Strange Alchemy
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 Grant 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.

Strange Alchemy Details

TitleStrange Alchemy
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherSwitch Press
ISBN-139781630790769
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery, Teen, Romance

Strange Alchemy Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARSThis had a very interesting premise. As someone who resides in the state of Virginia, my interest was piqued when I read the blurb and I knew I had to pick this up. The first 50% of the book was absolutely captivating; I couldn't put this down and I just had to know what was going to happen. While I didn't hate the ending, I did feel it was a bit jumbled and not quite what I was hoping for. I know for the right reader this will be a fantastic book, but it fell just a bit flat for me. If 3.5 STARSThis had a very interesting premise. As someone who resides in the state of Virginia, my interest was piqued when I read the blurb and I knew I had to pick this up. The first 50% of the book was absolutely captivating; I couldn't put this down and I just had to know what was going to happen. While I didn't hate the ending, I did feel it was a bit jumbled and not quite what I was hoping for. I know for the right reader this will be a fantastic book, but it fell just a bit flat for me. If you're looking for a creepy story that's not TOO creepy, this may be the book for you. Full review to come.*This was previously published under the title Blackwood.
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  • Kaylin
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 20%No rating since I didn't get very far, not a big fan of the writing style. RTC
  • Sheila {ShesGoingBookCrazy.com}
    January 1, 1970
    This full review can be viewed on my blog along with others at: shesgoingbookcrazy.comI received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.Release date 08/01/2017!Miranda has never cherished her family's name. Blackwood held something sinister within its ancestry, but no one really knew what. Because of her last name, Miranda is accustomed to being ostracized---no thanks to the help of Grant Rawling's accusations towards her openly at school.When 114 islanders This full review can be viewed on my blog along with others at: shesgoingbookcrazy.comI received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.Release date 08/01/2017!Miranda has never cherished her family's name. Blackwood held something sinister within its ancestry, but no one really knew what. Because of her last name, Miranda is accustomed to being ostracized---no thanks to the help of Grant Rawling's accusations towards her openly at school.When 114 islanders go missing---the same amount of settlers who had originally vanished from Roanoke Island back in the 1500's---her path will be intertwined with Grant's in ways that she, or he, doesn't expect. Caught up in the mysterious disappearances, the two quickly realize that they are part of a plot much bigger than themselves.----------------------------------This is a re-imagining of the author's first book, Blackwood.The first half of this book was absolutely arresting. I was so intrigued with the way the story was headed, and I needed to know what was going to happen! Based upon the historical mystery of Roanoke Island's (and North America for that matter) first settlers, who all but vanished into thin air. It is speculated that they simulated into various Native American tribes, but no one knows for sure. It was also one of America's first colonial mysteries throughout the influx of European immigrants!The cover is just as ominous and threatening as the tale being told. (I think it perfectly reflects it's contents.) From afar, the treeline looks like silhouettes of colonial-style homes along the shoreline. I don't know if this was the intended visual effect, but it works.I think this book made me realize how much I enjoyed the mystery portion of it, because when the "fantasy" began appearing more and more, my interest level diminished---which is odd for me, because I love fantasy. I felt that the further the plot went into revealing the truth behind the mystery, the less detail and clarity accompanied it. This does not go to say that the backstory was bad, because it wasn't. I felt that it needed a lot more detail.With that being said, I appreciate the author's interpretation on this colonial mystery. I could tell that she did her research, and combined it well with the story that she manifested. It was an interesting read. Vulgarity: Minimal.Sexual Content: Besides some flirting and kissing, not much.Violence: Some, including "soul sucking."3.5 stars.A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
