Blog Tour + Book Review: The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Title: The Blackbird Season
Author: Kate Moretti
Publisher: Atria books
Release Date: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: e-galley (but it came out in paperback)
Source: Publisher - thank you Atria!
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery Thriller
"Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would asked a thousand times...
Until, of course, more important questions arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all."

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar... and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate's coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia's creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucias's class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate's case, other just don't add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate's exoneration and the truth of Lucia's disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

I've been in a total fall reading mood lately and this book hit the mark just right. The cover is very fall-like, the story gives a fall vibe and the tone is mysterious with a tad bit of eeriness. There was quite a bit I liked about this story that tells the story of a maybe scandalous relationship between a student and teacher and the mystery of that same student that goes missing. 

This story is told in alternating perspectives. We get perspectives from Nate, Alecia (Nate's wife), Bridget (another teacher and Nate's friend), as well as Lucia (the student). There were perspectives that I preferred over others. Lucia's was the one I most preferred but I think that's because I was hunting for clues while reading her perspective. Alecia was hard to read at times, she isn't a very likable character, and I wonder if she was purposefully written that way. At times, mostly within Alecia and Bridget's perspectives the writing felt a little bit convoluted. It felt mundane. The characters minds seemed to go on ramblings that didn't matter to the overall story arc. The same with their thoughts. I felt that this story was definitely more of a character driven story than a plot driven one. This barrier I met could have been on my end, I was expecting something thrilling and fast paced and found something that was character and description rich. It didn't drive me away from the story, but rather just had me speed reading through a few sections. 

The plot was mostly character driven, but the twists weren't something that I really saw coming. There was a depth to the story I didn't expect either. There was a play with magic and witches as Lucia is called/referred to as a witch by classmates and some of the town. The blackbirds and birds falling from the sky in death (Not a spoiler - it's in the synopsis :)) added kind of an eerie side to the story. An eerie side that I really enjoyed, it made the story feel multidimensional with all these different layers that I had fun finding out along the way. 

Overall, I highly recommend this read for the fall. It's full of a mysterious, and eerie atmosphere coupled with characters that keep you guessing throughout the book. While it's not the most suspenseful, Moretti does tell a tale of intrigue that keeps you turning pages until the very end.


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