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.
This book is being used for the Terror in a Small Town square for the 2017 Halloween Bingo.