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  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review here: https://bibliophilicmedstudent.wordpr...I’ve been wanting to read this for a while ever since I was approved of the ARC. So out of the blue, I decided to start it last night, aaaand I finished it at 4am [#proud]. I simply could not put it down! The writing was super easy to follow, the characters I adore, and I love all the pop culture references and quirky dialogues. I’ve been wanting to read more YA paranormal and mystery and THIS BOOK WAS IT! It has got a nice blend Read my full review here: https://bibliophilicmedstudent.wordpr...I’ve been wanting to read this for a while ever since I was approved of the ARC. So out of the blue, I decided to start it last night, aaaand I finished it at 4am [#proud]. I simply could not put it down! The writing was super easy to follow, the characters I adore, and I love all the pop culture references and quirky dialogues. I’ve been wanting to read more YA paranormal and mystery and THIS BOOK WAS IT! It has got a nice blend of historical touch and even though Yours Truly’s forte isn’t American history, I still really enjoyed this element.From the detailed writing and the building-up of eerie atmospheres, Bond has done a phenomenal job at having me hooked! I love how the book has dual POVs, and for the first time ever, I didn’t have a preference on which POV I’m reading from! They are both really good! I was gravitated towards the story more and more as I dived deeper into the plot whirlpool of mysteries. I simply could not stop reading [ok I’ll stop, I said that twice now]. It’s been a while since I read a book in one sitting, so this book made me feel good too, double plus. [And guess who’s gonna only read paranormal/mystery novels for her next readathon?]Now for the characters: Miranda Blackwood is used to being called all kinds of names by those who reside on the island. Thanks to her family’s curse. Ever since her mum’s death, she has learnt to keep her head down, been taking care of her father and follows the rules as best as she could. With literally every thing around her going haywire, she found an unlikely alliance with the sheriff’s son, Grant Rawling (aka our boy with a secret). whom humiliated Miranda in front of the school three and a half years ago. Without spilling anything, I’ll let you know that Grant is a darling, he deserves everything good in this world because he’s so so sweet, and kind, and caring, like, can I have him? he needs to be protected at all cost from this violent world. There are also quite a few secondary characters to keep track on but it was easy to follow through, so don’t worry if you can’t remember everyone’s name.ALSO, MIRANDA HAS A DOG. I REPEAT SHE HAS A DOG! AND THIS FACT ALONE MAKES THIS BOOK EVEN BETTER. His name is Sidekick by the way, in case you were wondering. [I had to put this in a single sentence because this fact is too important and cannot be overlooked].Moving on, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have a thing for guys who are genuinely sweet and protective. Miranda, given her state as a ‘bringer of bad luck’, never really had a friend (or anyone who will truly stand up for her), so it was heart-warming to see her getting along with Grant as they attempt to solve the mystery together.The next thing is a positive note, in my opinion, but it may not be for some of you: a slow burn romance (which may or may not be considered insta-love for some people) - BUT BUT BUT, it’s the good, well-executed Kasie-West-kind! AND I LOVE IT! Look, as long as the pair have known each other’s existence for a couple of years, I, myself, really wouldn’t call it insta-love. But hey, we all have our unique definitions, and that’s okay!All in all, I really enjoyed this thrilling novel! The building up of tensions, the small town vibes and modern-historical parallel really made this book a win-win for me. If you are in search of a YA blend of paranormal mystery with a dash of historical epic-ness (oh yes the fans of The Raven Cycle I’m looking at you), I highly recommend Strange Alchemy to you!
