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Blackbirch: The Beginning (Blackbirch #1)

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Welcome to Blackbirch. It’s a place no one forgets. Except for Josh Taylor.

The fatal car crash took more than 17-year-old Josh’s parents. It stole his memories and returned him to his birthplace, Blackbirch, a tourist town steeped in a history of witchcraft.

Amongst friends he’s forgotten and a life he doesn’t want, Josh is haunted by nightmares so believable he swears
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Paperback, 212 pages
Published February 17th 2020 by K.M. Allan
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Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  14 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Katya Dibb
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC REVIEW
A dark and intriguing debut novel.

Blackbirch: The Beginning is the kind of book that will make you stay up late reading it, and then invade your dreams. Honestly, I'm quite glad I've finished it so I don't have any more nightmares about shadows and fire.

At its heart, Blackbirch: The Beginning a mystery that pulled me through from page to page. Why doesn't Josh remember his past? Who is Kallie? And how is the scarred man involved? There is enough resolution at the end of this book to be
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Veronica Strachan
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA Fantasy readers
Dark secrets, dangerous woods, murder, magick and mayhem, everything you need for an engaging read. This is a wonderful debut from a very talented writer.
Blackbirch: The Beginning has the kind of smart, sharp prose that makes it stand head and shoulders above the usual YA read. I highly recommend it. Author K.M. Allan has created a credible magickal world tied to our own, and built the very odd and spooky town of Blackbirch. I was so taken by the setting and its part as a key character in the
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Naomi Lisa Shippen
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Josh Taylor has lost his beloved parents and the life he had in the city. Fostered out to his Mum’s best friend, he must learn to adjust to life in the quaint little tourist town of Blackbirch, whose twee façade hides a sinister reality.

Struggling to recover both emotionally and physically, seventeen year old Josh has to deal with both his overwhelming grief and his newly awakened supernatural powers. Trying to make sense of his new life, he turns to his adult mentors and high school friends.

But
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Sandy Barker
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't often read YA, but Blackbirch: The Beginning is the first of a new series of YA novels in the same vein as the Hunger Games and Divergent series - both which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This is a fast-paced and engaging story of how a young man comes to terms with the loss of his parents and, mysteriously, most of his memories from before their fatal accident.

He finds himself collecting allies - or are they? - as he discovers that there may be something more to his frighteningly real, yet
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A Davis
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book! The intrigue grabs you from page one, and this air of mystery and magic carries throughout the whole story. I was captivated by the mystery surrounding Josh, and what had happened to his parents. The atmosphere throughout is like electricity, every page is exciting and tense. The characters are believable, and I especially loved Max - I laughed out loud with him, which added another layer of enjoyment to this read. So enjoyable throughout and then a cliffhanger ending that ...more
Emma
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you like magic(k), tangled pasts, family secrets, haunted woods and an eerie town - this book is for you! K.M. Allan has done a superb job in crafting this foreboding world, filled with mystery, spells and a cast of likeable characters.

While Josh attempts to combat a past that has taken everything away from him, he must also learn how to decode his dreams, figure out who to trust and find out how to remember what really happened.

Fast-paced and evocative- 'Blackbirch: The Beginning' will
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Belinda Grant
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this evocative, spooky book. Such clear and viseral settings, engaging plot and a mystery that really paid off. A great read and I wish book 2 was out already.
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 31 January 2020

Quick disclaimer: K. M. Allan is a friend from the #6amAusWriters group on Twitter, and I received an ARC for free. I promise that neither of those facts have affected my review, though.

Witchcraft is my favourite form of magic, and the magick in Blackbirch definitely falls under that heading. From the start, Allan creates an almost other-worldly town in Blackbirch. It almost felt like the town wasn’t quite in the 21st
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Carly Mitchell
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a really cool debut from K.M. Allan. Lots of mystery, intrigue and creativity with the plot, and I'm very eager to read the sequel now after that ending! One of my favourite things about this novel was the descriptive language. I could picture places like the bookstore and the black birch forest so clearly in my mind. I really wish the bookstore was real so I could go and visit it!

Thanks so much, K.M., for providing me with an ARC. And a huge congratulations on the publication of your
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Helen Edwards
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A gripping ride through Josh's living nightmare. K.M Allen weaves you into the story at a visceral level - creating a sense of place and a feeling of dread, that follows you right through to the closing pages. I wanted to know more, as each layer of magick, revealed clues to the ultimate truth about Josh, his parents, and other main characters. Looking forward to book 2 and the next scary adventure!
Lyn
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
From the very first page, this novel established a genuinely creepy and mysterious vibe that never let up, ramping to a climax that was action-packed and satisfying, and at the same time left me wanting more of these characters. Fortunately, there are several books to come in the Blackbirch series.

I think the first thing that captured me was the magic system, which is fascinating and diverse, with deep roots in the past and the place, and also in Josh's own personal history.

The second factor I
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Julia
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie-good
Blackbirch: a touristy town full of dark secrets and magickal history.

Josh: a young man orphaned by tragedy, struggling with memory loss, and troubled by strange dreams that are the start of something unimaginable.

From the secrets of the eerie forest, and the mystery behind what really happened to Josh and his parents, to the supernatural undertones pulsing through the everyday setting, you'll enjoy peeling back the layers of the town of Blackbirch, character by character, one chilling reality
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David
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wanted to savor the story, so I tried to read just one chapter a day, but alas, the story became too much to put away and I finished it early. I don't want to give anything away. This was a terrific story. The characters were terrific, the back story was also very good. I can't wait for the paid version to come out. I'll buy it and read this again. Thanks, K.M. Allan. This was one great story that entertained me for over a week. All the best with your book ...more
Bryan Fagan
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
K.M. Allan’s debut novel is such a wonderful mystery. She was able to combine fantasy along with characters the reader could relate to. I swear I grew up with one of them.

Every chapter was important. It laid out like a puzzle piece where slowly the picture was revealed.
K.M. was able to create fun and fascinating characters as well as a fast pace story. As a writer that is hard to do but K.M. pulled it off with ease.

If you're looking for a page turner check out Blackbirch: The Beginning. It is
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K.M. Allan
Jan 24, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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K.M. Allan is an identical twin, but not the evil one. She started her career penning beauty articles for a hairstyling website and now powers herself with chocolate and green tea while she writes novels and blogs about writing.

When she’s not creating YA stories full of hidden secrets, nightmares, and powerful magic, she likes to read, binge-watch too much TV, spend time with family, and take more
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