Title: Strange Alchemy

Author: Gwenda Bond

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Genres: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publishers via netgalley to review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Gwenda Bond’s first book Blackwood has been reimagined and brought back to life with new vision. On 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 Phillip Rawling, the sherrif’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.


i found the idea of a modern roanoke mystery absolutely intriguing. i love the way gwenda bond has twisted this historical tale into a modern paranormal mystery. it’s very different from what i was expecting and completely surpassed my expectations.

in all honesty, i thought this involved time travel of some kind. i thought it was a historical, not an urban fantasy. i didn’t realise it was a modern version of what had previously happened. after reading some reviews on goodreads for blackwood, the original version of this book, i was a little weary. i thought i wouldn’t like it at all. i think going in with low hopes helped me to enjoy it more (it’s hard to be let down if you already expect it to be crap, y’know?).

the writing style was almost zombie/post apocalyptic in the sense that everyone’s disappeared. i found it very interesting the way strange alchemy was set out. i wish there was a little more backstory with the blackwoods and the whole roanoke thing. there were many cool ideas that gwenda bond presented.

i really liked miranda. i found her cool and relatable. some of the other characters (mostly the adults) were kinda just shoved off to the side and weren’t fleshed out very much. because of this, they’re hard to connect and relate to.

overall, strange alchemy was a good book that i’m glad i had the opportunity to read. it’s not the usual sort of book that i’d normally pick up, but i found it very interesting and made me think more about the actual plot rather than everything being handed to me on a silver platter.

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