Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
In some ways this is a very unique book, but in others it is very typical of most in this genre. The idea of the harbingers of death is a very unique one, I don’t think I have read anything similar. The fact that it is a curse and very difficult to break is also interesting. The romance and the adventure/ survival aspect of the story are very typical of this genre. But I still really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to any one who likes paranormal romance with lots of death and survival.
Angie was a fun character to spend some time with. She is a very private person, which comes from her past of living with a drug-addicted mother, so she tries to stay off the radar at school. She does have an alter ego in Sparo, a Dj at the local dance club. Music is everything to Angie and she spends a lot of time creating her own songs as well as mixing others. She loves disguising herself and performing as Sparo. I loved that part of the story. Her two friends Deno and Lacey, are well drawn out and fun to spend time with as well. They also create music with Angie and help her out at the club. Very close friends who always have your back and also are willing to risk their lives to save yours are true friends indeed.
Reese, the harbinger of death, is a very interesting character. He is also an immortal and has lived for a few hundred years. I felt his pain of having to live forever cursed, and not liking what he has to do to survive as a harbinger. His love for Angie is overwhelming at times, and can seem like insta-love but as you learn more about Reese and his past as well as Angie’s past, you see that it really isn’t. Angie does try to resist him, she knows that he can’t stay after the catastrophe that is about to hit her town is over. So she does try not to care, but he is pretty irresistible, so I can’t blame her. The whole harbinger of death is fascinating and like I said not something I have read before. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil things, but trust me it is very different.
There are lots of other characters that are interesting, but one that is very creepy and again not something I’ve seen before. The Beekeepers are also supernatural creatures that are even older than the harbingers. They sow chaos and mayhem into the catastrophes but releasing these bees that when they sting people, make these people go crazy and do horrible things. Thoroughly creepy and disturbing.
The plot starts out as a typical paranormal romance, but eventually comes to be more about Angie and her friends survival during a natural disaster. The disaster is a worst case scenario where hundred perhaps thousands die. Angie and her friends suffer a lot of physical and emotional hardship, but manage through luck and some help of the harbingers to survive. By the end of the book we are back to the romance and the curse breaking story line. So while the romance is a huge part of the story, it does not totally overwhelm it and it falls into the background when survival becomes the more important part of the story.
A thoroughly enjoyable read that I found hard to put down. I loved the characters and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time.