Tuesday, September 11, 2018

KEEPER OF THE BEES by Meg Kassel Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review!

Keeper of the Bees
By Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen


“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.

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Purchase Link: https://entangledpublishing.com/keeper-of-the-bees.html

Rating: A+
My thoughts on the book:
I absolutely adore this series. Kassel has created a unique and mystifying world that I just can't get enough of. Black Bird of the Gallows grabbed me because of the unique mythology behind the story, along with the fantastic characters and narrative. After reading it, I couldn't wait to learn more about this world and the beekeepers. Keeper of the Bees did not disappoint. This novel has everything that I love: suspense, realistic and flawed characters, a distinct world, terrific world-building, great pacing, suspense, and an intriguing plot.

Essie is one of my favorite female leads ever. She is so different from the "normal" heroine, and I love her for it. She's strong in her own way, and she deals with life and her mental illness bravely, not shying away from the monsters in her head. Dresden is a fascinating leading male character. He's a bit angsty, but who wouldn't be after millennia of being tortured as a beekeeper. He's a complicated character, and it's simultaneously hard to care about him because of what he is and does, yet impossible not to care about him because he's so much more than what he is cursed to be. The bees really freak me out, but I have a fear of bugs, so that's not surprising. The secondary characters are interesting and well-developed, too, which adds to the rich fabric of the story.

The plot itself is suspenseful, sweet, dark, and captivating. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. We get to learn more about the harbinger and beekeeper world in this installment. I enjoyed learning more about the curse, how the curse came to be (to an extent), and how the curse affects different people differently, from a psychological and emotional standpoint. Kassel really fleshed out the world in this book, which helped me understand more about what is going on and why harbingers and beekeepers were first created. The romance is so sweet it will break your heart. The pacing is perfect, and the writing is beautiful.

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who is looking for books with unique mythologies. These books are very sophisticated for YA, but they are still YA. The content really makes you think about the meanings of good and evil. These books can be read as standalone novels or as a series. Reading Black Bird of the Gallows will help you understand the world a bit better, but Keeper of the Bees could definitely be read as a standalone. If you're looking for unique mythology in a sophisticated and philosophical YA paranormal romance, then this book is for you.

Excerpt from Keeper of the Bees:
She closes her eyes. Her breath hitches. Then, she does the improbable and throws herself against me, wrapping her arms around my waist.
I am paralyzed. Motionless, breathless in my first embrace in a millennium. To be touched… My eyes close as I tremble from head to toe. The pain is glorious, excruciating.
“Thank you,” she breathes against my chest. “You calm my mind. Why is that?”
“I don’t know.” Speech takes an unbearable effort. I’m overwhelmed in every single possible way—destroyed on a level she can’t begin to comprehend. My arms hover, uncertain how to return her embrace and unsure if I should. Unable to push her away. I feel as though I will shatter if I move, but my arms slowly close around her. One of my hands falls on her hair, where her elastic has loosened. The thin band slips from her hair and falls into my hand. My fingers close around it.

Black Bird of the Gallows

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.

Check out my review of Black Bird of the Gallows here!

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.

Website: http://megkassel.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/megkassel
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seemegwrite/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megkasselauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8353652.Meg_Kassel
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meg-Kassel/e/B0756Q8N2L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524085261&sr=1-1

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