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Black Bird of the Gallows

(Black Bird of the Gallows #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,525 ratings  ·  394 reviews
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
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Entangled: Teen
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Sonja Yes it is. There will be more books in the serie but all stand-alones.
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ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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C.G. Drews
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A story all about harbringers, evil bees, music and paranormal tropes that get deliciously shaken up?!? I AM SO HERE FOR THIS. I so so enjoyed this one. It's pretty dark too, which...excuse me while I slither out of the darkness, but yes please. And the characters were winning, it had epic friendships, the catastrophes were terrifying...and EVERYTHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG! Lovely!

It had a lot of paranormal tropes...and it totally mixed them up! Like you know how the Hot Supernatural Boy comes into town/>It
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I would rather the first boy who makes my heart beat like this, who makes my senses come alive, be a normal, human one, but I shouldn't be surprised. "Normal" hasn't exactly defined much of my life.

I loved the paranormal romance genre as a teen, but hadn't picked it up in a while, so when I was offered a copy of this book, I jumped at the chance - and I'm so glad that I did!

Angie is a really likable narrator; she's been through a lot of hell in her eighteen years, and she portrays it
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"


Like a huge wave Black Bird of the Gallows engulfed me in its magic world and did not release me before the last sentence was over. It left me ashore a little stunned and with starry eyes.



Meg Kassel achieved the high feat of making me rediscover a genre that I've read often. No blazé reader here!


-The concept was original with Harbingers and Beekeepers.

-The pace was just right not too rushed not too slow.

-The characters were endeering and relatable.

-The romance was swoony.



Like a huge wave Black Bird of the Gallows engulfed me in its magic world and did not release me before the last sentence was over. It left me ashore a little stunned and with starry eyes.



Meg Kassel achieved the high feat of making me rediscover a genre that I've read often. No blazé reader here!


-The concept was original with Harbingers and Beekeepers.

-The pace was just right not too rushed not too slow.

-The characters were endeering and relatable.

-The romance was swoony.


-Everything worked perfectly.


But I gush and I haven't explained the story yet!

Take a seventeen year old Angie living with her dad in a small old mining town. Angie has lived a life of neglect with her mom for years until some tragic event led her in her loving father's arms again.
Angie has bagage. She is loaded with traumatic memories but thanks to music and probably therapy she is one of the most sane teenagers I know. She lives happily with her dad and has two great nerd/musicians best friends.

Now introduce a new family moving in the haunted house next door. Haunted as some horrific events happened in the house and no one wants to live in this house anymore.

Of course Angie is curious about her new neighbors. And of course she'll look after her dad's binocular to have a better view. Certainly not to check the new extra gorgeous boy next door...

No luck though as there is a lot of crows in the way. Crows multiplying for weeks. Crows with red eyes and bringing small trove to Angie. Weird you say?

Well add a mysterious man in a wool jacket and a changing blurry face and see if it gets weirder by the day.

Of course the new neighbor would be built and handsome and kind and...Angie is falling for Reece.

All would be well if Reece did not have a huge secret. And if Angie's town was not on the brink of a huge change.


Ok I stop here for the plot.



To make it short:

-Reece was the perfect YA hero. The one to make you wish go back to your first crush. See what he told Angie and tell me if it does not make you fall hard for him:
"The world reeks of death and pain, and you smell like life and joy and everything I can never have."

-Angie was the right mix between strong and flawed, caring and curious, beautiful but not ostentatious.

-The side kicks as in her best friends, her dad and Reece's family had just enough substance to help run the story smoothly.

-The fantasy creatures were a new and fresh concept.

-I love star crossed or doomed lovers.

-The romance was just swoony and had me all starry eyes. A little heart broken for them too.

-The ending was unpredictable and just..right.


Books like this one are real treats for Fantasy YA lovers like me. So read it as it's one of my best 2017 books. It wil certainly not be my last Meg Kassel's.

And buy the printed book as not only is the cover gorgeous but the insidd of the book is just as beautiful!!!


Thanks for reading!


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(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)

This was a YA paranormal romance featuring a harbinger of death who could turn into a crow.

