in danger, and because the only one who could help was him. His gift/curse was the key to solving all the problems that the whole island went through. I liked Phillips because he didn't give up on Miranda even when she wasn't really herself, because he wanted to protect her even if it meant losing his life.

*John Dee was the villain, who came out at a later point. I was impressed by his powers, his ambitions, his love for his special arts. But what he had planned for Miranda was just gross.

In conclusion: I think Blackwood was a nice, easy flowing read with a historical mystery that could ensnare the willing reader. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in such topics. ( )
  VanyaDrum | Jan 26, 2014 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Gwenda Bondautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Wood, StephenAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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For what we sometimes were, we are no more:

Fortune hath changed our shape, and Destiny

Defaced the very form we had before.

Sir Walter Raleigh, Petition to the Queen
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For my parents (principals but never fascists)

and

for Christopher (my partner-in-crime)
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The first time Miranda Blackwood checked the back of her closet for a portal to another world she was eleven.
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Teenagers Miranda and Phillips may be the only hope of discovering what happened to 114 people who went missing on Roanoke Island in a mysterious repeat of the disappearance of the islands lost colony hundreds of years before.

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