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There hadn't always been something wrong with Briella Blake, but when she's invited to attend Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students, the girl's wicked genius begins to manifest itself in ways her mother can no longer deny are...strange. Briella's friendship with a raven, Onyx, that's equally as smart as she is, prompts her mother to restrict the animal There hadn't always been something wrong with Briella Blake, but when she's invited to attend Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students, the girl's wicked genius begins to manifest itself in ways her mother can no longer deny are...strange. Briella's friendship with a raven, Onyx, that's equally as smart as she is, prompts her mother to restrict the animal from Briella's company. Soon Marian learns that nothing can stop her daughter from interacting with the bird, who seems to have become an integral part of the girl's experiments into the possibilities of recording and recreating personality and memory. Also the existence of angels, the afterlife and the soul. Marian's pregnancy with a sibling Briella doesn't want spurs the girl into a frenzied activity of experiments and desperation. Soon, it's impossible for Marian to ignore that although there hadn't always been something wrong with Briella, something is certainly wrong with her, now. Certainly even a child genius can't be blamed for the unexpected deaths and sickness surrounding her. Even the idea that the raven has become some kind of paranormal instigator of tragedy is too ridiculous and idea for Marian to entertain. With a difficult pregnancy sapping her strength, it's all Marian can do to keep herself out of the hospital, much less torture herself with worry about the daughter who's never caused trouble before. A mother's worst nightmare might be something terrible happening to her child - but what happens when the terrible thing IS the child? FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


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There hadn't always been something wrong with Briella Blake, but when she's invited to attend Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students, the girl's wicked genius begins to manifest itself in ways her mother can no longer deny are...strange. Briella's friendship with a raven, Onyx, that's equally as smart as she is, prompts her mother to restrict the animal There hadn't always been something wrong with Briella Blake, but when she's invited to attend Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students, the girl's wicked genius begins to manifest itself in ways her mother can no longer deny are...strange. Briella's friendship with a raven, Onyx, that's equally as smart as she is, prompts her mother to restrict the animal from Briella's company. Soon Marian learns that nothing can stop her daughter from interacting with the bird, who seems to have become an integral part of the girl's experiments into the possibilities of recording and recreating personality and memory. Also the existence of angels, the afterlife and the soul. Marian's pregnancy with a sibling Briella doesn't want spurs the girl into a frenzied activity of experiments and desperation. Soon, it's impossible for Marian to ignore that although there hadn't always been something wrong with Briella, something is certainly wrong with her, now. Certainly even a child genius can't be blamed for the unexpected deaths and sickness surrounding her. Even the idea that the raven has become some kind of paranormal instigator of tragedy is too ridiculous and idea for Marian to entertain. With a difficult pregnancy sapping her strength, it's all Marian can do to keep herself out of the hospital, much less torture herself with worry about the daughter who's never caused trouble before. A mother's worst nightmare might be something terrible happening to her child - but what happens when the terrible thing IS the child? FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

30 review for Black Wings

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bark (2 Dumb 2 Read Blurbs)

