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“Strange Alchemy” by Gwenda Bond. Reviewed by Solano County Teen, Sachi.

Strange Alchemy, Solano County Library Teen Book Review

Book: Strange Alchemy

Author: Gwenda Bond

Reviewer: Sachi, 8th Grade

Strange Alchemy, authored by Gwenda Bond, transpires on Roanoke Island. Four hundred years prior to the events of Strange Alchemy, Roanoke Island experienced its own mystery, as 114 colonists disappeared without a trace. Now, the town is forced to relive this terrible experience, and the town freak, Miranda Blackwood, is trapped in the center of the puzzle. Blackwood is forced to reconvene with Grant Rawling, the police chief’s juvenile delinquent son. The unseemly pair work to unravel the mystery, and discover that the issue has far deeper roots than they had anticipated, linking the occurrence to the original Roanoke disappearance. Bond’s novel is extremely gripping and innovative, rewriting one of history’s classic mysteries into a modern engaging thriller. While the book’s conclusion was rather convoluted, it successfully tied off a cohesive storyline with suspenseful events. Bond constantly swaps between Miranda and Grant’s perspectives, creating an alluring dual narrative. Personally, I dislike romantic elements in the literature I consume, but Bond efficiently mixes in a mild romance, adding a little “spice” to the story, so to speak. Overall, Strange Alchemy is a highly recommended book, receiving a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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