Monday, September 3, 2018

Blog Tour Review with Giveaway: Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows) by Meg Kassel@megkassel @entangledteen

Book info:
TitleKeeper of the Bees
AuthorMeg Kassel
SeriesBlack Birds of the Gallows
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Release Date:  September 4th, 2018
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Source:  Finished copy from publisher, which did not influence my opinion
My rating:  4 stars


Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.


My Review:
Well, I haven't read the first book in this series, so was a little leery of reading this one, but my worries were all for nothing.  This is more of a companion novel I guess, so I wasn't missing any knowledge that would keep me from enjoying this one.

For me, the story started out a little weird.  I was unsure just how I would feel about the characters, if I would be able to get into the story if they were too way out there.  But it didn't take long before I was sucked into the story,  needing to figure out just what was going on, who all these paranormal characters were, and just what exactly their role in the story was going to be.    

Dresden of course sounded pretty creepy at first, as a Beekeeper, having bees that came out of his mouth, as well as the fact that he could change from a human form into a swarm of bees to travel.  The Harbingers seemed not quite so creepy, I mean, crows could be a little bit, but nothing like bees would be in my opinion. And then there was the Strawman.  Yeah, that would definitely be creepy.  

While up until now, and most of the time still, for Essie, all of these people didn't seem that far out of the normal compared to things she saw all the time.  You see her family suffered from a curse that caused them to all kind of go a little crazy.  And as the story goes along, it seems that  maybe not only does someone want to kill off the rest of the family members to end the long line of the curse, but at first to even try to blame it on Essie.  

There were a lot of twists and turns, some things I kind of had an inkling about as I read, and was pleased to see that I had kind of guessed correctly.  Other things were total surprises, and I enjoyed being entertained with a new detail I couldn't come up with on my own.  I'll have to find time to go back and read the first book, as well as the e-novella that is now available.  This is a series that I feel would be good to have available in my school library, and the copy I got to read for this tour is one that I will donate to my school library for sure.

About the Author:

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.


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