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Blackbirch: The Dark Half

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Now that the origins of his power have been revealed, Josh Taylor’s search for answers continues with the arrival of Kallie—a girl he thought only existed in his dreams.

Running from her own secrets, she shows Josh how to use his gift in ways he didn’t know were possible. But, as they push the limits of their abilities, they discover there are consequences to messing with magick.

Security guard Kered knows the repercussions. Finding a power-filled crystal, he starts a chain reaction that brings a dangerous foe from Kallie’s past to Blackbirch and forces a devastating choice. Is Josh and Kallie’s bond strong enough to save them? And will their magick have the power to stop a darkness intent on destroying everything Josh has left?

254 pages, Paperback

Published July 17, 2020

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About the author

K.M. Allan

3 books52 followers
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 photos than she will ever humanly need.

Visit her website, www.kmallan.com, to discover the mysteries of the universe. Or at the very least, some good writing tips.

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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Naomi Shippen.
Author 2 books14 followers
July 3, 2020
I loved the first book in this series, Blackbirch: The Beginning and enjoyed once again succumbing to the magickal world of Blackbirch in the second book in this series. This time, we learn more about the history of the characters and the way magick works for each of them. It is certainly an intricate system and I loved the way that nobody knew what powers anyone else had until they saw them.

K.M. Allan has a great YA voice and there is always plenty of action. All the twists and turns kept me guessing and I loved the cliff hanger ending. Nobody is quite who they seem, with their dark doppelgangers on the loose. As Josh and Kallie struggle to corral their own magickal powers, other characters with agendas of their own chime in to confuse matters further.

In this shifting world, the distinction between dreams and reality is often blurred, sometimes the characters themselves can’t tell the difference. Kallie knows she has visions of the future, but with interlopers crashing her frequency, how does she know what to believe?

I enjoyed getting to know the characters more deeply in this novel, with their histories and hopes for the future coming to the fore. But even as some of the mysteries of Blackbirch are revealed, even more questions arise, right up to the dramatic twist at the end.
Profile Image for Layla Todd.
12 reviews5 followers
September 30, 2021
The Dark Half by K.M Allan is as gripping a book as its prequel, The Beginning, delving further into the realm of magick and what it possible there. I was reluctant to read it as the coming books in the series are not published yet, and I felt I would be left hungry for more.

Confronted by Kallie Jacobs, a girl Josh Taylor thought existed only in his dreams, Josh scrapes beyond the surface of the magical talents he thought he understood, uncovering further abilities and old family ties as he grows closer to Kallie, a girl with her own turbulent secrets.

I enjoyed The Dark Half on the final wave of summer breaking against the shore. At two hundred and fifty-four pages, the story slid by and I, comfortable at my new desk, allowed myself to become lost without the need for a bookmark.

The Dark Half explores the split of the self and what magick is capable of when used in excess or desperation. Where there is power, there is temptation. The Dark Half beautifully explores who falls prey to the lures present in the use of magick and why.

Lurking in the simplest of everyday life, normal people are drawn into the strange, the weird, and the unexpected in a marvelous and tense showing of what people are capable of. The innocent lose their innocence, hidden agendas flare to light, and loyalties are tested to the end of their fraying tethers.

K.M Allan’s writing is addictive and real, as in “Josh’s knees bent, slamming into the concrete . . .” I feel the ghastly agony of that jolt, the melding of bone with that cold, unforgiving floor. K.M Allan’s writing is clever and vivid, so simple it tricks you into believing it simple. She will turn you upside down multiple times when you thought you were standing in the know and you will love it because each twist is as fulfilling as it is necessary.

Experience the loyalty of Sarah Randall, the inner turmoil of Max Ryan, and the curiosity of Eve Thomas in an enthralling story that draws to a satisfying, clever, and give-me-more finale!

This book is for you if you love magical realism and the exploration of power in combination with self. This book is for you if you love strong writing and lucrative twists. This book is also for you if you want to live the extraordinary through words and invite it into your life.

