Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
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 into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
Plot: The description had me immediately intrigued and I knew I had to read this one. But, it turns out that it doesn't really do the book justice. There's a lot more going on than a supernatural hottie, a romance, and some sort of impending doom. I haven't read any other book quite like this one, which is impressive with the genre. It definitely brought a breath of fresh air into the overflowing genre. The plot was a lot deeper than I imagined. The paranormal aspects - harbingers, magic, curses, etc. were all incredibly fascinating to me. I adored learning everything I could about it all - the history of all the beings/creatures, the beginnings of the curses, what exactly each entity was and did - I could have lived in that world forever. The author brought it all to life right before my eyes and I wanted to soak up all of it and more. Some parts of the story were inevitable - the doomed romance between the main character and the mysterious new guy, a big obstacle or battle where the story peaks, the villain trying to take out the main character, etc. These are all essential for any story, and the author did a fantastic job mixing the elements together to create a fresh YA paranormal novel in an overwhelming genre.
Characters: I loved both Angie and Reece. They were both well rounded characters with complex emotions and developed personalities. Both were surprisingly realistic and easy to connect with, and I liked getting to know each of them throughout the book. One thing I have to make a note of was the lack of depth for any of the other characters. A few minor characters (Jenny, Deno, Angie's dad) seemed semi-rounded, but the rest were all flat and stereotypical background players. Not that it really bothered me so much, because they didn't play a very big part in the plot itself.
Writing Style: I can't go without making some sort of mention about the author's choice of writing style. This is always a big point for me and can essentially make or break a book. In this case, the author wrote the story in the first person point of view - from Angie's perspective. This is my favorite style, and I'm so happy that she chose to tell the story this way. I loved getting to know Angie on such a personal level - one that isn't possible in any other POV. I got to feel like I experienced it all right alongside Angie and could almost feel everything like I was there. I think it was a perfect fit for the story, and I'm so glad that it was done this way.
Romance: I can't go without mentioning the romantic aspect of the story, since it plays a pretty big part. I normally don't like a lot of romance when reading a novel - especially when it's a genre outside of romance. For instance, this was a YA paranormal, so I wouldn't usually like a strong romance because it overshadows the main plot. However, the romance between Angie and Reece plays an integral part of this story and was essential to the plot. I didn't mind it in the least. Actually, I really liked watching them get to know each other and seeing their feelings develop throughout the story. I don't usually consider myself a mushy person when it comes to relationships in books, but I was all about this one and ended up loving every bit of it.
Overall, I have to say that this was one of the best books I've read this year. I came into it with pretty high hopes and got pretty much everything I could have wanted. I very highly recommend this one to fans of YA, fantasy, paranormal, and romance.
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© winner in YA.
Three (3) winners will receive A Black Bird of the Gallows canvas tote bag (11“x14”) which includes a custom made crow pendant and ball chain, bookmark and stickers, $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)