I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
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.
As soon as I saw the first words of the summary for this debut novel, I knew that I wanted to read this book. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the cover is one of my favorites I’ve seen this year. I couldn’t believe my luck when my review request was approved. Then I proceeded to immediately start reading. Black Bird of the Gallows is a fantastic and imaginative debut that met my expectations in every way.
From the very first page, I could tell that this story was going to be deliciously dark. The story begins as Angie Dovage notices new neighbors moving into the house where a horrible tragedy occurred a few months prior. From their first meeting, she senses that there’s more to the new boy next door, Reece Fernandez, than meets the eye. As the story progresses, Angie is slowly drawn into a supernatural world that she never knew existed. With the town in danger, a crush who turns out to be a harbinger of doom, and ever-present demons from her past, Angie must deal with being unexpectedly thrust into a battle between good and evil.
The pacing in this book was perfect, I was entirely engrossed in the novel and ended up finishing it in two days. I loved how the author slowly unspooled the mystery, keeping the tension just high enough for the reader to always be intrigued. There were some unexpected twists that I didn’t see coming. As much as this was a story about the harbingers of doom, it was also a story of Angie finally coming to terms with her traumatizing past. If you’re easily creeped out, I would not recommend reading this one before bed since some of the villains are somewhat nightmare inducing (they’re truly excellent, innovative, and wonderful but still incredibly creepy).
As much as I enjoyed the romance that slowly developed between Angie and Reece, I liked her relationships with her friends and her father more. Angie’s relationship with her dad was wonderful to see and led to some moments that made me actually laugh out loud. I also liked that as Angie’s romantic relationship developed, she didn’t leave her friends behind. Also, despite being secondary characters, both Deno and Lacey were fully developed and just as well-written as Angie was. As for Reece, I loved how his backstory was slowly revealed and how vulnerable he was with Angie, especially as she lets down her walls with him. Their relationship was based on mutual respect and friendship rather than just lust, which was a nice change.
Black Bird of the Gallows was the perfect fall read, with just the right mix of spooky, creepy, and swoony moments. I’ve already decided that I’ll be buying Meg Kassel’s next book, I enjoyed this one so much.