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  • Austine (NovelKnight)
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about Bond's work. My previous experiences with it had me loving one book ( Girl on a Wire ) and disliking the next ( Girl in the Shadows ) so I wasn't sure what to expect from Strange Alchemy, especially as it's listed as a revised version of her first book.I'll say this for it: this book is certainly different from the usual YAs I've read. I liked that it included paranormal elements without falling into the cliches I see in a lot of urban fantasies. The lost colony of Ro I have mixed feelings about Bond's work. My previous experiences with it had me loving one book ( Girl on a Wire ) and disliking the next ( Girl in the Shadows ) so I wasn't sure what to expect from Strange Alchemy, especially as it's listed as a revised version of her first book.I'll say this for it: this book is certainly different from the usual YAs I've read. I liked that it included paranormal elements without falling into the cliches I see in a lot of urban fantasies. The lost colony of Roanoke is a part of history that I never learned a lot about beyond mentions in history class but I found myself looking more into it after starting this book. This brings the legend into the modern day with another population disappearing, curses, and all sorts of mystery abounding.The writing wasn't as clean as the other books I've read by her but the story was fairly interesting. Though I'm not big on thrillers and I wouldn't necessarily classify this book as such, there was a feel to it that gave me horror movie vibes at times as the tension continued to build. And then... I'm not sure what happened. The pace slowed as details were flung out left and right, breaking down a lot of that previous tension and causing me to lose interest.There were also a few questions I had throughout the story that were never really addressed and that took away from the experience. I really am not a fan of stories that leave me with too many questions and not enough answers (side-eyes the  ReMade  serial...).Miranda and Grant were alright protagonists. Miranda's tough (and cursed) while Grant as some interesting abilities, but neither jumped off the page for me. I felt like they served more for the plot's purpose, that it was the primary driver, than the characters. Which is fine. I tend to find I enjoy character-driven stories more, personally, and didn't really feel much for either of these two, but it wasn't badly done. Though the little romance subplot wasn't working for me.Strange Alchemy had a little bit of everything in it and I both liked and disliked that. There's a decent amount going on and, at times, I had to backtrack because I thought I missed something (and sometimes there was nothing to miss and the plot just lacked the details to support a particular point).If you don't mind having a few questions at the end of a novel, and enjoy an interesting take on a historical mystery brought into a new light, then I'd recommend Strange Alchemy to you. It was missing a few things for me but was, overall, an interesting read.
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  • Ceillie
    January 1, 1970
    This was much more heartwrenching than I was expecting, in the best way. Read my full review HERE!
  • Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳
    January 1, 1970
    3/5Date Reviewed: 10 June 2017This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here. Thank You Capstone & NetGalley for giving a copy in exchange for an honest review. In Strange Alchemy, history is repeated when 114 citizens in a town suddenly disappears in the same location where it first happens many years ago on the same island of Roanoke. I stumbled across this book randomly on NetGalley while I was binge watching Am 3/5Date Reviewed: 10 June 2017This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here. Thank You Capstone & NetGalley for giving a copy in exchange for an honest review. In Strange Alchemy, history is repeated when 114 citizens in a town suddenly disappears in the same location where it first happens many years ago on the same island of Roanoke. I stumbled across this book randomly on NetGalley while I was binge watching American Horror Story. Any AHS fan knows that the latest season involved with the Roanoke story. I think was in a moment of being slightly obsessed with the show that I wanted to read more.I remember when I first got into this book, I started thinking that this was different and interesting. There were talks of a curse surrounding a certain family while theres another family dealing with a gift that can see spirits affected by the curse on the island. It was an interest play on a legend that almost everyone knows. The more I got into, the less interested I became. I felt that certain scenes and parts were being dragged out where it could be summed up or written quicker. It was mainly playing around with history and finding important pieces that could help with what was going on in the present day when citizens went missing, During the middle of the books, I felt that some of the same information kept being repeated over and over again. It was not to repetitive, but to an amount when you start thinking that you already knew that and want something new.In the ending of the book, everything started going in a faster pace as everything fell into place and information started coming from everything. I was able to understand it, but I felt that to many things were happening at once. I knew that this was sudden part of the story and every character did not expect it. I tried following the characters' action, but there were bits that happened and I had to think "When did that happen?" I was not sure if it was recent, or a couple of chapters back because I ended up taking a break from this book unintentionally. Due to that reason, I decided to let this this part go a little. It may have been my fault for forgetting some pieces after al.Overall, this is an easy book, but requires certain focus to follow up on everything. I loved the fact that this was based on Roanoke and for that I enjoyed part of this book. However, I just could not get into the story as much as I thought I would.
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  • ☘Tara Sheehan☘
    January 1, 1970
    Strange AlchemyMarch 23, 2017Gwenda 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 Strange AlchemyMarch 23, 2017Gwenda 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.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    DNF Se nota demasiado que este es uno de los primeros trabajos de Gwenda y no le llega ni a los talones a la Saga Lois Lane.Tenemos una isla y una familia maldita que no puede salir de ahí.Todo pinta bien hasta que te encuentras con un slow pace,puras obras de teatro que claramente son relleno y muchos elementos de misterio que están trilladisimos. Por lo que huí en la pagina 70.
