There is a mystery surrounding her past, her dead mother, her relatives - something that has to do with the ghosts. Eden turns to her Aunt Lulu for answers, only to be stonewalled with excuses: "When you're older;" "When you're ready." So it's no wonder that when Eden grows up and still no answers are forthcoming, she takes matters into her own hands in a search for the truth - a search that grows desperate as she comes to understand that her beloved aunt's life hangs in the balance, not to mention her own.
Eden's quest takes her to creepy abandoned medical facilities, haunted abbeys, and the desolate swamplands of Florida. She is an admirable heroine, determined, headstrong, and confident. Not one to be reduced to the typical quivering blob of feminine terror often portrayed in horror novels, Eden is determined to meet things head on and, as much as is possible, on her own terms. Not that she isn't afraid at times - she just refuses to be cowed - even when she's being hunted down by a psychopath who has already tried to kill her:
I almost felt like I owed him fear. He'd worked so hard to kill me, the least I could do was be just a tad nervous. But no, I couldn't muster it. The best I could do was summon up a healthy sense of caution, and toss him a minor, grudging respect for his persistence.This book had me from the first page - it has an evocative, haunting feeling that leaked out into the everyday world after I put it down, tantalizing me to keep reading (and to look over my shoulder when I found myself alone in the dark). Many thanks to Chris for recommending it in his excellent review, which prompted me to add it to my list of possibilities for the RIP III Challenge. I was delighted to learn that it is the first book in a series of Eden Moore books, of which there are currently three.
Click here for links to other RIP III Challenge participants' reviews!
Books in the Eden Moore series:
1. Four and Twenty Blackbirds
2. Wings to the Kingdom
3. Not Flesh nor Feathers
Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (Tor, 2005)
Also reviewed at:
Stuff as Dreams Are Made On