Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Black Bird of the Gallows

byMeg Kassel

Kobo ebook | September 5, 2017

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"A pleasingly original contribution to the paranormal-romance genre.” —Kirkus Reviews

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.

Each book in the Black Bird of the Gallows series is STANDALONE:
* Cleaner of Bones (Prequel)
* Black Bird of the Gallows
* Keeper of the Bees

Title:Black Bird of the GallowsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 5, 2017Publisher:Entangled Publishing, LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:163375815X

ISBN - 13:9781633758155


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy and Addictive Black Bird of the Gallows was such a pleasant read. Its beautiful yet somber cover definitely does the book justice. I really enjoyed the supernatural aspect of the story. Although some parts of the story felt too drawn out the writing and pacing in Black Bird of the Gallows made for a great read. Each chapter title held my interest and the short lengths kept the flow of the story. Ms. Kassel managed to pack a lot of details into a 300 page book. I was really intrigued by the harbinger/Beekeeper curses. Learning about them was my favourite part of the story. I only wish there was more explanation for that climax and the aftermath. It felt a little simple given all the build up. Angie is such an admirable character. She's experienced much horrors at a young age. Her alternate persona shows us she has a vulnerable side but she's doesn't let her past define her. When odd things started happening in her town her quiet strength helped her stay on a sane path. With one selfless act after another Angie again and again proved her worth. She was also full of silly thoughts a lot of times so it's impossible not to like her. There's a certain degree of attraction between Angie and Reece right off the bat but I wouldn't exactly call it insta-love. I wasn't very convinced of their romance until the story showed me there was more to them than meets the eye. The reality of their relationship will make your heart ache for them but there was no shortage of sweetness and fluttery feels between the two. Black Bird of the Gallows is yet another terrific read for paranormal lovers. I was fascinated by the story and I'm really glad I took the time to read it!
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it GORGEOUS COVER I believe this is a debut novel for Meg Kassel and she did an AMAZING job! I absolutely loved this book and I see there will be a novella and a companion novel which I cannot wait for. The book starts out by following our main character Angie Dovage spying on her new neighbours moving into a house where lots of death has taken place. Angie heads down to the bus stop where she runs into her new neighbour Reece Fernandez who just happens to be a total hottie (hello potential love interest?). While waiting for the stop two weird things happen; a swarm of crows flies at them and encircles Reece and he is seen talking to a strange man with changing faces. Angie tries to convince herself that she is just seeing things and all the crows isn't weird but, as the story progresses crows seem to be drawn to her and to Reece and she needs answers! Later on in the book she learns that Harbingers of Death are real. This first chapter had me hooked already, the concept of Harbinger's of Death is absolutely fascinating to me and I have never read a story like this, it is completely original. Not to mention Meg Kassel's writing was fantastic and easy to read. I enjoy a dark story and this filled that role. All the crows gave a creepy feeling to the book as crows are associated with death because they are carrion birds so you know there has to be lots of death if crows are everywhere! Besides the creepy dark feeling to the book there was a bit of romance too that didn't overpower the story. this book is a good read for anyone who enjoys a darker magical realism story with a bit of romance. And for those of you who do not like romance don't worry you'l still love it! I urge everyone to give this a shot, you wont regret it!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling Dark Fantasy The house next door to Angie's has been vacant ever since her ex-neighbour came home from a business trip, then set to work killing his entire family and himself. Not many people want to live in a home where a murder-suicide took place. So when Reece Fernandez moves in with his mother and siblings, she's intrigued, especially since after meeting him odd occurrences start to happen. It certainly doesn't hurt that he's very tall and extremely attractive, either. As Angie gets to know Reece it becomes apparent that he has some dark secrets. It is clear to her that he has suffered a terrible tragedy in his past. He wears an open expression of grief and despair that she instantly recognises and is drawn to. He is intense, mysterious and displays an unusual affinity with the mass of large black birds that have recently started to swarm on their street. Angie has a painful history that affects her and makes her vulnerable. She is a multidimensional young woman and like Reece, is not as she appears on the surface. Only her two close friends know that she is Sparo, a popular DJ at a local night club. With prophetic warnings and ominous signs appearing around her, she has to pay attention. She finds herself in increasingly dangerous situations as she is unwittingly drawn into a battle between good and evil. Black Bird of the Gallows is filled with omens, curses, frightening otherworldly beings, menacing creatures and brooding, creepy atmosphere. There were some outstanding visuals involving bees that reminded me of the wonderful film Candyman. The relationship between the two central characters was slightly familiar, but this was offset by the originality of the story's mythos. The book contained enough chills to keep me riveted, not to mention the stunningly beautiful cover! I thoroughly enjoyed this darkly delicious YA and would recommend to readers who love thrilling tales, gothic romance and fantasy.