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  • Kimberly Vanderbloom
    January 1, 1970
    I received a early copy from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I can't thank the publisher and NetGalley nearly enough for giving me a shot. Just so you know that I'm not throwing away my shot.I first saw this stunning cover and it made me stop what I was doing to read the blurb. Then in the blurb it tells me it is about Roanoke and I'm sold. I'm beyond sold to hear a take from such a mysterious incident. I've always been intrigued by Roanoke so it was easy to be pleading to read this b I received a early copy from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I can't thank the publisher and NetGalley nearly enough for giving me a shot. Just so you know that I'm not throwing away my shot.I first saw this stunning cover and it made me stop what I was doing to read the blurb. Then in the blurb it tells me it is about Roanoke and I'm sold. I'm beyond sold to hear a take from such a mysterious incident. I've always been intrigued by Roanoke so it was easy to be pleading to read this book. I couldn't wait to start this book but my darn vacation got in the way of me just devouring it. I did read it every chance I got especially on the plane which sparked a conversation with a fellow flier. I thought the author did a tremendous job and I am applauding her. It was so unusual and mind blowing that I found myself with my jaw laying open for most of it. I thought the character development was top notch and it was easy to imagine. The only thing I thought that the ending was a little rushed. There was so much build up for it to wrap up fairly quickly but either way I was entertained for hours. I would recommend this book to all of my friends and I plan on buying several copies on release day. One to keep, one to lend out and one for my book soulmate who will appreciate it more than I did. Overall, it is a great read with interesting twists and turns that will leave you with a slight case of whiplash.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all know I love Gwenda Bond AND the Roanoke Island mystery, right? So it's not surprising that I LOVED Strange Alchemy. Woo! At the start colonial America, a whole colony of people just disappeared. Some speculate the colony died of illness, others say they just left the area, and the really creative look toward alien abduction. If you're a Supernatural fan, you know they became zombies. Gwenda gives us another theory of the more paranormal variety.Miranda and Grant both have longstanding hist Y'all know I love Gwenda Bond AND the Roanoke Island mystery, right? So it's not surprising that I LOVED Strange Alchemy. Woo! At the start colonial America, a whole colony of people just disappeared. Some speculate the colony died of illness, others say they just left the area, and the really creative look toward alien abduction. If you're a Supernatural fan, you know they became zombies. Gwenda gives us another theory of the more paranormal variety.Miranda and Grant both have longstanding history (ahem, legacy) on Roanoke Island, both descendants from the historical colonists. Miranda's family are the town outcasts thanks to some unfair shaming and Grant hears the voices from the past. As you can imagine, this puts them square in the middle of trying to solve a mystery when the same number of current day residents goes missing as their ancestors did many years ago. To say it doesn't happen easily is an understatement. Together they work as the mystery deepens and more lives, including their own, are at stake. I enjoyed Gwenda's take on the mystery and how she linked it to the modern day world. I mean, if aliens are on the table, why not alchemy? I won't say more but I enjoyed the paranormal and fantasy elements of the story as much as I enjoyed the characters.PS Gwenda really likes writing kissing scenes...and she's pretty dang good at it.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Mystery abounds in Gwena Bond's STRANGE ALCHEMY and will leave readers guessing. The tale of the "Lost Colony" has fascinated generations. What really happened to the settlement at Roanoke? Gwena Bond gives an interesting theory into the disappearances of the 114 settlers. Readers will be drawn into the book and eager to read more. The characters Miranda and Phillip are both battling demons that the legacy of the Lost Colony has left in their lives. Readers will enjoy seeing their characters dev Mystery abounds in Gwena Bond's STRANGE ALCHEMY and will leave readers guessing. The tale of the "Lost Colony" has fascinated generations. What really happened to the settlement at Roanoke? Gwena Bond gives an interesting theory into the disappearances of the 114 settlers. Readers will be drawn into the book and eager to read more. The characters Miranda and Phillip are both battling demons that the legacy of the Lost Colony has left in their lives. Readers will enjoy seeing their characters development and come into their own as they try and solve the mystery surrounding the island. Definitely recommend!*ARC received in exchange for a honest review