Angie was an okay character, and I understood how she didn’t like attention after being labelled a freak after the situation she had been in with her mother. Living in a van with a drug-addicted mother, and being taken away shortly before her mother overdosed was hard enough for her
Dec 18, 2015 marked it as to-read

Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Angie Dovage is like most people would be, a bit curious as to who her new neighbors are and what they will be like. When Angie runs into Reece Fernandez at the bus stop her curiosity is piqued even more by the good looking strange boy. Angie takes it upon herself to follow Reece and find out just what is behind the mysterious new boy.

What Angie ends up finding about Reece would send most people running and screaming. Reece is not a normal human boy, he's a harbinger of death. When a death happ
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-releases
4.5 stars. Very, very good. =)

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear
Dec 17, 2017 marked it as dnf
Yeah....I'm calling it. dnfing around page 70. (so early, Katie? I know!)

I don't rate books I don't finish, but right now I'd give this a 1- 1.5 stars.

The writing style isn't for me. I don't like the characters. The instalove is already too much. And for lack of a better word, this book is just too weird for me. (and this is coming from someone who loves weird).

Too much angst. Too much immaturity. Maybe I would have enjoyed this more in high school but I don't know. It f
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly ... Sorry, I kept hearing this song each time I read the title and music does feature in the book so it's not completely out there ...

The first thing I absolutely have to address about Black Bird of the Gallows is that cover. If you want people to need to buy a book without even knowing what it's about, then it seems like L.J. Anderson from Mayhem Cover Creations is your go to person. I simply adore the cover design and use of c
Aug 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
So far so good. Not. Lured by the synopsis I began reading this book, and so far I find it to be full of topics:

- curious girl who feels atracted to the new guy who just moved into town and nest house
- misterious brooding new guy who just moved into town
- paranormal events: crows and flies flyring around, another misterious brooding guy who seems to be an enemy to the first
- main girl ability to read on every little movement and glance of the new guy, never mind the
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Meg Kassel's debut novel was packed with thrill, romance and a chase unlike any other. Delve into the world of paranormal and be prepared for the rush as the author delivered a gothic horror novel that is both thrilling and chilling in this original story of ancient mythical creatures and the battle of good versus evil - featuring the harbingers of death.

Angie Dovage is a survivor of a childhood horror story that made her a victim of the rumors headlining the news. Now that she lives with he
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you so much to Entangled and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this AWESOME paranormal treat by Meg Kassel! Wow, this was so different from anything else I've read lately and I really loved Meg Kassel's originality in creating this supernatural world and plot elements.

Angie hasn't had the easiest past with a neglectful mother, and now lives with her father. When a new family moves in next door, into a house where there was a grisly murder, she's immediately curious about their
Melissa Souza
3 stars!!!

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was pretty excited I have to say. But, unfortunately, this turned out to be a very average read for me. I guess it's because I found the story to have a usual YA elements. There wasn't enough of unique elements to push me to give it 4 or 5 stars. To get a clearer picture of why this was, let me unpack my reasons.

Firstly, I thought the book had potential to be awesome. I liked the concept of a world where there are the
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Checkout my full review + giveaway (ends 9/29) on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

I'm not sure how to start this review. This book was unique on so so many levels. The ideas behind this book are inspiring and there are many interesting twists with the mythology. This book was an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I hope there are more books into this series. I want to know more of Reece's past and how he became the "harbinger of death."

I really enjoyed Angie and Reece. They are a uniq
Kristen Burns
3.5 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book via YA Bound Book Tours. This has not influenced my review.*

This book had many of the typical YA trappings, but it also had a lot of uniqueness, and that was why I liked it.

I loved how this author took the idea of crows being harbingers of death and turned it into an actual supernatural creature. I have no idea if any author has ever done that before, but if they have, I've not come across it. It was unique and creative, and/>
Kira Simion
Jan 11, 2017 marked it as to-read
I don't mind authors who give themselves 5 stars or so. It's their work and they've invested time into bringing it to life. No judgement there.

Also, anyone else get a Scythe (that is another book) feel from this blurb? Just the thing where death follows the Harbinger in this one and death follows a Scythe in Scythe.
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
3.5 Stars
“I hold my breath and watch the crow glide away. It melts into the blackness, silent as a ghost. Lonely as the night.
Dark as a boy’s eyes.”

