Sunday, August 4, 2013

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters Review

Title: In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Author: Cat Winters
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A beautifully rendered, tender coming of age story amidst World War I, ghosts, first and lost love, and mystery around every corner, I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds--it was absolutely amazing!

Mary Shelley Black has moved from Oregon to San Diego in an effort to escape the wildfire of influenza raging across the country. Saying goodbye to her first love, Stephen, Mary Shelley must learn to adjust, even as her world is tumbling down about her ears, even with her dour Aunt Eva for company, and soon finds herself wrapped up in the supernatural craze she despises, as well as a mystery she must race against time to solve--before she's next.

What I enjoyed:
-The wonderful narration--I was absolutely riveted, though it started out a little slow
-Mary Shelley's evolution throughout the novel--I was rooting for her all the way
-The rich but terrifying world that is Mary Shelley's evironment
-The way the spiritualism and supernatural are infused into the novel so well
-Stephen, and his ghost
-Aunt Eva
-Mr. Darning
-The clever mystery that was wrapped up in a coming of age tale, as well as historical fact
-How well researched the novel was
-The use of letters in the novel
-The romanticism of the novel
-Julius
-Gracie and Grant
-The way the ending was tied up so neatly

What I didn't enjoy:
-At times it started out a little bit slow
-At points it seemed really very frightening

I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds--it was so lovely and wonderful! Anyone searching for a strong heroine, a good mystery, or exquisite prose should pick it up! Next on deck--Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London!

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