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  • Anna Asplund
    January 1, 1970
    This was a 2.5 in my book, but I'm rounding up because I did genuinely enjoy it (even though I did struggle with many parts of this book). Miranda Blackwood lives in the shadow of the family curse and is widely regarded as the Roanoke Island's town freak. Grant Rawley is haunted by the voices of past islanders and is desperate to leave the island and escape from the neverending whispers. When strange things begin to happen on the island, these two must band together to get to the bottom of the t This was a 2.5 in my book, but I'm rounding up because I did genuinely enjoy it (even though I did struggle with many parts of this book). Miranda Blackwood lives in the shadow of the family curse and is widely regarded as the Roanoke Island's town freak. Grant Rawley is haunted by the voices of past islanders and is desperate to leave the island and escape from the neverending whispers. When strange things begin to happen on the island, these two must band together to get to the bottom of the town's mysterious past - and to save their own future.Strange Alchemy was fun in a lot of ways. I really enjoyed the interesting take on the Roanoke Island mystery. The first half of the story was kind of fun and not too serious and I really had fun reading it.The second half was less fun. It was just so bogged down with fleeing from the police and then (view spoiler)[all the weird spirits coming back to inhabit the bodies of the islanders and John Dee is suddenly all-powerful and can possess everyone and control everyone? That part wasn't really explained and it felt a little contrived. Is John Dee the devil? Is he possessed by a devil? Why does he suddenly have all these powers that he didn't have before? (hide spoiler)] As the story went on, it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary drama that wasn't fleshed out well enough to be a big part of the story, and yet wasn't small enough to completely dismiss. And that was pretty annoying. Also, Grant and Miranda are trying to pursue their relationship in the weirdest moments. (view spoiler)[Like right after they go look at Miranda's dad's body. That was weird. Or making out while they're trying to figure out how to stop Dee. Just weird. (hide spoiler)]Overall, this was a fun book that I probably won't be raving about anytime soon.
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  • Schizanthus
    January 1, 1970
    I admit it. I'm not a history buff. I first heard of the lost colony of Roanoke and the word 'Croatoan' while watching one of the later series of Haven, which is loosely based on Stephen King's The Colorado Kid. I became fascinated by the mystery behind the disappearance of over 100 people. It was this fascination that led me to want to read Strange Alchemy. Before I started this novel I read some more about the history and the theories surrounding the lost colony. I loved the first half of the I admit it. I'm not a history buff. I first heard of the lost colony of Roanoke and the word 'Croatoan' while watching one of the later series of Haven, which is loosely based on Stephen King's The Colorado Kid. I became fascinated by the mystery behind the disappearance of over 100 people. It was this fascination that led me to want to read Strange Alchemy. Before I started this novel I read some more about the history and the theories surrounding the lost colony. I loved the first half of the book and enjoyed the alternating chapters showing Miranda and Grant's points of view. Sometimes I find books with different points of view fragmented but felt the story flowed well from chapter to chapter. I liked both of the main characters who, for different reasons, long to be normal and not be defined by their reputations.Almost exactly at the halfway mark the story seemed to fall apart for me. There was a lot happening to keep my attention and I still wanted to keep reading until the end but the explanations fell flat for me. I spent a lot of time questioning the characters' choices and the series of events. I don't understand, if Grant hearing the voices of the spirits is supposed to be a gift, why he spends most of the book trying to push them into the background. I waited patiently for the author's explanation of the word 'Croatoan' being carved on a post and it never came. I didn't mind that some people had to die at the end but was it really necessary to hurt adorable Sidekick?I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley (thank you very much to NetGalley and Capstone) in exchange for honest feedback. I think young teenagers who are interested in starting to get their teeth into books that have a supernatural element will enjoy this book.
