tHe crooKed WorD

As of April 30, 2014 we will no longer be posting reviews on tHe crooKed WorD. Reading is like breathing for us - and discovering new books and authors has been a wonderful adventure - but the time has come for us to move on. Thank you for your support, for allowing us into your lives, and for letting us influence in some small way the contents of your bookshelves.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Blackwood by Gwenda BondBlackwood
by Gwenda Bond

416 pages
Published September 4, 2012

This is a pre-release review. A heartfelt thanks to the publisher, Strange Chemistry, for allowing me to read it early!

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.

* * *

This is the second book I've been able to read from this new publisher, and I have to say I'm impressed!

I was only vaguely aware of the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke (and the only reason I'd heard of it was because I lived in North Carolina for a year). It's fascinating. An entire colony disappearing with out a trace? How is that possible?

"Blackwood" is a fantastic story based on the legend of the colony. The writing is incredible. It's hard to surprise me, but there were a couple of twists I didn't see coming, which was fantastic.

Thoughts on Miranda: It would be incredibly hard to live the life she did. The outcast not only at school, but across the whole island? A father who's always drunk, and mother who died when she was young? Picked on because of the history of the family she was born into? It says a lot about her that she could come through all the ridicule and be so NORMAL.

Thoughts on Phillips: A teenage boy who hears the voices of the dead, but only when he's on the island? Intriguing, right? And then he feels the desperate need to protect Miranda without knowing what the danger is. Hmm.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more of Ms. Bond's writing.

5/5 stars

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