Review: Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Eden Moore Book 1 of 3)

Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Cherie Priest

I really enjoyed this book.  It’s one of those books that tends to give you a lot of questions and reveals the answers slowly as the story proceeds.  I had trouble putting the book down both because the story was interesting and because I wanted to know all the answers.

This is a paranormal-type story told entirely from the first-person perspective of a young girl named Eden.  From the time she was a child, Eden has been aware of three female ghosts.  On rare occasions, these ghosts show themselves and/or talk to her, and warn her of danger.  We first meet Eden when she’s about 5 years old, and we’re given little bits of relevant snippets from her life as she grows up.  Once she’s an adult, I think in her early twenties, the meat of the story begins.  

Eden has a mysterious past.  Or, more accurately, it’s her ancestors who have a mysterious past.  Naturally Eden wants to know more about this past, but she has trouble getting any straight answers from the people close to her.  And of course this just makes her more determined to get answers, so she tries to find them on her own.  I think, if I read the paranormal genre more often, I might have been annoyed by the cliché of the “mysterious past” with people refusing to give the main character any answers, and the main character who’s bound and determined to find answers despite all the dire warnings.  However, I haven’t read many paranormal type books since I was a teenager, so I wasn’t as bothered by it as I might have been back when I saw this device used more often.

The story was interesting.  There was a very slight creepiness factor perhaps, but it wasn't strong at all.  The main character isn’t intimidated by much, and she could take care of herself, which I liked better than the type of main character who’s always terrified by what’s happening and is desperately looking to other people to help them deal with things.  Eden didn’t always make the best decisions, but she made her own decisions and dealt with the consequences.

I liked Eden quite a bit, but one thing that bothered me was that she seemed to have almost no thoughts for her future.  She’s still living with her adoptive parents, she has no job, and at no point do we see her give any long-term thought to how she’ll make a living and support herself.  Her current source of funding for her adventures is explained, but she never seems to think beyond the current moment.  It would have made Eden feel more realistic if the author had let us hear a few stray thoughts from her as she mulled over possibilities for her future.

Although this book is part of a series, it told a complete story and didn’t end in a cliff hanger.  There were a few characters I wanted to know more about, but the major plot thread was pretty well tied up.  I enjoyed the book enough that I plan to read the next book in the series.