Black Bird of the Gallows is such a unique fantasy story! (and I think it’s a standalone too) We follow Angie Dovage as she gets to know her new neighbor, Reece Fernandez in a town that’s primed for disaster. With the town’s crow and bee populations increasing, Angie thinks Reece might have answers. The atmosphere is dark and the world building is fantastic/>
Kate (beautifulbookland)
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, net-galley
I've always had a tenuous relationship with bees. I was freaking petrified of them when I was younger, and only came to accept that they're actually pretty important about a year or two ago. So now, after reading a book about mutant psychosis-inducing bees, I'm back to square one, and I don't think I'm ever going to look at a bee the same again.

This book is enchanting. Mysterious, downright creepy, but enchanting all the same. I've recently been struggling a bit with my concentration, but this
Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥
Black Bird of the Gallows was hauntingly addicting, and I found myself completely mesmerized as the story unfolded. The creatures and curses were not only unique, but an eerie combination that at times terrified me. There were so many moments of subtle humor that had me laughing out loud and kept a smile on my face. And when you add to that characters that won my heart, well Black Bird of the Gallows easily became one of my favorite books from this year!
What are you?” The question slips out— suddenly, vitallyear!
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Finally! I recommended a book to the library...and they actually purchased it for lil ole me! :D But when I went to mark it as currently reading on Goodreads, I noticed that there's now a sequel listed and I'm all Noooo! I thought this was a stand-alone! The book gods are cruel like that. Except...the way this one ended, you wouldn't necessarily have to continue with the series. And I doubt I will be. The premise of this story had so much promise, but the execution just fell flat. It didn't have any depth, the ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Beautifully written, Black Bird of the Gallows is a love story filled with curses and people who have seen far to much in their lives that you won't be able to put down. Meg Kassel develops a unique mythology with harbingers of death, beekeepers, and other ancient brings that are mysterious and infinitely more terrifying...maybe because we know so little about them. (Perhaps in another book?!?) I can't wait for the ebook novella, Cleaner of Bones, and the companion, The Beekeeper. Highly recomme ...more
Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)
Black Bird of the Gallows was an interesting and creative YA fantasy novel. I really enjoyed the mythology and fantasy elements of this book. The author created an immersive and mesmerizing world that I got lost in. The world-building was executed very well, and I kept wanting to learn more and more about the world. I would have liked for the fantasy elements to have been presented a little earlier in the book to help pick up the pace, however, I still enjoyed the way the world was introduced.

The begi
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
Oh NO, it really finished guys :( !, that makes me so sad, I feel I need more of this world and its characters, read this book it was all an experience, I underestimated it and it really surprised me


I want to thank NetGalley and Entangled Publishing,LLC for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review

4/5 Stars

You can find this on andmore of my review on my blog A Book. A Thought.

A Book. A Thought.

Black Bird of the Gallows is the typical paranormal story that follows the typical character of the innocent beautifull girl, and the handsome and miterious guy. I feel that it has many similarities to Twilight, the Lux saga or even to Hush Hush, and even when I've enjoyed of most of those series, that was a long time ago, so nowadays to find a book that reminds me of the typical Ya Paranormal story, it was something that scared me a little bit. Being honest, I thought, since the beginning, that I wouldn't like it and took me completely by surprise, I didn't just started to enjoying it once I got more into it but in the end I feel that I need more of this fabulous paranormal plot. I don't know if there will be more books, because although it works well as stand-alone it would really be incredible to have at least a duology. Yes guys, I liked it that much lol


The paranormal aspects are very original, the author's idea to use animals like bees and crows, and put all this legend around them and make the whole thing something dark and cursed is great, never heard nothing like it before. At first I wasn't sure if it worked, I found the whole thing a little bit weird, but ended up working and being something unique. I also liked that the whole plot takes place in a small town where appearances deceive and everything has an mystery aura, that has been great, it gives a touch of tv serie, something like The Vampire Diaries or Supernatual. In fact I think if you enjoy some of those shows you like the book too

