Schizanthus's Reviews > Black Bird of the Gallows

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
52870273
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley

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 colour. I want a huge framed print of this cover artwork for my wall so I can constantly admire it.

Now, where was I? Oh, the book. I really enjoyed it. What was it about? The birds and the bees, but not the way you're thinking!

Angie has had it tough, spending a large part of her upbringing living in a van or at random mens' places with her drug addicted mother. While she's still haunted by her past, she now lives with her father, one of the most adorably sweet fathers I've come across in real life or the other real life (books). She has great friends, Lacey and Deno, and her very own secret identity as Sparo, a DJ in a nightclub.

The house next door has been vacant since a tragedy made it impossible to sell. However, one day a moving truck appears and lo and behold, Angie spies (literally, through binoculars) the new cute boy moving in next door with his family. Mystery cute boy with the dark eyes isn't what he appears to be and as Angie gets to know him, she learns he's not quite as human as he looks, and apparently he looks really, really good.

I loved the whole premise of this story. I'm a sucker for anything mythological so naturally I was drawn in by the origin stories of the tortured harbingers and Beekeepers. I wanted to know more about them though and I definitely wanted a backstory for the Strawmen. I'd love to read something from all of their perspectives that shed more of a light on them. Plus there's indications there are other entities/creatures/part human part something else types in this world and I want all the details about them as well.

I had two favourite characters in this book. Rafette, who we spend a considerable amount of the book running from or on the lookout for, is someone I really empathised with. I found myself seeing the story from his point of view and didn't view him as a baddie at all. Maybe it's partly due to the soft spot I have for bees but my heart broke for Rafette and the pain he's endured in his life. I need to know so much more about him! And best friend Lacey ... supportive, intuitive and loving, yet willing to bash her best friend over the head with a golf club if that's what it takes to keep her safe. I loved Lacey!

Tissues Used: 0, which surprised me as I came prepared. Although my icy cold heart experienced somewhat of an earthquake, none of the cracks melted into tears.

Food craved during reading: Pancakes. Oh, they sounded so delectably droolworthy.

Something I thought would be important to remember when reading or rereading: The names and stories of those you don't think will come back into the story. I found sections of this book to be in the 'six degrees of separation' category where peoples' stories linked together like one big crow shaped jigsaw puzzle. Prepare to get halfway through the book and go 'oh, I remember them!'

Now for the niggles:

* A minor thing, sure, but what's Reece's real name?

* The insta-love frustrated me along with the whole 'our love is destined to be doomed and we'll both be miserable for all of eternity or for as long as we live (whichever is applicable) so we shouldn't be together. But first, let's kiss some more'.

* Reece telling Angie that he's been in love with her since they were six. Now, this would have been worthy of an aww if not for the fact that (view spoiler).

* The whole thing about the big 'event' when loved ones are being searched for. (view spoiler)

* You know the whole horror movie girl victim/heroine who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the door? I had that frustration with Angie. I kept wanting to yell at her to just leave! You can't say she didn't have ample warning time, yet she still managed to wind up caught up in the 'event' like everyone else. What use is fair warning if you don't listen, sweetheart?

So, my rating. If I didn't have this many niggles, the writing would've deserved ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. The niggles and frustration I felt while I was reading would usually have made it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️ but the writing was just so darn good. So I'm splitting the difference and giving this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback. I will definitely read future books by Meg Kassel and I'll be stalking Amazon to grab my copy of the prequel novella when it's released in October 2017.
21 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Black Bird of the Gallows.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 10, 2017 –
45.0% "Angie has such a lovely relationship with her Dad. I think I'm melting. He's such an adorable father."
September 11, 2017 – Started Reading
September 11, 2017 – Shelved
September 11, 2017 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.