Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds

In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013        
Publisher: Amulet Books

 In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

I- what did I just read?
I've read a few Historical books lately, I kind of got sucked in after reading Maid of Secrets , but before that, and seeing what In the Shadow of Blackbirds was about, I decided it wasn't for me, and what a shame that would've been. After I've heard a load of things about it, I decided to try it, oh and I'm so glad that I did and I can honestly say I have never read anything like it. It was just...stunning and brilliant and original.
It's such a beautiful, beautiful book that's shrouded in mystery, and the cover just is, captures the essence and setting in one, along with holding true to the photograph. In the Shadow of Blackbird's is not for the faint hearted,  it's grim and grey and eerie, set in 1918 where death was in the air, on your street, in your house, and killed your co-workers, next-door neighbours, friends and family in the form of the Spanish Influenza. If that wasn't sombre enough, the middle of the first World War was going on, and our main character Mary Shelley Black's (named after the Mary Shelley) childhood friend Stephen Embers enlisted months ago.