Reviews for Blackwood

Bookslut: “Bond concocts her own gumbo of story here, with a blend of mystery, thriller, paranormal, and romance to create a densely packed adventure that sucks readers in with a blistering plot pace but then keeps them riveted with some truly dark and scary moments. … Thoughtful teens will eat this novel up, and honestly, who could blame them?”

Heroes and Heartbreakers: “The fantastical mystery of modern-day disappearances on the site of such a famous historical disappearance kept me turning the pages, but what I enjoyed most in this novel were the characters.”

io9 – What’s more thrilling than a fantasy about the Chosen One? How about the Cursed One?: “Her heroine, Miranda Blackwood, is the cursed one, who bears the mark of the betrayer, and she’s also the most hated person in her small town. Blackwood is a neat spin on all of those YA fantasies about being special — especially when it turns into a story about ‘freaks in love.’ ” (Also: Fall’s Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books and The Most Thrilling Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming in September)

Locus Magazine: “Offbeat and imaginative, Blackwood mingles past and present, dark forces with a hint of pulp SF, along with many kinds of drama — from Shakespearean revenge to an amphitheater show where the island’s legend is just an entertainment for passing tourists. Whether viewed as young adult, genre mix, or a first novel, it belongs with the year’s best.” Also: Locus 2012 Recommended Reading List.

Publishers Weekly: “Bond has created an engaging mythology and mystery involving alchemy, curses, and past lives.”

Sacramento Book Review: “Blackwood was an amazing book! … This book was an excellent mystery, full of romance, ghosts, ancient curses, historical figures, betrayal, and so much more. I loved how the already intriguing mystery of the Lost Colony was given some unexpected twists and turns. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery and magic.” Reviewed by Delaney, Age 12

School Library Journal blog: “Other things I can say I love without being the spoiler queen… The historical/supernatural mash up. The romantic element between Miranda and Phillips that is organic to the story and never overpowers it. The examination of free will, of being cursed, of fate. Of whether something is a curse or a gift. The action adventure. All the TV shows and films that are referenced that I know (and, chances are, watching those programs and shows helped Miranda and Phillips!). A Favorite Book Read in 2012.”

SFF World: “Ms. Bond captured the awkwardness of late teen years, especially the unspoken instances of attraction between the two characters, very well in the novel.  She also did an excellent job of interweaving historical elements into the fantastical plot, something I suspect would make younger readers interested in finding out more about the historical mystery of the Roanoke Colony. Blackwood is an impressive debut novel for Ms. Bond and is hopefully just the first of many novels she plans to write.”

SFX: “Blending a real-life mystery with a supernatural romance lends credibility…with well-timed twists coming thick and fast. …sassy prose and characters you’ll miss when when the book closes.” “It’s a brisk, entertaining read. A very promising debut: I look forward to seeing what Gwenda Bond does next.”