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Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Eden Moore) Paperback – September 15, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The highlight of this book is its pacing and its atmosphere, both of which make it a swift and engrossing read. From the abandoned, haunted locations to the immediate and physical threats, as well as the twisted and convoluted plot that Priest unravels without massive exposition, the book moves at a skillful pace: just fast enough to keep the reader consistently interested without being brief or full of annoying cliffhangers, just slow enough to really get into and enjoy the supernatural aspects. This book reads well and is hard to put down. The plot is detailed and well-crafted, especially for a debut novel.
In many ways, however, the plot is too detailed and too well crafted: it is the sole and driving force in the book. At less than 300 pages, with such a meticulous plot, there is barely room in the book for anything else.Read more ›
Four and Twenty Blackbirds introduces Eden Moore. Eden sees ghosts, and has done since she was a small child. There are more than one kind of ghosts, however, and it is people from real life who send Eden hunting in the past. Her life and the life of her sister depend on her success.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds is one part horror, one part detective story, one part literary fiction. It reminded me a little bit of Eva Moves the Furniture by Margaret Livesey. I liked that book quite a bit, so I did not mind the resemblance. It may, in truth, have only been the ghosts.
The prose is quite good, and I read it fairly compulsively. The plot is less even, and in moments where I was less enchanted by the writing I found myself getting a little bit annoyed by some of the plot holes. Eden is a very vibrant character. The backstory about the evil threat was oddly backgrounded. I understand that the length of the book has changed over several editions, and perhaps this accounts for some of the lacunae.
In any case, I really enjoyed the book. It kept me reading through a nasty hangover when all I really wanted to do was lay in bed and eat blueberries. I am particularly looking forward to reading the next book. I have a hope that as a second novel it will be more evenly plotted, given that Priest would have known where it was going to be placed.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds definitely feels like a first novel in those first few hours of reading as we get to know her as an author and watch her characters crawl into our world from her rich, and dangerous imagination. Ms. Priest seems to be pushing the edges of the medium, using analogy and simile like a large hammer to bludgeon us with her wit and creativity. She uses images and phrases that please the mind like expensive chocolates please the palate. I often found myself rereading a particular phrase just to let it melt on my tongue a little longer. While momentarily pleasing, it does have the effect of pulling us out of the story.
Once she gets past the basic introduction of the characters and into the main course of the story she begins to grow comfortable in letting the story create the images without pushing so hard and that's when things get really interesting. Her descriptions of the forests and hills around Eden's home had me swatting at insects and smelling moldy, humid air. Her characters began to grow into living breathing people before my eyes and soon I realized that I cared about them.
I soon found the book hard to put down and, once I did put it down, hard to stop thinking about. Priest has created a wonderful story that pulls you into a fully realized locations full of interesting believable characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this having read all of the Clockwork Century books. I didn't expect much but was happy to have those expectations well surpassed. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Simon Levene
I really enjoy the Eden Moore stories by Cheriee Priest. They are basically coming of age stories with a hint of Tennessee history and a few ghosts thrown in. Read morePublished 12 months ago by mprin
This definitely shows that this is her first published book. Not a bad story but told in a rather amateurish manner.Published 14 months ago by Jon D. Hammer
From the hills of Tennessee to the swamplands of Florida; Eden Moore, the girl who can talk to spirits chases a hidden family mystery. Read morePublished on March 23, 2013 by A. W. Place
Chosen because of the local but very impressed with the story line and flow. Obviously a great familiarity with area and well researched to produce a very interesting ghost story... Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by jof
Stories set in America's South always have a way of gripping me viscerally. I don't know whether it's a combination of the history or the mystery, or it's a bit of both. Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Nerine Dorman
My daughter needed this book for school but she wound up really liking it so it was a success in my bookPublished on December 28, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Eden Moore has long been able to see things that others can't. She's haunted in every sense of the word. Secrets surround her as do the ghosts of her past. Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by misplaced cajun