Just One More Chapter

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. 

-Vera Nazarian

 

I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time. 

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Black Bird of the Gallows - Meg Kassel

Black Bird of the Gallows has a unique premise with an interesting spin on old myths.

Within you will find a (not so) diverse cast of angsty teens dealing with high school drama and, of course, there's brooding aplenty. But that's to be expected with a YA PNR...

 

It has a quick pace but it in no way feels rushed... if you will, it has a steady rhythm (teehee) all its own that easily led me by the hand, bleary eyed, into the wee hours. The characters feel genuine and more importantly, I felt for & with them. There are heepings of cheesy banter and a quasi-insta love as well.

 

However, the catastrophic events were a tad too tame for what I expected/craved and the plot as a whole has just a pinch of Creepy instead of a generous helping of "where's my nightlight?" Scary. The writing is succinct causing varying degrees of rapt attention (mostly dependent on my ability to stomach and navigate (trooper style) through all of the MANY PNR tropes. The world building is decent though the magical aspect is, at times, flat. Key elements are not only underutilized and poorly explained (never reaching their fullest potential) but characters that are introduced and anticipated (the Strawmen) aren't even given more than a cursory role featuring a 1 sentence speaking line that is heard(?!?) by exactly 1 person... then POOF... into the Ether with them/him/??

 

For a good portion of the book (until about the 70% mark) I found myself screaming at my ereader (a fruitless yet common occurrence in my household) for Reece to just leave town thereby saving both himself and our strong, "I'm no damsel in distress, I'll save myself thank you very much" heroine. All would be right, albeit heartwrenching, with the soon-to-be Harbinger/Beekeeper free town. I chatted animatedly with my ereader all the way until I reached the plot twist at the end and at that point all was forgiven. The ending is both cute and neatly wrapped up with a spiffy glittery bow and a sparkly, cliffhanger free, ribbon to boot.

 

It is more than likely that I am no longer the targeted demographic for YA PNR... BUT if those are your genres dejour then this one's a keeper.