Summary: Angie Dovage knows there’s something more to Reece Fernadez, the cute boy who’s just moved in next door. And the crows taking over her town are definitely not normal either. When someone, or something, supernatural tries to attack her and Reece is there to save the day, Angie is thrown into a plot involving good and evil that’s set to destroy her town. But nothing is as bad as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
I received an ARC of Black Bird of the Gallows at Book Con 2017. It was a really sweet experience meeting Meg Kassel, especially since this is her debut novel, and she was so excited to meet and chat with everyone in line.
Yes, I am aware that Black Bird of the Gallows came out in September, but I ended up stashing it on my physical TBR for when I’m at school and don’t have access to my library and bookshelves as much. If you are ever behind on your ARCs and want to catch up, I recommend checking out the State of the ARC meme, hosted by Avalinah’s Books. I was also a bit tentative to pick up Black Bird of the Gallow because I usually don’t reach for paranormal or supernatural stories, but I thought it’d be a great way to branch out of my normal reading habits. Meg and some reviewers’ excitement also made me want to give it a shot.
If you’re on the lookout for some readathon books, I recommend giving Black Bird of the Gallows a go because the writing style makes the book super easy to fly through. It made me want to keep reading and never let go of Angie and her dog, Roger. I liked how the book took place in an urban setting and how much time we got to spend learning about Angie’s family and background. It was interesting to learn about Angie’s mom, and I didn’t expect her to be swept into the paranormal aspects of the story. Honestly, Angie was a really cool main character, between her great friendship with Deno and Lacey, HER MINT VOLKSWAGEN BUS, and her DJ skills—I’ve never read a book with a character who’s a DJ. While I think Deno and Lacey were a great support system for her, I disliked how Angie makes such a fuss over making out with Deno, but it never actually comes into play.
As I mentioned above, I don’t read too many books with supernatural elements, but the world-building and supernaturalness of Black Bird of the Gallows felt really unique. While my favorite part of the novel was learning about Angie’s family, I liked learning about Reece’s past history, the crows, and the Beekeepers. It set a really creepy tone for the story and I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the great tragedy that Reece has warned Angie about. Reece’s character development was strong, and I liked seeing him open up more to Angie.
I went into the book knowing that there was romance, but I didn’t expect Reece and Angie to be so insta-lovey. Angie finds Reece attractive from the start of the novel, but I didn’t expect her feelings for him to come so soon (the lunch period the day they meet), especially with the Beekeeper and crow encounter that morning. I also think that the fact that Angie and Reece knew each other from where they were younger was meant to be cute, but I found it to be a tad creepy and unexpected. I wish we got to spend more time with Reece’s family because I thought their history was really interesting and although they help during the destruction of the town, I thought they would have a larger role. I also thought that Angie’s sacrifice at the end would come with bigger consequences, and while it’s nice to have a happily-ever after, I would have been quite satisfied with to see Angie take on some supernatural elements of her own. With the book’s paranormal vibes, it would have fit perfectly.
Overall, if you enjoy paranormal romances or are looking for a creepy story for Halloween time, I highly recommend picking up Black Bird of the Gallows for its unique supernatural aspects and world building.
Have you read Black Bird of the Gallows? Share in the comments!