Review: Leaving Blackwood by Jackie Morris

Author Khaiah Thomson
Author Khaiah Thomson
Reviewer Jackie Morris
Reviewer Jackie Morris

I was given a copy of Leaving Blackwood by the publishers in exchange for an independent review. The Blackwood trilogy is a Young Adult supernatural fiction series.

Back in the mists of time I reviewed Welcome to Blackwood, and now Leaving Blackwood is out and my goodness, it was worth the wait.

Freya, the hero, is a Syphon – she can suck life force from both Mundanes (we’d call them Muggles in another world) and Supers (people with supernatural powers: shapeshifters, empaths, psychics to name a few).

In Welcome to Blackwood Freya came to terms with her powers. In Leaving Blackwood she grows into them.

The growing power of Freya

Freya’s physically and psychically stronger in the second book. I really like her. She was always funny, with an enjoyable narrative voice, but unsure of herself: now she’s funny and increasingly confident. In Leaving Blackwood Freya has a passenger on board: James, an assassin she sapped energy and life from at the end of Book One. She’s inherited his self healing qualities and his personality lives on in her mind – an unlikely and not entirely trustworthy sidekick. 

Questions remain. Will she or won’t she?

Freya still swoons over Beau, the handsome Dire Wolf, though they’ve been told to stay away from each other until she’s 18. She’s not certain about him and I have to say I can’t say I blame her.

I’m definitely showing the 30+ years I have on Freya, but I find Beau’s bad boy arrogance and overwhelmingly Alpha attitude a lot less attractive than Freya does.

But that also kept me reading – I really couldn’t call whether she would (or should) end up with him. Let’s just say there are plenty of desirable (bad boy and otherwise) alternatives for her to choose from.

Frey’s skills are put to the test

In Leaving Blackwood Freya leaves the safety of small town Blackwood (no false advertising in this title!) where Mundanes and Supers cohabit in peace, and ends up in Aurora, a Supernatural citadel in Northern Europe. Here, she meets an array of Supers with wildly different powers. I loved Aurora – I can imagine it in vivid detail. It’s a crowded, hierarchical world, ruled by an aging despot.

Freya gets to test her skills in battle, find out more about her powers and work out what she feels for Beau.

I was gripped – it really wasn’t clear whether good would prevail (especially when you know there’s another book coming).

The way Thomson builds tension in this book is even better than the first – I read Leaving Blackwood in less than 24 hours. And just as the pace slowed at the end, as Freya seemed to be happy and stable – a bombshell! So now I’m waiting with baited breath for the third book!

You can buy a copy of this supernatural wonder via the Hawkeye bookstore or through all good book stores and libraries.

Book 1 – Welcome to Blackwood is available here.

Learn more about the amazing Khaiah Thomson here.

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