There is nothing really amazing about the characters, they are quite normal and typical in this type of story,. at one point I thought it would exist a kind of love triangle and I was really worried about that, but it ended up being the opposite and didn't fall into that topic, which sometimes bothers us so much, was a good thing

What I want to highlight and what I most enjoy was the Meg Kassel writing style, is incredible, super cool and easy to read, I also sincerely think that you could read this book easily in one day, it's so addictive and fast-paced, I sadly didn't have the chance to finish it so fast because life lol, but I would have liked to do it if I could. Once you start with it is very difficult to put it down. I'm 100% sure that I'll read anything by this author in the future. I highly recommend this book if you're in the middle of some reading challenge, it's perfect for such occasions.


I feel that at one point there was a lot of action going on and I was terrified by the result and then PUM!, the book ended, and here I am, still with a million questions. So I don't know how to feel about the end, I think it was rushed. Easily I could have devoured 100 pages more of this story without getting tired and maybe I would have more answers to my questions or at least to know more about what happened with the secondary characters, that is why I hope there is a continuation. And although the book, as I said, ends quite well, I feel that it is not one of my favorite endings and it's from those books that you stay waiting for more.

I highly recommend it if you want a funny paranormal reading, you'll read it very fast and you'll surely enjoy the writing style that is cool and it's not heavy at all. I also want to add that if you don't mind the typical Paranormal YA topics then surely you'll enjoy it, it's a fresh and entertaining reading, GO FOR IT!
Patty (IheartYA)
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This was good, could have been great. Easy read. It felt Twilight-ish but the plot was entertaining. It got a tad messy in parts, and the writing style was plain. The end was corny and didn't flow well with the rest of the story as if the writer didn't know how to wrap it up. I wanted to love this book but I couldn't.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from BookExpo America. It's an Advance Reading Copy. I was fortunate to meet the author, who signed it for me! I knew I would enjoy her writing as early as reading page 2 ....... the dad's running shirt is described as being, "a retina-piercing shade of highlighter yellow"! Love it!
The story involves a shy, motherless, teenage girl who falls for the new neighbor; a handsome, charming, teenage boy. Both have troubled pasts and live with secrets that are too difficult for a
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
★3.5 Stars! Black Bird of the Gallows...
“His lips brush against mine in the whisper of a kiss. It’s different from any other. It tastes of certainty and sadness and promises that can never be made.”


A few words to describe this book:
1) Intriguing
2) Unique
3) Creepy
3) A great balance of friendship, love, family, pain and sacrifice.
5) But...predictable.
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Hmm interesting cover choice, I'm not mad at this
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Meg Kassel nails it with her debut novel. Black Bird of the gallows was an intriguing YA fantasy/paranormal read.

"Don't follow me again, Angie. Death is never far behind me. I don't want it to catch you."

I love the unique ideas and paranormal elements Meg gives us in this book. She created very interesting world of harbingers and beekeepers. I love how she built everything up and introduced us to this world, I just wish she would have added more of these elements a little earlier on/>
"Fly with me, baby, there’s nothing to fear. Stay with me today, before you have to go. Be with me, baby, no need to hide. In the light of the new day, the fire’s burning low. Can’t stop searching, for some spark of hope. Find your way to dry land, the sea will drag me down. Swimming to the far shore, to the lonely underground. You’ll be gone before I’ve drowned. Before I ever make a sound, I’ll never make a sound…"

I. Loved. This. Book.
To say this book was good is like saying t
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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 embracing her true passion, writing. She now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her family, and is busy at work on her next novel. A fan of ’80s cartoons, original Netflix series, daydreaming, and ancient m ...more

Other books in the series

Black Bird of the Gallows (2 books)
  • Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows, #2)
“He leans forward, resting his forehead against mine. I feel his breath on my skin as he exhales a deep breath.
"I'm sorry." His voice is slurred and rough. "But you see, I should have been dead for nearly two hundred years. Instead, by chance, I was found by a curse and was turned into this. Not human, not immortals, but some cruel melding of the two. I endured two centuries of horrors, and maybe it was all so I could be here with you. If my unnatural existence means nothing else, it means this. I get to be here, now, with you.”
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