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  • Camilla (ReaderintheAttic)
    January 1, 1970
    Gwend Bond was in my authors' list of to be read since a long time. I catched few details of some of her books on Goodreads, so when I saw that Netgalley was offering this title, I didn't say no.And it was a wise choice, since I enjoyed Strange Alchemy quite a lot.Firs of all, I need to write that the novel isn't a masterpiece, yet it was a refershing read regarding YA's panorama. I love the genre, so I tend to like everything inside it - bad and good things - but still, this book lack of:- inst Gwend Bond was in my authors' list of to be read since a long time. I catched few details of some of her books on Goodreads, so when I saw that Netgalley was offering this title, I didn't say no.And it was a wise choice, since I enjoyed Strange Alchemy quite a lot.Firs of all, I need to write that the novel isn't a masterpiece, yet it was a refershing read regarding YA's panorama. I love the genre, so I tend to like everything inside it - bad and good things - but still, this book lack of:- instalove - useless romance angst- abusrd hyper poetic physical descriptions- other YA rubbish- smells ( why everyone natural smell of citrus or jasmine, even in the middle of a bloody battle?)Basically: that's great!Also, this is a paronarmal with ghosts. No vampires, werewolfs, fallen angels... ghosts! It's something that shouldn't be so diffucult to read in book that her etiquetted as paranormals.Miranda and Grant are great protagonist. First of all, Miranda is strong but no a Mary Sue and don't need to act like a "bad girl" to be so. She endure many things - all along with her labradore Sidekick (Love the name) - from and for her family, listening to the whispers of Roanoke's people. I have to say that at the start the fact that people looked at Blackwoods just because of their bad luck and not certain curse, well it was strange but it soon reminded me that people grab everything they can just to talk ill, so it was quite normal in the end.Grant was precious. He's gentle, genuine, he speaks the truth. He doesn't act like a bad boy and he seriously concern about the safety of other people. He knows how to say: I'm sorry. It's something that I don't take for granted in real life, neither in the books I read.I needed a guy like Grant in a novel. The way how him and Miranda interact is also great. First: they're nerdy. It's just lovely, even if I'm not part of the fandom they love. Anyway, Grant and Mirand are sincere to each other. They don't keep secrets, they take care and try their best to watch eachother back. Bad points of the novel are parts of the plot, few historical details and the bad guys. To be totally fair, I liked all the bad points, even if they're what they are. But still, I'm that kind o reader that need information.The curse, the alchemy, the process behind it, the ghosts and the magic, they way certain minor characters are handled... details, please.I need to know how the alchemy works, how the bad guy managed to reach that level of power, of everything works, why tha ancestors did that they did and why the curse works in tha way, how goes on generation after generation.Anyway, Strange Alchemy is a novel that I would suggest to everyone that wants to read and adventure book, with magic, mystery, curse, spirits, nice protagonists, depraved villain, and perfect for a relaxed summer read
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    This is Bond's first book, and it does show, even though it has obviously been heavily revised and edited. There's an unpolished feel to the storytelling that isn't evident in her later books. That said, this was still a compelling read and I read it over the course of two nights. Bond takes the historical Lost Colony of Roanoke and infuses it with sinister magic and centuries-long plots. Miranda and Grant are both legacies of the Roanoke colony, and are pulled into the mystery in the present-da This is Bond's first book, and it does show, even though it has obviously been heavily revised and edited. There's an unpolished feel to the storytelling that isn't evident in her later books. That said, this was still a compelling read and I read it over the course of two nights. Bond takes the historical Lost Colony of Roanoke and infuses it with sinister magic and centuries-long plots. Miranda and Grant are both legacies of the Roanoke colony, and are pulled into the mystery in the present-day as history repeats itself and 114 people disappear from the island. I enjoyed this. The plot was really interesting and well-done. However, I never really got a clear sense of either Miranda or Grant's personalities or characters. They were nearly blank slates who, if it weren't for Grant's abilities or Miranda's curse, would be fairly boring characters with no distinguishing characteristics or personality traits. They served more as vehicles for the plot than fully fleshed out characters. This was especially telling since the chapters switched POV between the two of them, and yet I sometimes forgot who was narrating because neither had a unique voice. This isn't a dealbreaker, but just something that kept me from connecting with the characters, and thus the story. Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Mrs. Kenyon
