Title: Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows / Companion)
By: Meg Kassel
Publication: September 4th 2018
By: Entangled Teen
Buy it: Book Depository
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.
🌸Book One/Companion: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
*I want to thank Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review*
First I must mention how beautiful both covers are, they look amazing together, I just love them. Going to the important thing, I ADORE this book, there is something so atmospheric and unique in it, it’s a great companion and although you can read it very well as stand-alone, I personally recommend reading them in order, to go into this one with more knowledge about what the plot is about.
In Keeper of the Bees we know Dresden, he’s a Beekeeper, this actually means that he was a normal man until a curse fell on him, a curse that has turned him into a human honeycomb and is condemned to satisfy his hungry bees while he must live forever with the faces of all the people he has killed, one day his way is crossed with Essie’s, a mortal girl who usually sees things that aren’t really there due to a family curse that has affected her family for generations, so when she sees him, Essie doesn’t seem to fear him like everyone else does, and this disconcerts Dresden, making him feel things that he thought was incapable of feeling again.
I really enjoyed the way the story is told, we see everything from both the Dresden and Essie points of view and it’s super fun to jump from one chapter to another, I love how the author has handled that aspect. So easy and quick to read, it’s really a pleasure to have read about these world with supernatural beings as unique as Beekeepers and Harbingers, I think I’ve already mentioned it in my previous review, but I find something so original in using animals to tell sinister stories about curses, I love that, because although it sounds weird for those who haven’t read it yet, I assure you that it works perfectlly and for us who have already seen everything in the paranormal genre, these books take a big turn and gives you something new and fresh for enjoy and discover
Dresden‘s a great main character, as a big fan of villains in main roles, he has conquered me from the first moment. Also, although I had already read about Beekeepers in the previous book, I had never done it in such a deep and personal way, besides this story gives you a new perspective on them, since I hated them in the first book it’s surprising to be able to feel empathy for one of them. And although the plot focuses on them, I like to see that there’s also a great Harbingers participation, because I love these beings and see their interactions with Dresden was very curious and surprising to me, I liked a lot. There’s also something very dark and melancholy about Dresden personality and this makes the book has a very strong atmosphere, you’ll see that you can feel in the same place and even understand many of his actions.
I liked Essie, although I’m not really crazy about her, I like how she faces her drama, the fact of living with what she supposes is a kind of illness that makes her see terrifying things that really aren’t there, it must be so difficult and even so, she takes it in a very positive way. Her character individually doesn’t managed to convince me, but I still loved the scenes she shares with Dresden because as a couple, I simply love them.
Speaking a bit about the romance because I know it’s something that you’re worried about sometimes, in this book I think there’s some insta-love, they quickly fall in love with each other, which is quite classic in the genre, but still, this doesn’t mean that the romance is not good, because it is, SO GOOD, I loved the relationship and the way it grows , there’s a lot of “Beauty and the Beast” happening here and love that, it’s very magical. I enjoyed a lot especially of the dialogues between the characters, which always seemed very honest
I need to repeat that this is a very atmospheric book, reading it has made me feel as if I would be seeing everything as in a television series or something, which always means something good. I would compare it with TVD or Supernatural, because it really gave me that kind of vibes.
I’m all for the catastrophes things, this would sound a bit weird lol, but I couldn’t wait to know what would happen, if you haven’t read the previous book, you probably don’t understand what I’m talking about and it would be incredible that you jump to these books knowing little because I know you’ll be surprised, the only thing you need to know is that a big catastrophe will always happen where these paranormal beings appear, and this gives me a lot of intrigue. I’m a big fan of the idea
I highly recommend this book, especially if you like paranormal books and want to read something new, I know you’ll not regret it. This is a unique plot that I’m sure you’ve never read before, also if you like dark plots, a little creepy vibes and atmospheric stories, yoo’ll love this one. Right now I just want to re-read BBotG, I don’t know why, but I think I’m not ready to leave this concept yet lol. So UNIQUE