Monday, September 11, 2017

I'll Never Look at a Bee the Same Way Again! (Black Bird of the Gallows review)

TITLE: Black Bird of the Gallows
AUTHOR: Meg Kassel
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing
PUBLISHING DATE: September 5, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: 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.

MY THOUGHTS: This book has been on my radar since I first saw that gorgeous cover and you have to admit, it is a pretty well done cover. I believe this is Kassel's debut book and I can firmly say that I am interested in seeing what she writes in the future and will make sure to give any new books by her a chance.

"Black Bird of the Gallows" tells the story of Angie Dovage, a high school senior living with her father and their lovable and trusty dog in a town called Cadence. Reece Fernandez, a new boy, moves in next door and while Angie is immediately aware of how gorgeous he is, she is also aware that something isn't quite right. In addition, Angie and her friends, Lacey and Deno, are not part of the "in" crowd so she finds it to think that Reece is interested in her whatsoever. Anyone thinking this is just a "typical" YA love story, stop because it's so much more and it's the "more" that made this book totally readable for me. 

Reece is a harbinger of death who morphs into a crow and feeds upon death energy. He and the other harbingers have flocked to Cadence in preparation for a huge disaster that is forecast. This disaster has also brought forth a "Beekeeper." This individual brings death and destruction wherever he arrives by stinging people with the bees that reside within his mouth. Once stung, the individual loses their mind and starts becoming more and more violent until they eventually are killed or die on their own. Reece knows what's in store and he wants nothing more than to keep Angie safe.

This was a very quick and engaging read. Although there were some elements of paranormal romance, the book also contained elements of bullying, drug abuse and non-traditional families (I loved that Angie's father is actually present in the book and not your typical absent YA parent). Their is tons of action in the later half of the book and overall, there is a very dark tone to the entire plot. The beekeepers are rather scary individuals and although I had flashbacks to the "Candyman" movie, they are a pretty original concept.

My main concern with the book is that the ending seemed rushed and wasn't quite what I wanted. I don't want to give anything away, but I feel like everything was wrapped up in a nice and neat package at the end and I didn't think it was necessarily called for. As far as I know this is a stand-alone novel so the ending works, but it could have went in a different direction and still not called for a sequel. 

If you love dark tales and don't mind some YA angst thrown in amidst some good horror and great writing, then I would suggest you pick up "Black Bird of the Gallows." 

I received this book from the author and Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.



  1. This one sounds wonderful! I've been seeing it around blogs for months, but sadly I didn't have time to take it on for review even though I was intrigued. It's definitely going on the wishlist for this winter when I do my catch up reading.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I had high expectations for this one and am glad I liked it as much as I did.

  2. I really like the cover! I've got a thing about crow covers!

  3. I really love that cover too! This sounds like such a cool read!

  4. I want to read this too! I love the idea of a "harbinger of death," but I had no idea there was a scary killer bee creature in the story:-0

    1. Yea, that twist kind of threw me for a curve too.

  5. oh I'm so happy you posted this review Barb! I was soooo looking forward to it. Without reading the blurb I had the feeling it had to do with bad omens. The fact that "Reece is a harbinger of death who morphs into a crow" makes me giggle with excitement. For some reason I'm obsessed with that kind of things. AND I'm so into high school drama lately AND paranormal romance it's something I mostly dig so I'm SO reading this one in October!

    1. I think you'll fine the Beekeepers interesting as well.

  6. This sounds really appealing to me. I had never heard of it before! I'm going to keep my eyes out for it.