Title: Black Bird of the Gallows
Author: Meg Kassel
Publication date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing/ Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
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.
When I first saw the cover of this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. Black Bird of the Gallows is a paranormal romance enriched with fierce characters, unique legends, and a creepy antagonist. This intriguing book is a constant page-turner leading up to a finale that is truly frightening but also heart warming.
One of favorite aspects of the book was the strong chemistry between Angie and Reece. Both characters are quite different in many ways, but their oppositions strengthen the attraction between them. The strong pairing of trust and brutal honesty that they share with each other allows their relationship to mature. I love that even when they have landslides and swarms of bees threatening their lives, they continue to protect each other.
Overall, I think I enjoyed this book because, although it sticks to many traditional characteristics of young adult novels, Black Bird of the Gallows is littered with new and innovative myths and legends. Those who are considered cursed still believe in redemption, and evil is provided karma-tic relief. I like that the author does not shy away from portraying the characters with their everyday adolescent struggles. Instead, these characters are provided groundwork to discover who they are through actions and reactions. They are challenged by everyday struggles and evildoers, and their hearts and minds are forced into different tug-of-war battles.
More importantly, the friendships in this novel had me smiling ear-to-ear and swooning. Self-identity, inner strength, and understanding true friendships are common themes that encompass this novel. Every page will have your eyes brimming with tears from laughter, heartache, or the simple acknowledgement that the hardest choices in life can result in the best endings.
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):
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.