Blackwood is the debut novel from a talented new voice in YA fiction. Gwenda Bond has taken as her inspiration America's oldest mystery. In 1587 114 men, women and children settled an English colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. As supplies ran low John White one of the founders returned by ship to England, caught up in the war against the Spanish, White could not return until 1590. He returned to Roanoke to find it deserted and the disappearance of the 114 people including White's granddaughter; Virginia Dare the first English child born in America remains a mystery. Gwenda Bond's tale begins with Miranda Blackwood who from an early age develops an obsession with this mystery and works backstage at the Waterside theatre in Roanoke on a re-enactment of The Lost Colony for tourists. During a performance one night Miranda sees a strange shadow ship. That’s just the first of a series of strange events as once again 114 people go missing from the Island, including it seems Miranda's Dad. She must work with Phillips a teen who can hear the voices of the dead, even though he swore he would never return, the Island has drawn him back. They must unravel the mystery of the original settlers and the new disappearances, before it's too late. There is alchemy, murder, mystery and dark magic combining to make this an edgy, edge of the seat thriller which will appeal to fans of Marcus Sedgwick and Kate Griffin.
This book was published in September 2012 as one the first titles from Strange Chemistry Books, the YA imprint of Angry Robot Books. The team at Strange Chemistry are dedicated to publishing the best in YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk and Horror.