“I didn’t think it was possible to miss a person so much that it physically hurts.” –Blackbird by N. D. Gomes
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ A realistic and down-to-earth mystery novel with nothing supernatural in. Quick, enthralling and engaging, told from the perspective of a young teenager.
I’m very lucky in that I managed to grab a advanced copy of this from YALC and got to read (and tweet!) about it before it’s November release in 2017.
So what’s Blackbird about? Everyone’s worst nightmare- losing a sibling. Alex is a normal teenager growing up on a remote island in Scotland when, on New Years Eve, her sister goes missing. At first Alex assumes her sister is staying at a friends, then becomes a little more uneasy as she joins the search parties and finally the police find her sister’s murdered body.
There are a few aspects to this story: Alex’s desperation to help the police; her and her family adjusting to losing Olivia, Alex’s sister, and finally the huge effect this has on Alex’s own life. These aspects take the reader through a turmoil of emotions, from grief for Alex’s loss to worry as the mystery surrounding Olivia’s death is unveiled.
The language is simple with just the right level of description, making the book quick and easy to read. The writing style is not too descriptive, which works well for this novel. It’s to get immersed in the story without being too bogged down by descriptions, but subtle imagery is used to captivate the reader and drag them into the plot.
The narration is mostly from Alex’s point of view, with the odd Olivia chapter dotted in, and I actually found Alex’s narration very relatable. She struck me as very normal for her age, not at all childish while still not completely confident in herself or what she wants from life yet.
One thing that confused me a bit about this book was how it was sold- from the blurb, title and cover I was expecting a scary, supernatural thriller but it was much more down to earth than that. There was no fantasy in this novel and, from what I can tell, the blackbirds dropping dead was just random. However I enjoyed this novel for the book it was and demolished it in a couple of days.
I’d definitely recommend this novel as an easy and enthralling read, which hooked me in from the very beginning right up until I’d finished it.
Have you ever read this novel or is mystery just not your genre? Would love to hear from you in the comments section!