Monday, July 9, 2012

The Curse of the Lost Colony...

Expected Publication: September 4th, 2012
Strange Chemistry (Imprint of Angry Robot)
ISBN-13: 9781908844071

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.


   Miranda Blackwood has been an outcast all her life.  With a screwed up family life, a Father who's the town drunk and a golden retriever named Sidekick as her only friend, she can't wait to get out of Roanoke and start a life somewhere else.  Phillips Rawling is a juvenile delinquent, the son of Roanoke's sheriff and can talk to ghosts.  His parents sent him out of town after getting in trouble one too many times.  Now he's been called back because 114 people have disappeared from town without a trace - just like the original Roanoke disappearances in 1584.  When Miranda's Dad turns up murdered and then mysteriously comes back to life changed for the worse, it will be up to Miranda and Phillips to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing people, why her Dad is acting so strange and how the family curse has passed along to Miranda.  Can they save the town before it's too late?  I have always been fascinated with the mystery of Roanoke Island.  I have curiosity about it still, but so little fact remains that we'll probably never know what really happened.  It felt like the book dragged quite a bit, moving slowly towards the action.  At certain parts this was a good thing but at others it bored me.  Phillips and Miranda's romance was cute without making me gag and I liked the randomness of their adventures together.  They both had a complicated family history with the original Roanoake disappearances playing a part.  I enjoyed it up until alchemy became involved.  Yes, it meshed well with the 1584 events, but I honestly am bored practically to tears by the actualities of supposed 'alchemy.'  All in all, it wasn't a major part of the book until close to the end.   I liked the book, thought it was very original and would highly recommend it to fans of unsolved history mysteries and YA paranormal fiction. 

VERDICT:  3.85/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is September 4th, 2012.*

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