Black Bird of the Gallows

Black Bird of the Gallows

3.75 (950 ratings by Goodreads)
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A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. Harbingers settle in places where tragedy is about to strike, then feed on the energy of the dying. Then, they leave. Off to the next doomed place. No one wants a family of harbingers of death as neighbors, but that's exactly what seventeen-year-old Angie Dovage gets when Reece Fernandez moves in next door.

Angie knows the mysterious boy is more than he appears, but can't imagine that his presence heralds a massive tragedy that will soon devastate the region. She has more to worry about than Reece's inevitable departure, because where harbingers of death go, the Beekeepers follow. Their sting turns sane people crazy, kind people into killers. Where Beekeepers go, people die. Quite horribly, in fact. Their love of chaos makes a disaster that much harder to survive, and they are stinging at will, causing a sudden epidemic of violence in her quiet mining town.

Angie wants to protect everyone she cares about, but stopping the Beekeepers involves a choice that will claim her life or Reece's soul. She's about to learn the price of both.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 300 pages
  • 143 x 213 x 28mm | 428g
  • Fort Collins, United States
  • English
  • 1633758141
  • 9781633758148
  • 197,457

Review quote

..".the author has created an interesting world of mythical and paranormal creatures that will appeal to avid fans of the genre." - School Library Journal

"A pleasingly original contribution to the paranormal-romance genre." - Kirkus Reviews "A pleasingly original contribution to the paranormal-romance genre." - Kirkus Reviews "A teenage girl discovers what happens when the new boy next door is literally a harbinger of doom in this supernatural YA novel.

Angie Dovage, 17, has a secret identity that only her two closest friends know about--but she's not a superhero: she DJs at a local club as "Sparo," disguised in a bright purple wig and big, green sunglasses. She also has other things that she'd prefer to keep hidden; for instance, she doesn't like talking about her childhood with an addict mother living in a Volkswagen van and how she was finally returned to her father's custody. But her new next-door neighbor and classmate, Reece Fernandez, may have even bigger secrets. Angie saw him with a strange man whose face impossibly transformed, right before her eyes. Reece also appears to have a private, haunting sorrow of some kind, and he's oddly alarmed by bees. As Angie has more encounters with him, it's eventually revealed that the face-changing man is a cursed creature called a Beekeeper whose bees' stings turn people into paranoid killers. As for Reece, he and his fellow crow people are also cursed and attracted to sites of tragic destruction. Despite this, Angie finds herself deeply drawn to him. She can't stop the cataclysm that will hit her town, but can she save herself, her friends, and Reece? One of the most successful elements of Kassel's debut novel is its mythmaking. Rather than drawing on tired tropes such as vampire, werewolf, or fairy lore, she creates an original set of cursed beings with hints of a still-wider mythology, including a mysterious figure called the Strawman. The face-changing man with bees crawling out of his mouth is the genuine stuff of nightmares. Reece's crow people are mysterious, but their actions are also based on real-life corvids' natural behavior. Kassel's characterization is also strong; for example, Angie's music and DJ persona give her a way to work through her issues and show her strengths. Some of the emotions on display can be rather melodramatic, but they're appropriate enough for teenagers, especially considering the novel's big events.

A pleasingly original contribution to the paranormal-romance genre." - Kirkus Reviews
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About Meg Kassel

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(c) winner in YA. Her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows, releases fall of 2017.
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Rating details

950 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 30% (287)
4 30% (284)
3 28% (264)
2 9% (87)
1 3% (28)
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