    January 1, 1970
    Many people know about the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island where 114 colonists disappeared, but what about the 114 present day residents who have recently vanished? Miranda comes from a long line of “cursed” family members and the island’s residents don’t let her forget it. Grant may be the sheriff’s son, but he has a family secret that he is trying to keep hidden. These two unlikely teenagers decide that their family secrets might just be what is needed to uncover the secret about both disappeara Many people know about the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island where 114 colonists disappeared, but what about the 114 present day residents who have recently vanished? Miranda comes from a long line of “cursed” family members and the island’s residents don’t let her forget it. Grant may be the sheriff’s son, but he has a family secret that he is trying to keep hidden. These two unlikely teenagers decide that their family secrets might just be what is needed to uncover the secret about both disappearances.Strange Alchemy is a stand-alone novel that defies one genre label. There is a bit of supernatural and/or fantasy involved with the family secrets and disappearances, but overall the pair uses deductive reasoning to uncover the truth. Bond has taken a historical period of America’s past and re-envisioned it for today’s readers. I hope most readers, when finished with this book, will look for more stories or non-fiction accounts about this period of time.
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  • Krys
    January 1, 1970
    I got a chance to read this from Netgalley, all thoughts and viewpoints are my own.I like Bond's writing style. It's fairly simple but has a nice flow that makes it easy to do a binge read on. That's been my experience with her Lois Lane novels so far at leastI was intrigued by the plot. I heard about Roanoke and the mystery of it years ago so I was caught by the ideas of this, and this story is a interesting what if story. What if the original settlers were alchemists, what if they didn't just I got a chance to read this from Netgalley, all thoughts and viewpoints are my own.I like Bond's writing style. It's fairly simple but has a nice flow that makes it easy to do a binge read on. That's been my experience with her Lois Lane novels so far at leastI was intrigued by the plot. I heard about Roanoke and the mystery of it years ago so I was caught by the ideas of this, and this story is a interesting what if story. What if the original settlers were alchemists, what if they didn't just mysteriously disappear but purposefully go somewhere to await a better chance to return? What if some of the people on the island are descendants of the original settlers and have a part to play in the big Roanoke mystery? It's a quick fun read.
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  • Kevin
    January 1, 1970
    I deliberately sought out and read BLACKWOOD, the earlier novel by Gwenda Bond upon which this novel is based, before reading STRANGE ALCHEMY. I'm not sure if Gwenda Bond's novel needed to be reworked, but the change from third person to first person narration did, in my opinion, make some things flow better -- especially at the end. The story itself is strong with some humor and romance mixed in with a creepy explanation for the disappearance 400 years ago of 114 people from what is now known a I deliberately sought out and read BLACKWOOD, the earlier novel by Gwenda Bond upon which this novel is based, before reading STRANGE ALCHEMY. I'm not sure if Gwenda Bond's novel needed to be reworked, but the change from third person to first person narration did, in my opinion, make some things flow better -- especially at the end. The story itself is strong with some humor and romance mixed in with a creepy explanation for the disappearance 400 years ago of 114 people from what is now known as the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.I received a copy from Capstone/Switch Press through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Mindy
    January 1, 1970
    I'd never read Ms. Bond before so I guess it was only fitting that I started with a re-write of her first published novel. Based on the lost colony of Roanoke Island, one of the parts of colonization mystery that I find the most intriguing, I knew I had to read it. I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I can say that I'll be checking out more of her catalogue and that the book is definitely worth the read! Thanks to the publisher, author, and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest re I'd never read Ms. Bond before so I guess it was only fitting that I started with a re-write of her first published novel. Based on the lost colony of Roanoke Island, one of the parts of colonization mystery that I find the most intriguing, I knew I had to read it. I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I can say that I'll be checking out more of her catalogue and that the book is definitely worth the read! Thanks to the publisher, author, and Netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rachel Stansel
