Eden Moore – Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
|Eden Moore – Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Eden Moore has grown up unaware of her family history, but she intends to discover it before it destroys her. A page-turner of a supernatural/psychological thriller with the tension turned up to 11.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 285||Date: February 2012|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Eden Moore lives in the southern states of the U.S. with her Aunt Lulu and Uncle David. They took her in when she was a baby after the mysterious death of her mother. Nobody seems to want to talk to Eden about her past or the mysterious 'pine trees'. All she knows is that she's different. For as long as Eden can remember her nights have been invaded by bad dreams hinting of former lifetimes and a mysterious book. Odd things don't just happen at night though. Eden has always witnessed apparitions; her most constant companions since early childhood have been the ghostly three sisters who seem to mean her no harm, but their warnings are too cryptic to be understood. Matters are brought to a head when Eden's life becomes endangered. Will she solve the past's black hole before it completely destroys not only her, but also those she loves?
The book is told completely from Eden's viewpoint. The tension and compulsion to keep turning the pages being there from the very first page where we meet pre-school Eden and her peculiar pictures. She grows before our eyes, chapter by chapter, but her past and the underlying dangers remain a mystery through her childhood into her teens. The only clues are enticing teasers dropped along the way. By the time she's a young adult, the feisty Ms Moore goes off in search of the past as it refuses to remain contained.
The characterisation is perfect. Eden comes over as a totally normal person – a curious small child, growing into a typically rebellious teen. She just happens to see dead people. Eden continues to do what those of her age would; the paranormal is just something that happens around her. Lulu is also completely credible as the aunt who wants to protect Eden with silence, a tactic that backfires drastically. As for Uncle David, he's just a bloke who married into the family and it's all a bit beyond him. He doesn't fully understand any of it, just wanting to do the best thing for everyone.
Yes, Cherie Priest has written a cracker with every character fulfilling a niche in the story. Even the ghostly sisters as they act as a Greek chorus, warning Eden when danger approaches. This is a clever method to increase the blood pressure. The sisters announce that danger is nigh and the reader then realises, but, being feisty and independent, Eden ignores them completely. This pulls us readers to the edge of our seats before the danger even turns up. On the twist front, a couple are predictable, but there are others that come straight out of the blue to make up for it and so it doesn't matter.
Well, there are ghosts, there's some blood, therefore how does it rate on the Johnson Squeamishometer? If this book is made into a film, it will be an out and out horror as its obvious the elements on which a director would linger. However, it's not horror on the page, more a suspense-filled thriller with some paranormal elements. I would suggest that the blood phobic amongst us be prepared near the end when Eden witnesses scenes from her ancestors' history. There are a couple of... err.... involuntary amputations. Having said that, the moments pass very quickly and are flagged up early enough beforehand to be able to avoid them.
According to the pre-title page, this is only the first Eden Moore book with others on the way. That could be a wise decision - I have a feeling I may not be the only person lining up in anticipation.
I would like to thank Titan Books for giving Bookbag a copy of this book to review.
If you've enjoyed this and would like to try another thriller about someone trying to discover a secret past, try Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eden Moore – Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eden Moore – Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.