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.
I had high hopes for Blackwood because the premise is really interesting... ESPECIALLY since I live within driving distance of Roanoke Island, and who isn't intrigued by the mystery surrounding the lost colony?! Unfortunately, Blackwood fell short of my expectations. While the potential for a really good story was definitely present, the execution was lacking and I was left very disappointed.
Blackwood introduces us to Miranda Blackwood, a teenage girl literally trapped on Roanoke Island due to an old family curse, a curse that leads the people of Roanoke Island to treat Miranda and her family like second class citizens. Not helping this is the fact that Miranda's father is the town drunk. Unable to cope with Miranda's mother's death, Mr. Blackwood turns to the bottle for relief. Miranda soon learns, however, that her father was seeking relief from more than just his wife's death...
Another mass disappearance on the island, her father included, sends Miranda into a desperate search for the truth about the lost colonists, and her family's role in the past and present. Aiding Miranda is Phillips, a teenage boy who returns to the island to help Miranda when he learns of the recent events. Phillips had escaped the island and the voices of the dead that plagued him while he remained in it's borders, but he knows that he will have a part to play before it is all said and done. Together, the two delve deep into the mysteries of Roanoke Island, their families' roles, their destiny, and their newfound feelings for one another. Will they solve the mystery in time to save the missing? Or will they lose everything they hold dear, including each other?
This book just sounds GOOD which is so disappointing to me considering the way it was in reality. I STRUGGLED to get into the story and the first third of the book was painful at times. After that, the story did pick up some but I found that I was only minimally invested in the characters. I think that the story itself has a LOT of potential, but the follow through with the story TELLING was lacking and the transitions were simply awful at times. The POV switched often and the transitions between them were very poor. In fact, there were times that I had to re-read passages to figure out who the POV belonged to! That was beyond frustrating and really pulled me out of the story at times.
My other major complaint about this book is the lack of explanation. I truly felt lost sometimes and wasn't quite sure what was going on and what the significance of some things were, and I really think this could have been helped by more information. I'm hoping that there will be some editing done to the book (I read an ARC through NetGalley) and that maybe some of the above will be changed, at least the transitions. I really think that could take this from an OK book to a fairly decent book.
Anywho... those are my thoughts. Worth a read? That really depends on you. It wasn't an overly difficult read so if you can get past the beginning, you can fly through it. I just don't know if you'll care enough to devote the time. I seriously considered making this a DNF but my extreme Type A-ness made that impossible. So I'll let you be the judge on whether or not it's worth your time.
Expected publication: September 4, 2012 by Strange Chemistry