Dare to meet your Dark Half.
Profile Image for Amelia Oz.
Author 2 books52 followers
July 29, 2020
As a fan of the first Blackbirch novel (Blackbirch: The Beginning|50614212] I relished the return of Josh Taylor's search for answers and the atmospheric town he lives in. In Book 2, it was very satisfying to have more revelations (no spoilers but Kallie is such a surprising character and the "The Dark half" really means the "The DARK half") and for Josh to begin to use his gifts and trust his own insights. The imminent danger you felt in the first book is ratcheted up with an even bigger foe and Josh has to figure out who to trust and work with to stay alive while protecting his town and friends. Its an imaginative, very well written YA story that appeals to all ages. Blackbirch: The Dark Half has many twists and turns and the ending left me craving Book 3 to find out what the heck is going to happen. I bought this for kindle but it's also available in print.

Profile Image for A Davis.
80 reviews4 followers
July 30, 2020
K.M. Allan is the Queen of cliffhangers! The end of this novel blew my mind. But back to the beginning...The Dark Half picks up from where The Beginning left off, a really satisfying transition between the two Blackbirch stories. This addition to the series gives more depth to the characters, and is just as beautifully vivid as I expected. There's alot of action and tension throughout. Experiencing Josh's growth and discovery of power is exciting and so satisfying. Max I adore, he represents the awkwardness and the anxiety and humour that I think is in all of us. And, because it has to be mentioned again, THAT ENDING!!! I need book 3 already!!! A mystical, magical must-read.
Profile Image for Felix Dimaro.
Author 13 books78 followers
May 7, 2021
“The Dark Half” is book two of the “Blackbirch” series by K.M. Allan. And while I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the first, there were still plenty of fun, action-packed and tension filled moments in the story.

The main characters play well off each other, and the author makes it easy to imagine being in their situation, getting into spots of trouble here and there but with witchcraft and evil sorcerers involved.

The Dark Half is classified as Young Adult fiction, but I felt as though it was geared toward an even younger audience. I could see myself enjoying this one more as a pre-teen.

My main issue with most books involving magic that isn’t clearly defined is that, generally, any conflict that comes up is inevitably solved by a previously vaguely described or unexplained form of magic (or magick, in this one), and I can’t always suspend my disbelief to that level.

I would recommend this book to the youths, but I wouldn’t feel right without adding the caveat that there is essentially zero diversity in this series. That’s not something that matters to everyone, nor is it an author’s obligation to write something diverse, but it stood out to me and I feel it’s worth mentioning.
Profile Image for Laurie Bell.
Author 7 books25 followers
November 15, 2020
The twists just keep on coming. There are new enemies, new mysteries, new secrets and new friends. And not everyone is telling the truth. The dark half explores what is dark in all of us. Everyone has two sides. What they show to the world and what they keep hidden. Well, what if you saw both sides?

Book two jumps in where book one left off. Josh has come into his magic but is desperate to learn more about it. Kallie, the girl he thought only existed in his dreams, is real and has come to show him how to use his magic. But she is hunted and haunted by her past. Now it is Josh’s turn to save her.

This is a terrific action packed book. Magic and spells and crystals abound. Someone is collecting magic and Josh and Kallie are on his list. Just when you think you have this story pegged you are hit with a new twist. Cleverly plotted, this story is well told and full of mystery. Author K.M. Allan will keep you hooked to the very end. Over and over I sat up and went, “Ooooo!” I can’t wait to read the next installment.
Profile Image for TJ Edwards.
139 reviews
August 3, 2020
Well, what a rollercoaster that was! A blistering pace set up like an action movie, Blackbirch: The Dark Half is an intense ride from the word go. Seamlessly picking up where Blackbirch: The Beginning ended off, this book is sure to steer away from your expectations while also delivering what makes sense within the story itself. Certainly an enjoyable read, but now I have to wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Bryan Fagan.
Author 1 book2 followers
February 2, 2021
For those who read book 1, book 2 is a smooth transition.

K.M. Allan is really good with plot twists, creating fun characters and catching us off guard. The characters were lovable and relatable. K.M. writes with such confidence. It’s clear she is on her way to becoming an established author.

