Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen

Book Blurb:

Zed’s family have moved from London to a village in Cornwall. Dad says they need a fresh start but no one’s asked Zed what she thinks.

She knows she’ll never fit into her new school, or make any friends, let alone find someone special. At this rate she will be lucky to find a phone signal.

Maybe their new home will help with Mum’s depression and keep Zed’s sister Amy away from her dropout boyfriend, but why does it have to be so remote? Why has the boathouse been locked up for seventy years? Why do the birds living by the estuary fill her with such dread? And what do they want?


The gothic genre being entwined with the young adult genre made this book really interesting and enjoyable. I couldn’t put it down and ending up reading this fabulous book within one day. This is a compelling story full of adventure, mystery accompanied with a thrilling tale.

Zed doesn’t want to move to a remote part of Cornwall with her family and leave her friends behind. She is the only one who doesn’t make it too much of a big deal as she knows it will do her mum good to have a new start. Her sister Amy on the other hand is really not happy that she has to leave boyfriend Luke behind and certainly makes her feelings known. But Zed doesn’t realise that this new life is to benefit Amy as well to put some distance between her and Luke and the past that they have both had to deal with…

Zed wants to make the best of her new surroundings. She is really worried about starting a new school and trying to make new friends, until she meets Tamsin and a special bond develops between them. Zed’s dad really wants the move to work and tries his best to facilitate a new life for his family, but at the first sign of trouble he ‘runs away’ leaving Zed to deal with chaotic Amy and her mother. After an accident at the boathouse Zeds mum becomes very sick but will her accident bring the family back together and accept things need to change or will they be separated forever?

My favourite character is Zed. I adore that she puts everyone else first before her own happiness and wants to do what is best for everyone. I also love her relationship that develops with Amy due to trying to call a truce amongst the cormorants who are scaring and threatening her enjoyment of the boat house. She wants them all to live in harmony so they can enjoy their new home without feeling threatened.

This book covers themes of family, love, LGBTQ+, friendship, homesickness, depression and mental health, the environment, acceptance and new beginnings. Zed and the Cormorants will really resonate with young adults due to these themes and I think it is a book that every school library should stock!

Perfect for fans of books by Liz Kessler, Emily Barr and Marcus Sedgewick.

Thank you to publishers Arachne Press for sending me an advanced copy of this fabulous book to read in order to participate in the blog tour.

You can buy this fabulous book from all booksellers, online, any independent local bookshop and also from Arachne Press themselves using this link: https://arachnepress.com/shop/Zed-and-the-Cormorants-p274926351

Publisher: Arachne Press

Publication Date: 29th April 2021

Paperback:  184 pages

ISBN: 978-1909208872

Suitability: Age 12+

RRP: £9.99

Please check out all the other fabulous blog tours throughout the rest of this week on twitter and Instagram.

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