Tuesday, 23 April 2013
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Goodreads Summary :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?
Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
My Rating : 5 of 5 stars
My Thoughts : In 1918, where a war torn earth was on the verge of a great misbalance, outbreak of a deadly plague frightened the human and ghost alike-the epidemic Spanish Influenza. It scares me to think what it was like back then when humanity was on verge of eradication. Not the Influenza but also in the war ravaged world, many lost their loved ones in the terrors and trenches of World War I. Every single glimpse of it we can picture while reading In The Shadow of The Black Birds. There is no doubt the author did an great amount of research before writing the book which is clearly evident by the author’s note included at the end of the book.
Mary Shelly is not your usual heroine. For a sixteen years old girl, Shelly showed a great inner fortitude where everyone else was painstakingly struggling in a world of epidemic outbreak of flu. We come face to face with emotion when her childhood sweetheart Stephen died in the war filed. Her vulnerability over his death yet strength to find out the truth behind Stephen’s death, we met an incredible heroine with sides I can’t help but admiring. Truly, all credit goes to the author for creating such a realistic heroine a reader can easily relate herself to.
Among the other characters, Stephen made such an impression in my mind. We always expect a hero to be immensely strong and extremely courageous and we expect him to do miraculous that some is not even naturalistic. However, here Stephen is just a boy like we see in our day to day life, a boy who feared, a boy who went through mental trauma, a boy who gave us every reason to be emphasized with him.
The other side character were just influential for the story line, I liked their roles as positive and negative catalyst, including Julias and Aunt Eva. The secondary characters truly made an impression.
The book was written in simple yet very artful way, one that captures our interest. The world building was hunting along with those photographs attached to the book which enriches the spookiness of the story. The suspense was well maintained, however around the middle of the book I guess who could be the villain but still I must say, the mystery was well build. In The Shadow of The Blackbirds is recommendable for everyone, the book is worth reading, truly.
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