You will enjoy the magic but most of all you will enjoy the characters chemistry. They tug at your heart while keeping your heart racing.

This is such a fun series.
Profile Image for Emma.
349 reviews6 followers
August 28, 2020
Dark and compelling - K.M. Allan sure knows how to spin a tale. We return to Blackbirch, as Kallie Jacobs arrives to teach Josh more about his powers and to warn him of an ominous evil that is heading for the town. Relationships are tangled in the experience, and we discover many dark secrets about the past and the nature of magick. A fast-paced, mysterious and enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Sarah Maxwell.
Author 3 books53 followers
September 3, 2020
Fantastic sequel to Blackbirch: The Beginning. Once again, the world of Blackbirch is brought to life by K.M. Allan, an author who knows how to engage her readers. The world building is fabulous and the characters likeable. We're invested in them and their journey. A difficult book to put down and the last page leaves you looking forward to the next installment. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Belinda Grant.
81 reviews2 followers
September 10, 2020
I enjoyed this book so much, it was lovely to return to Blackbirch and particularly to dive into Kallie's backstory. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I loved seeing the mysteries come together. But can I have book 3 please? Yesterday? 🤣
Profile Image for Ari Meghlen.
Author 2 books107 followers
February 9, 2023
This book definitely had more twists and turns than book 1 and there were parts I just did not expect at all! I do love me some surprises!

I enjoyed how the tension was raised. Though the earlier part of the book felt a little slow at times but it soon picked up around the midpoint.

Kallie's character was really given centre stage and I liked that as we got to learn more about her. I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Sarah and Eve.

The introduction of Kered (love the name) was fun and I liked his character a lot.

There were a few bits that felt a little unrealistic for me, like how everyone reacted when they first met Kered. The characters didn't feel like how I thought people would act in that situation. But that's just me.

But other than that I really liked the story, the pacing picked up nicely and the parts of Kallie's backstory were intriguing.
Profile Image for Chantelle Atkins.
Author 32 books75 followers
May 26, 2022
Blackbirch The Beginning did a great job setting up the plot and the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This second instalment in the series really packs a punch! It's non-stop action, twists, turns, betrayals and revelations from start to finish. Now that I am getting to know the characters (one of the fun aspects of getting into a series) I think I enjoyed this one even more and can't wait for part three to come out. I really like Sarah and Max, and find Josh, Kallie and Eve intriguing. You can tell the author has immersed herself in creating the town of Blackbirch and the magical, dangerous world around it. It's hard to review without giving away spoilers, but in this part we get to find out more about Josh and what lies within him, what he is capable of and we truly don't know who to trust when it comes to some of the other characters. So much magic and mystery, and it's quite a dark and gritty read too which I really loved. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys this genre and anyone who appreciates masterful world-building!
Profile Image for Veronica Strachan.
Author 5 books38 followers
September 11, 2020
Dark and devious

There's action, romance, and mystery for our young protagonist, Josh in the town of Blackbirch as he learns more about his unusual magick, and explores friendship and first love. Allan takes this second book in the series through some unexpectedly dark and devious twists, with betrayal and lust for power driving a sharp plot.
And the hooks are well and truly in for the third volume, with unanswered mysteries and a quest to fulfil for Josh and his friends.
A great read.
Profile Image for Katya Dibb.
2 reviews
May 10, 2021
After the cliff-hanger of book one, how could you not be hanging out for book two?

Excited to see all the gang again as their adventure deepens and more mystery abounds. A lot of my questions from book one were answered but new ones woven in through an exciting witchy adventure mean I'm now dying for book three - why do you keep doing this do us, K.M?!

Definitely worth picking up if you enjoyed book one and want to know more about the magic that binds Josh and Kallie together.
Profile Image for David.
194 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2020

This story was a whirlwind. So many surprises and twists. Well done K.M.! I cannot wait for the next book. I highly recommend this to everyone! What a terrific story! It was so nice to visit Blackbirch again.
Profile Image for roseawall.
68 reviews1 follower
September 1, 2020
I love reading more about Blackbirch and the characters that live here. This one is just as interesting as the first one
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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