Review of Strange Alchemy by Gwenda Bond

  • Title: Strange Alchemy
  • Author: Gwenda Bond
  • Publisher: Switch Press
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2017
  • Pages: 322
  • Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical, Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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ARC of Strange Alchemy provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It might be just me but the first part of Strange Alchemy fell a little flat for me. It wasn’t that there wasn’t enough going on it was just a little hard to get into at first. But that all changed about half way through the book.

The concept of Roanoke Island and the lost colonists was so interesting to me. A mass disappearance, and a long ago legend, how could it not be interesting. Than you add in alchemists and  the personal infliction’s of Grant and Miranda, and it just gets better. This book had so many twists and turns I never could guess which way it was going, and it did not fail to deliver at the end. The characters were great as well.

Miranda is tormented and misunderstood by every in town but doesn’t let it get her down. At least not a lot anyways. She just pushes through it and refuses to be a “silly girl”. I loved her wit and how even in tough times she still could dish it back out. Grant was misunderstood as well. He was made to seem like the bad boy who got in a lot of trouble but in reality it was so kind and had a reason for doing the things he did. I loved how caring he was how, just like Miranda, he didn’t bite his tongue in tough situations.

Even with this book having a flat or slow start for me, it truly is a good read. The concept, the characters, the twists, it was really great. The only complaint I have is that in order for the story to have been wrapped up in the perfect little package withe a bow, I needed just one question answered. What was the deal with the ghost ship? I felt like it just could have been explained more.

Again, other than that though I was extremely pleased with the ending. I feel this book will captivate both young adults and adults a like. So give it a shot, don’t let me slow start stop you. I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me because Strange Alchemy was a great book, with so much mysticism.