3.42 (1,062 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can't dodge is each other.
"Blackwood" is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America's oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 330 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 27.94mm | 385.55g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1908844078
  • 9781908844071
  • 609,147

Review quote

"This haunting, romantic mystery intrigues, chills, and captivates." -New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith

"With whip-smart, instantly likable characters and a gothic small-town setting, Bond weaves a dark and gorgeous tapestry from America's oldest mystery." - Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of the Leviathan series

"A deft and clever debut! Bond takes some reliably great elements -- a family curse, the mark of Cain, the old and endlessly fascinating mystery of the Roanoke Colony -- and makes them into something delightfully, surprisingly new. How does she do that? I suspect witchcraft." - Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"Weird, wise and witty, Blackwood is great fun." -Marcus Sedgwick (shortlisted on 4 occasions for the Carnegie Medal, shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Award and won the Booktrust Teen Award)

"Miranda Blackwood's battle against her own history is utterly modern -- and utterly marvelous. She's truly a heroine all readers can rally behind." - Micol Ostow, author of "family" and "So Punk Rock"
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About Gwenda Bond

Gwenda Bond is a contributing writer for "Publishers Weekly" and regularly reviews for "Locus." Her nonfiction work has also appeared in the "Washington Post," "Lightspeed," and "Strange Horizons," among others, and she guest-edited a special YA issue for "Subterranean Online." She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts' program in writing for children and young adults. Readers of "Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet "may know her as everyone's Dear Aunt Gwenda.
She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and their menagerie: Hemingway the Cat, Polydactyl, LLC; Miss Emma the Dog-Girl, CPA; and Puck the Puppy, INC. This is her first novel.
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Rating details

1,062 ratings
3.42 out of 5 stars
5 18% (194)
4 28% (293)
3 36% (387)
2 14% (144)
1 4% (44)

Our customer reviews

Read complete review here: First line: The first time Miranda Blackwood checked the back of her closet for a portal to another world she was eleven. Last line: "Don't slow down," she said. Favorite quote: If she doesn't open the door pointing a gun at you, it's progress. At the end of the 16th century a group of over a hundred colonists came from London to settle on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. One day, out of nowhere. all the 114 of them disappeared. Men, women, children... they all went missing. Their disappearance remains unexplained to this very day. It's the 21st century now, and much has changed in Roanoke Island. But never for Miranda Blackwood. After her mother's death, her father became a 'professional drinker', leaving al the responsabilities to her. As if that wasn't bad enough, the whole town thinks her family is cursed. Bad things always seem to be happening to them. Miranda has always been reluctant to agree to such nonsense, but recent occurences are starting to change her mind on the subject. Like the first time the massive black ship with strange symbols appeared. It floated over a local theater performance and moved right into one of the actresses, forcing Miranda to try and save the poor girl... only to be ridiculed afterwards. Apparently no one saw the ship but her. The weirdo. The day after that, people started to go missing. About 114 people, to be more exact. Out of nowhere. They just went POOF. And Miranda was sure her drunk father was one of them... until the local Chief of Police called her to say her father was found. Well, his murdered body, to be more exact. Oh, and Phillips, local troublemaker and son of the Chief, is back in town. When the body of Miranda's father disappears from the morgue, his cursed birthmark in the shape of a snape appears in her cheek and the missing people return, acting very strangely, she's sure that something very wrong is happening in the Island. Something that involves her. And Phillips, who can hear the voices of the dead. Together they'll discover what really went on in 1589, why it's happening again and how exactly they both fit into it. And, more importantly, how they're supposed to get out of it. Blackwood was a very interesting tale. Intense and surprisingly to the point. However, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I should have. The characters were nicely written, the situations were quite attention-grabbing and the mood was well-set, but it still felt like something was missing, for me. Maybe the 'love' relationship fell a little short or felt a little forced to me. Or the alchemy thing was just a tad strange or unfitting, in my opinion. I'm not sure, maybe a bit of both? Anyway, it just wasn't a very good combination for me. I expected something other than what was delivered. I did love the presence of a heroic dog, though. A LOT. Sidekick was my favorite character in the whole thing. I couldn't wait to see how the author would make him fit in the story most of the time. LOL. She did a very good job. If you enjoy mysterious paranormal YA tales, then you'll probably enjoy Blackwood. I may have not loved it, but many others did. Give it a try and let me know what you think! * I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*show more
by Karla Vollkopf
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