Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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.
I kept putting this book off for the longest time. Even with all positive reviews, I still did not think the book would be for me, especially after reading some less than stellar historical fiction like Code Name Verity.
World War I and the Influenza virus are killing millions in 1918. People are turning to the occult, trying to contact their lost friends and loved ones. Mary Shelley Black, a girl of just sixteen doesn’t believe in such things, until her first love returns to her after his death.
This book reminded me why I love historical fiction. Instead of teaching in the way a textbook does, it throws you into the story while still educating you. Written fantastically, you can imagine yourself being there in 1918 while feeling the despair of all the people that lived in that time.
More mystery than romance, the novel leaves you wondering not only about life after death, but what happened to Mary Shelley’s first love. It leaves you with questions, but makes sure you have answers to the most important ones.
IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS was creepy in all the best ways. It sticks with you, and might even leave you looking over your shoulder. It tells a great ghost story, but also a love story and mystery.
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