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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blackwood - Gwenda Bond

Released September 2012

Gwenda Bond
Angry Robot

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Seventeen-year-old Miranda Blackwood hasn't had the easiest of lives. Her mother died, she's been bullied for years, and her father's spends too much time drinking. Miranda never expects to wake up and find that another mysterious disappearance has struck her island - Roanoke Island. When 114 residents vanish into thin air, including Miranda's dad, she can't help but become involved in discovering what is happening. With the help of Phillips Rawling, a teen who hears the voices of the dead, Miranda sets out to unravel the truth.

Blackwood is gripping and takes a unique look at a true mystery, the Lost Colony, that's been on historians' minds for centuries. There have been many possible explanations for the colony's disappearance, but solid evidence has never been found. Most recently, an old map revealed a fort under a paper patch, it's suspected the colonists may have headed to that fort seeking shelter and food.

The storytelling is fast-paced and keeps you wanting to learn more. As far as debut novels go, I'm pretty impressed with Gwenda Bond. Blackwood does tap into the paranormal and even adds a touch of romance. For that reason, I see it becoming a favorite of teen girls. There's nothing horribly unsettling, so if you have a younger reader, say 12 and up, I feel it is equally suitable to that age group. In the end, it's a great way to introduce the historical mystery to readers and get them thinking about what really could have happened to the Lost Colony.

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