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Stunning cover! I was rather excited to read this book, but, unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype. It is not a bad debut novel, but it lacked depth and solidness of the plot and characterization. The idea of the crows being the supernatural creatures and harbingers of death is not a new one but Meg Kassel takes an interesting spin on it, adding more supernatural forces into the mix. However, a lot of the explanations of the magic and the rules of it were vague, undeveloped, and the ending had a very rushed and ‘Deus Ex Machina’ feel. (Considering how many of YA books tend to have an ending that can be summarized as “well, this happened because it happened”, I am starting to think that a lot of people have never read any classic literature. Go and read the Greeks. It has all been done before.) It was not the worst ending ever but I could tell that this was going to happen a mile ahead. I did not like the fact that the author decided to title every chapter - it is my personal preference not to know what is going to happen in the chapter that I am about to read as all of those titles were basically spoilers. It sometimes took out the fun out of reading the story. I liked all of the characters in the book, which is rare. Well, almost everyone - I am not counting the bullies at school. Angie is lovely, and her father is one of the best supporting characters in YA, as he has both a distinctive voice and is not just a plot device, as it often happens with parents or relatives in the genre. Angie goes through some serious character development, that was well-written and thought through. Her friends are great too - they were both funny, and reliable, and supportive, and everything about them was great for the story. The relationship that they had with Angie was great and I loved how close they remained throughout it all. Let’s talk about Reece now. Okay, first things first: I love angsty and dark characters. I can live off angst. However, in case with Reece it was a bit overdone. I liked the way he was introduced in the story, as well as his background, his family, etc. But as the book progressed, we were not given any new information or anything else, the author just recycled the same facts over and over again. The plot concerning Reece, his family and the curse can be summarized in a couple of sentences. It is a very alluring plot, but it lacks depth and, ultimately, originality. Have you ever watched the movie “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt? Reece sometimes reminded me of Joe. The Fernandez family had a very strong vibe of Edward Cullen’s family, just on a less violent side. Overall, I did get occasional Twilight vibes from the book (a lonely, angsty girl, who comes to live with her father; a supernaturally attractive and dangerous boy; “the death follows me around” sort of thing, etc), but I guess it can be said about a lot of supernatural or urban fantasy YA books that came out after Twilight Saga (by the way, I am not fan of those books at all). I am not a huge fan of “insta-love” either but it somehow worked in this book. The amount of romance was a bit too much but it was not overly too sweet. I did, however, roll my eyes whenever those kids wanted to make out when the world was basically going to an end around them. I found a couple of copy-editorial mistakes, where things disappeared or appeared out of blue, but since I was reading the ARC, I can not tell if those made it into the final version. I have always loved crows but this books just reinforced my love for these birds. I will never look at the bees in the same way, though. I would have been able to deal with all of those if the style was more solid. The author’s writing suffers from a very common mistake of ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. The details of the curse are repeated over and over, as well as descriptions of things that happen at school, during the day, etc. Even with the first POV, it is still possible to avoid that. There was a whole passage almost at the very end of the book which was the repeated information, almost word to word, to what the characters had said just a page ago. It was glaringly obvious and redundant. A lot of things that happened during “the tragedy event” were told instead of described, and some of the details were so vague that I felt as if the author rushed through this part, when it should have been one of the major parts of the book. Like I said, “Black Bird of the Gallows” is a debut novel, not the worst but not the best either. I found it cute, but not too original. It was refreshing to read a stand alone novel though. I do feel that the author has a potential to produce great stories, but lacks the skill at this point. Will definitely keep an eye on her future projects. In spite of my opinion of the book, I do appreciate the opportunity provided to me by Entangled Teen to read and review the ARC.
Date published: 2017-09-05