Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blackbird by Anna Carey

We take so much for granted like knowing who we are and where we have come from.  What would you do if you woke up on train tracks with no memory of who you are, no knowledge of where you have been, and no idea why you are there.  Would your instincts tell you to run, would they tell you to hide, would you know who to trust?  When she wakes up on the train tracks it is a shock, as is the completely vacant sense of self in time and space, all she has is her backpack and a tattoo on her wrist that in itself offers no clue.  In the backpack are the essential supplies to survive for a few days at least - money, clothes, map, knife, but no other clues.  Driven by instinct she runs from the people who try to help her, but that drives her into the path of people who clearly want to kill her.  She is in a race against time - and time is not her friend.

Blackbird was a unique thriller in so many ways - told from an unusual viewpoint, written with a deft touch for pace and tension, and just blowing your mind with its unexpected twists and turns.  I was not sure what to expect, but I was not expecting such a tense and deftly written thriller that leaves you wondering what you will find when you turn the next page.  It is somewhat unnerving and disorientating to not have a name for your character, especially when you are seeing everything through their eyes and the "I" point of view.  There are only a small number of people in the story, so it has in intimate feel, and at times it feels like the novel exists in its own little universe or bubble of the world. 

There are not that many books for teens that tackle gritty and confronting storylines but Blackbird breaks that mould.  There is violence, death, murder, criminal activities, and conspiracies - but none of it is gratuitous, it is well handled and blends seamlessly into the story.  While this is an intense story it is also a relatively short one, and intense read that drags you into the story, shakes you around in the plot and then spits you back out on the other side.  This is an interesting diversion for Carey as while the overall theme of her Eve trilogy was about a dystopian future with an iron fisted dictator, it was not a particularly violent or grim series - Blackbird is a lot darker and seems less hopeful. 

It feels like Blackbird might be the first book in a series, but that said it is also somewhat complete with this first volume - it leaves a few questions but sometimes good books just do that to you.  There have been a few grumbles in other reviews about the book being in the second person voice (I, me, I'm) but it didn't bother me and to be honest I didn't;t really notice because the book was just so good and sucked me in so quickly.  An interesting, absorbing, and intense read that deserves to be discovered.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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