Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
|*Thank you so much to Entangled Teen for sending me over a copy – I really appreciate the chance to read and review this book!*
I think this book has an excellent premise, and it is certainly one of the most unique I’ve seen in a while in YA. Harbringers of death? Crows vs. Bees (which kept cracking me up because birds and the bees which is the most spectacular pun)? Men with faces that change? I was so intrigued by the world, but a few other little issues brought the book sort of down for me.
Where the book shone the most was with its world building and atmosphere. This book had a wonderful and gorgeous atmosphere. I was so immersed in the world that I felt like I was constantly in one cold dark night reading it, and it so got me in the spooky mood to jump right into the September. This is, for sure,a book that you’re going to want to add to your TBR to be read, curled up by the fire and autumn leaves in September, October, and November. Kassel definitely has a way with her mood.
As I mentioned before, I thought the world building and premise was so fascinating. I thought that Kassel created such an intriguing premise of the crows vs. the bees and how much mythology went into it. There was so much detail and world building set up, and I found this so intriguing. I loved every second of the world she created and built.
Angie was a good character as well. She was a strong heroine, and I liked her a lot. I definitely rooted for her, and I found her relatable and likeable. When crazy things started to happen around her and to her, I definitely think that she reacted in a realistic way, unlike some things that I have seen in YA. She has a deep and detailed past, and it added another layer of characterization that really made me like her even more.
The other characters were good as well. I really loved the interactions between Angie and her dad. So many times in YA, parental relationships are nonexistent or only halfheartedly done. This story really showcased a good relationship between father and daughter, and I really enjoyed the dynamics between them.
Where this story went wrong for me, though, was in one big area for me. I read in another review that this would be good for fans of Twilight, and as I kept reading, I noticed this definitely had a lot of similarities to other earlier 2000s YA. It has the mysterious guy who is supernatural with the whole what are you thing; cheesy villain girl who is so mean to the MC and oh so pretty (but actually not); friends that are kind of just background noise for the romance; and a romance that comes on heavy and fast. Had I read this at the height of these books like Twilight; Hush, Hush; or Fallen, I think I would really, really would have liked this book. However, after really getting burned out by stories that kind of fell in this pattern, I found myself losing interest in this book because it fell into a lot of the old tropes. HOWEVER, it does do those tropes well, and I still found myself intrigued enough to keep going on. I just found myself not so interested in the romance and could predict a lot of what was going to happen – which took out some of the fun for me.
This book has a premise that is definitely unlike anything that I’ve read in YA in a long while. It has intriguing mythology, wonderful world building and atmosphere creation, and a very likeable main character. However, it did lose a bit of its potential since it fell into a bit of a pattern that I was burned out of and could predict too much of. It is still a well done book, and Kassel has a wonderful writing style that is easy to read. I’ll definitely be looking for her books again in the future. 3 crowns and a Belle rating!
Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.
- Three (3) winners will receive A Black Bird of the Gallows canvas tote bag (11“x14”) which includes a custom made crow pendant and ball chain, bookmark and stickers, $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT):
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