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Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
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Four and Twenty Blackbirds (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Cherie Priest

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6413315,089 (3.82)63
Member:TheDivineOomba
Title:Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Authors:Cherie Priest
Info:Tor Books (2005), Edition: 1st Tor Ed, Paperback, 285 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2013, Fantasy, From BookMooch, Given Away

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Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (2003)

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» See also 63 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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.

This first novel by Cherie Priest is one part horror, one part detective story, one part literary fiction. Something for everyone no matter what your favorite genre.
The prose is quite good, and I read it fairly compulsively. Eden is a very vibrant character and the author develops her nicely. It was too bad that some of the other promising characters couldn't have been extended, like the little girl that shared her ability and went to camp with her when she was a child.

In any case, I really enjoyed the book. It kept me reading and I will diffidently continue with this author. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
3.5***

Eden Moore has always been special. Her mother died giving birth to her and she has been raised by her Aunt Lulu. From an early age she has been able to see and hear ghosts. In kindergarten she drew a picture of a swamp scene totally different from the wooded mountain area she lives in. At ten a deranged man tries to kill her, and the resulting media attention brings up references she doesn’t understand. As she begins asking questions, she learns a little of her complicated family tree.

This is a dark fantasy and a Southern gothic mystery. Totally not my usual reading fare, but I have to say I was captivated by the story and it held my attention. Some of the plot twists seemed too far-fetched (I am not a fan of paranormal mysteries, so I’m sure that’s part of it). Some of the supporting characters could have used more definition. Eliza was too mysterious and her fate is hinted at but never explicitly explained. Malachi’s quasi-transformation was not believable. I did like that for the most part Eden gets herself out of any jam she gets into. She’s strong, intelligent, resourceful, courageous and determined. She is also compassionate and loving.

For a genre of which I am not a fan, this was a pretty good read.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
After reading Boneshaker and going "OMG, who is this Cherie Priest chick and how did I not read her stuff sooner??" I picked up her first book about Eden Moore and was completely blindsided that it was set in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (That's about an hour from my hometown.)

Eden was raised by her sister and brother in law on Signal Mountain (which I still count as a been-there, even if it was only a disastrous date with that guy who brought me pop-tarts in lieu of flowers). As she grows up, she is haunted by a trio of dead sisters, who give her parts of their story through dreams and visions - and they turn out to be her ancestors. Eden's family is about as open as a bridal shop in downtown Detroit, so she has to dig up what she can about the trio from an estranged, archaic great-aunt, who just happens to be harboring a homicidal nephew bent on wiping out Eden to end a family curse. (Say that sentence two times fast.)

Two foremost thoughts while reading:

"Hey, I've been there!"
"Hey, I think I just wet myself."

Seriously, these had some of the creepiest scenes I've ever read. Bet you $5 you won't read that campground bathroom scene without getting seriously paranoid about semi-reflective surfaces.

Compared to what, you say? Uh, everything I've read in the last decade. Yeah, it got me that good.

Here's the whole trilogy:

Book 1 - Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Book 2 - Wings to The Kingdom

Book 3 - Not Flesh Nor Feathers

I do plan to review the other books separately, but for the love of big words and small, difficult words, please don't wait on me! ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
After reading Boneshaker and going "OMG, who is this Cherie Priest chick and how did I not read her stuff sooner??" I picked up her first book about Eden Moore and was completely blindsided that it was set in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (That's about an hour from my hometown.)

Eden was raised by her sister and brother in law on Signal Mountain (which I still count as a been-there, even if it was only a disastrous date with that guy who brought me pop-tarts in lieu of flowers). As she grows up, she is haunted by a trio of dead sisters, who give her parts of their story through dreams and visions - and they turn out to be her ancestors. Eden's family is about as open as a bridal shop in downtown Detroit, so she has to dig up what she can about the trio from an estranged, archaic great-aunt, who just happens to be harboring a homicidal nephew bent on wiping out Eden to end a family curse. (Say that sentence two times fast.)

Two foremost thoughts while reading:

"Hey, I've been there!"
"Hey, I think I just wet myself."

Seriously, these had some of the creepiest scenes I've ever read. Bet you $5 you won't read that campground bathroom scene without getting seriously paranoid about semi-reflective surfaces.

Compared to what, you say? Uh, everything I've read in the last decade. Yeah, it got me that good.

Here's the whole trilogy:

Book 1 - Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Book 2 - Wings to The Kingdom

Book 3 - Not Flesh Nor Feathers

I do plan to review the other books separately, but for the love of big words and small, difficult words, please don't wait on me! ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
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 meet her 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. ( )
  YouKneeK | Mar 29, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cherie Priestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the kids in my life—
my little mortality markers,
Alex and Chelsea.
Now you two are getting old enough to hear
my really good spooky stories.
First words
"Draw me a picture of someplace you've been that you liked very much," Mrs. Patterson suggested, pronouncing each word with the firm, specific articulation peculiar to those who work with children.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765313081, Paperback)

Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But in the woods a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather--an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead.

Now Eden must decipher the secret of the ghostly trio before a new enemy more dangerous than the fanatical assassin destroys what is left of her family. She will sift through lies in a Georgian ante-bellum mansion and climb through the haunted ruins of a 19th century hospital, desperately seeking the truth that will save her beloved aunt from the curse that threatens her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But outside her aunt's house a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather, an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead." -- Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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