Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel


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. 

Book Details

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Series: Black Bird of the Gallows (#1)
Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Published September 5th 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Hardcover, 300 pages
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


Book Review

Black Bird of the Gallows brings to the YA paranormal arena a fast-paced and unique read filled with dark magic, supernatural harbingers and, of course, lots of mysterious crows. Oh, and bees too. Plus, there's a boy, a not-of the human variety boy, that brings plenty of swoon and chaos in his wake. 

I was immediately fascinated by the book's description and wanted to know more about these strange harbingers of death. Meg Kassel does not disappoint. I found myself hooked on her writing style; A mix of dark and gritty paranormal, swoony romance, and a steady build-up of tension. 

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

The plot is surprisingly intricate and deftly mixes in curses, magic, and harbingers of death in a battle of good vs. evil. 

I loved learning more about these supernaturals and the mythology built around them. Why are the crows flocking to this small hometown and why does Reece seem to be at the center of it all? What exactly is a  harbinger?

As a protagonist, Angie is easily likable and a relatable heroine to follow. I loved the fact that she is a DJ at the local club. Known only as "Sparo" she disguises herself in big, green sunglasses, costume wigs, and platforms—keeping her identity a secret. She tries to hide the fact that she's had a troubled childhood with her mom, but now has a fresh new start with her sweet, if oddball, father.

Angie knows there is something strange about the boy-next-door, but feels strangely drawn to him. Each encounter they share seems to be followed by death and chaos.

Reece, of course, is dark and brooding, but also sweet and mischievous at times. It's clear that he's not human, but Meg Kassel keeps readers guessing as to what his connection to the crows, the curse that he hides, and the strange supernatural known as the Beekeeper are. If you like the forbidden and dangerous hero type, then Reece is for you.

Her love breaks his curse.
But his love spells her death.

As for villains, The Beekeeper is a strange and fascinating character. He adds a dark, dangerous vibe to the story. I can't help but be intrigued and would love to know more about him.

In the end

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel is filled with a great balance of paranormal, swoon, and danger with supernaturals you don't usually find in a YA read. I'm definitely keeping my eye out in hopes of the Beekeeper's story.

Recommended for: Readers of YA looking for a unique paranormal read.