Strange Alchemy

Gwenda Bond’s first book Blackwood has been reimagined and brought back to life with new vision.

 Roanoke Island, the legend of the Lost Colony—and the 114 colonists who vanished without a trace more than four hundred years ago — still haunts the town. But that’s just a story told for the tourists. When 114 people suddenly disappear from the island in present day, it seems history is repeating itself—and an unlikely pair of seventeen-year-olds might be the only hope of bringing the missing back. Miranda Blackwood, a member of one of island’s most infamous families, and Grant Rawling, the sheriff’s son, who has demons and secrets of his own, find themselves at the center of the mystery. As the unlikely pair works to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony, they must dodge everyone from the authorities to long-dead alchemists as they race against time to save their family and friends before they too are gone for good.

If you spend much time in an American history class at some point you are bound to hear the tale of Roanoke and its lost colony.

 Gwenda Bond took that historical fable or real life mystery depending on your point of view and turned it into one of the most original and thrilling stories in the YA genre I’ve read in quite some time. To give you some perspective I’ve read nearly 200 books in 2017 thanks to a darling genetic quirk that enhances my reading comprehension and speed and I am seriously NOT KIDDING when I say if you want to see what originality and talent combined can create then check out this book.

 She has created a well written and seemingly well researched plot, as accurate as you can get considering the complete lack of reliable information that has been found thus far. The lack of verifiable truth plays in Bond’s favor as she has free reign to use fantasy and the supernatural to fill in the holes with a masterful twist.

 Her dialogue sounds decent although it does have its “nonsensical” moments but when it comes to the YA genre that little flaw seems to be a requirement and she does still make it work for the characters personalities.

 I think readers will enjoy the main characters of Miranda and Grant thanks to Bond’s ability to create characters you can attach to and become interested in enough that you want to see how their story plays out plus she has a great mystery element that will pique your curiosity.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Switch Press for allowing me to review this book.

 *synopsis and pic from

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