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fun, mysterious, magical YA book that focuses on the legend of Roanoke Island. While it is, I suppose, technically historical fiction it is much more fiction than history. I found the book to be a fun read, intriguing and interesting enough to keep me reading. The characters that we alternate between are both well developed and strong. A fun read for any YA lover.Full disclosure - I receive an ARC of the book from Netgalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jerricka Habib
    January 1, 1970
    I was drawn in to the story and I loved the main character, Miranda. I found the mystery and curses intriguing. I could go either way on the romance in the book. I wasn't too invested but I didn't hate it.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher/author for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • KirstieE
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating story line, a mixture of history and paranormal. Most of this book was a so-so for me until the ending , where it got a lot better! 114 colonists went missing on Roanoke Island centuries ago without a trace, but when 114 people go missing in present day, will they finally find out what happened to the missing colony? 4 ⭐ ARC received with #netgalley Fascinating story line, a mixture of history and paranormal. Most of this book was a so-so for me until the ending , where it got a lot better! 114 colonists went missing on Roanoke Island centuries ago without a trace, but when 114 people go missing in present day, will they finally find out what happened to the missing colony? 4 ⭐️ ARC received with #netgalley
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    3.5. There's some predictability and cheesiness and some of the supernatural elements feel a little loose, but it's a fun read, I really liked the two POV characters, andI have a thing for Lost Colony conspiracy theories.
  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    As a native north carolinian and ya lover, this book was pure awesomeness! Read it in 2 sittings!
  • Mattie Richards
    January 1, 1970
    https://blackcatsandgoodreads.wordpre...^review here!
  • allie (rosynovels)
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda Blackwood--an outcast from a cursed bloodline--and Grant Rawling--a delinquent who hears dead people--find themselves caught up in a scheme centuries in the making as Roanoke Island experiences it's second mysterious disappearance. My description definitely doesn't do this book justice. This is 100% one of the most original concepts I've read in YA in quite a while, and it was so well done! This book is a paranormal mystery thriller (with the teensiest bit of romance thrown in for good m Miranda Blackwood--an outcast from a cursed bloodline--and Grant Rawling--a delinquent who hears dead people--find themselves caught up in a scheme centuries in the making as Roanoke Island experiences it's second mysterious disappearance. My description definitely doesn't do this book justice. This is 100% one of the most original concepts I've read in YA in quite a while, and it was so well done! This book is a paranormal mystery thriller (with the teensiest bit of romance thrown in for good measure) and every aspect of those genres is handled masterfully! Some of the dialogue gets cheesy but never in a way that feels awkwardly inauthentic for the characters' ages, but other than that I have no complaints. 10/10 do recommend!*I received an uncorrected proof from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5 stars. Review posted at Fantasy Literature.
  • Kylie
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting imagining of what transpired when 114 colonists first disappeared from the island of Roanoke and how these events could affect the present... Miranda Blackwood was used to being a freak, one of the 'cursed' Blackwoods, whereas Grant, as the son of the island's Chief of Police had been popular - until his antics got him sent to reform school, so he could escape his family 'gift'. Now, Miranda and Grant have joined together to discover who could have (who would have wanted to?) kill An interesting imagining of what transpired when 114 colonists first disappeared from the island of Roanoke and how these events could affect the present... Miranda Blackwood was used to being a freak, one of the 'cursed' Blackwoods, whereas Grant, as the son of the island's Chief of Police had been popular - until his antics got him sent to reform school, so he could escape his family 'gift'. Now, Miranda and Grant have joined together to discover who could have (who would have wanted to?) kill her Father and why another 114 island residents have disappeared. As the search turns dangerous, both feel the weight of their families'inheritance and the inimical ire of a paranormal foe intent on finishing what had begun when the first colonists vanished. An eerie speculation on the fate of the vanished Roanoke colonists which is so enjoyable that I devoured it in one sitting. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy.
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  • chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    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 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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