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In the Shadow of Blackbirds - Cat Winters I imagine much of what was going through the lead’s head to be something like, what am I doing and what's happening? Fun, in a terrifying “I’m not where I should be kind of way”. That’s how reading this book felt like: a little odd, a lot of terrifying but definitely fascinating, with a little bit of the oddly familiar. What’s familiar is how people accept the improbable given the conditions of the time; how everyone holds to this hope, in desperate sort of way. DESPERATION permeates everything… There’s how they desperately did one thing then another thing that’s would have otherwise been considered nonsensical, simply because there is no other choice. They do things to exact a sense of safety for themselves and it’s a sad thing… but not so strange really, if you consider everything else. So the attention to detail will draw you in, how everything from their little folk remedies to the bigger and sadder moments of people hanging on every word of would be saviors. They’re all clinging to something: be it to what they’ve lost, or what they could lose… and it’s what they do that fascinates and boggles the mind all at once.With that as the backdrop we have a girl who’s almost as desperate as the rest, but not as obvious. About it. She holds to her sensibilities and still manages to ask questions and point things out. It’s her doubt, her questioning that sets her apart… because while the rest are so scared of what could be and what is happening, for her it’s not just about neighbors and strangers dying around them, for her and others like here: oceans away is the reality that people are dying for another reason altogether. Like I said, mix it all together and there’s this desperate feel…. But not just that... it’s an emotionally charged read: though not the big explosive passionate displays you might think of rather this has the quiet kind of feels… the one that churn in the pit of your stomach: doubt, resentment… then anger then fear and the loss as well as a wanting of something else. And I was surprised by all of that. Because in the midst of all those not quite loud emotions are things unexpected. As in, the lead breaking down bit by bit but me never quite sure if it’s the supernatural sort or purely individual.And that? That was a cool contrast. Did I believe what she’s saying, considering early on she the only one acting rationally? Should she get down to others levels? Less the rational thinking girl and more the reactive and gut-feel kind? I wasn’t quite sure… and it was clear that the girl wasn’t quite sure either. So that when what’s happening is unveiled: me, impressed and taken totally by surprise is what happens. It felt like a psychological mystery thing at first, but add the scary atmosphere of what was going on, it became more. Good stuff!