    3 1/2 Stars “My mad feelings just want to come out so much.” Black Wings is a brooding tale about a mother being ravaged by her own internal feelings of guilt and the escalating terror posed by her young daughter and her new creepy raven friend. Briella is only ten when she begins to lose all of her childhood friends. She has a terrible “I’m smarter than everyone” attitude that doesn’t exactly sit well with, well, anyone. But she doesn’t particularly care what anyone thinks and she is quite conten 3 1/2 Stars “My mad feelings just want to come out so much.” Black Wings is a brooding tale about a mother being ravaged by her own internal feelings of guilt and the escalating terror posed by her young daughter and her new creepy raven friend. Briella is only ten when she begins to lose all of her childhood friends. She has a terrible “I’m smarter than everyone” attitude that doesn’t exactly sit well with, well, anyone. But she doesn’t particularly care what anyone thinks and she is quite content to do her own thing and hang out with her new raven buddy. But mom is concerned. When Briella earns a free ride to a school for the gifted her dad isn’t thrilled. He says it’s the place where they stick the weird kids. But Briella loves it. Her ego, oddness, obsessiveness and creep factor soon start to bloom out of control. I’m just going to flat out say it. I despised this kid. She was rude, full of herself and, as I was reading, I kept thinking to myself how lucky I was that I birthed two sweet kids instead of two holy terrors. It probably could’ve gone either way, haha, but I know I would not be equipped to handle a little monster like Briella. I felt for Marion even when I wanted to give her a good shake for allowing her brat to disrespect her and everyone around her. This story is told from Marion’s point of view so we see everything from her eyes which leaves you wondering what, exactly, Briella is up to almost all the time. Marion is a little clueless and has a bad habit of ignoring all warning signs. She also talks herself out of her gut feelings out of a sense of guilt and maternal love. It’s a complicated thing, motherhood is, and this story does a great job of putting it all out there similar to the mother in Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. I think I may have enjoyed the character of Briella more had we seen things from her perspective but alas, as written, she was an arrogant, insufferable brat with some very dangerous thoughts. The dread hides in the shadows for a long time before horrorish things begin to happen so you’ll have to hang in there with this one. I admit I struggled at times, but I was rewarded in the last quarter. If you have a black heart you’re going to LOVE this ending. Or maybe it’s just me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    Black Wings by Megan Hart is a horror novel....with a child you will love to hate. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Flame Tree Press, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis: Marian is a little worried about her daughter. Truth be told, she always has been. She loves Briella dearly, but sometimes it’s hard. Briella is a very gifted child, exceedingly bright, but she’s only ten. Her mind m Black Wings by Megan Hart is a horror novel....with a child you will love to hate. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Flame Tree Press, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis: Marian is a little worried about her daughter. Truth be told, she always has been. She loves Briella dearly, but sometimes it’s hard. Briella is a very gifted child, exceedingly bright, but she’s only ten. Her mind may be brilliant, but her social skills and empathy are lacking. She can’t make or keep friends, and it is little wonder with her rudeness and attitude. Marian has always known there was something wrong with her daughter, but events are about to prove her very right. Marian’s husband Dean, who is Briella’s step-father, loves them both very much, but is often treated like dirt by his step-daughter. He ignores her attitude, and goes out of his way to show he cares. Tommy is Briella’s biological father and has been absent most of her life, only there to give gifts and promises, and then disappear again. Tommy insists he has changed and wants back in his daughters’ life. Things start to go downhill when Briella befriends a raven who she names Onyx, who seems to talk. When her family tries to convince her it just mimics her speech, she insists he is more intelligent than many people (them included). Marian wants it gone, but nothing convinces Briella. When she starts a new school for gifted students, Briella seems much happier. Finally, she is given free rein to let her imagination run, and do her own experiments. However, there lies the problem. She believes Onyx guides the soul when a person dies. Now she just has to prove it. My Opinions: This was really different book. It isn’t true horror, but it is creepy. In one way it is about the struggles of parenthood. In another, about a very troubled child. Then there’s that creep factor where the child is more like Chucky than Matilda. With a little more gruesomeness and gore, I truly think this could be made into a horror movie. As it is, the author definitely built the suspense, and I loved the ending. Overall, it was an entertaining, fast read, with good writing and a captivating plot. I really enjoyed it. For a more complete review of this book and others, please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessaca Willis

    Maybe it’s because I vividly remember my tantrum-adolescent years, or maybe it’s because I’m a parent and I finally understand the tension involved in the relationship between mother and child, but I thought Black Wings was a great character-driven novel! I’ve read the other reviews. People hated the characters (you were supposed to). People found the science fiction/fantasy to be more in the background (also intentional). People didn’t think the “chilling” moments were actually chilling (you’re Maybe it’s because I vividly remember my tantrum-adolescent years, or maybe it’s because I’m a parent and I finally understand the tension involved in the relationship between mother and child, but I thought Black Wings was a great character-driven novel! I’ve read the other reviews. People hated the characters (you were supposed to). People found the science fiction/fantasy to be more in the background (also intentional). People didn’t think the “chilling” moments were actually chilling (you’re looking at the wrong things. “We’ll be fine. We’ll all be just fine.” What makes this book unsettling is accompanying Marian in her inner thoughts about her relationship with her troubled daughter, Briela, so if you’re looking for a supernatural thriller, this isn’t it. Marian constantly questions her love for her daughter, and doubts her abilities as a parent. This book covers themes of parenting, step-parenting, mortality, and even something akin to Asperger’s (thought Briela is never said to have Asperger’s, I found a lot of her characteristics to be similar). I won’t ever look at crows or ravens the same way again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zoé-lee O'farrell

    Seriously can Flame Tress Press do no wrong! Yet another book I have read in their catalogue and another stonking book! Thankfully nowhere nearly as spooky as the last book I read by them, but just as terrifying in its own way. Plus now I am just afraid of Ravens!!! This is not your typical ghost and ghouls story but one which is of a more ominous brew as it is a mother trying to deal with a child who is just beyond anything we could imagine intellectually. But Briella, (gorgeous name!) does not Seriously can Flame Tress Press do no wrong! Yet another book I have read in their catalogue and another stonking book! Thankfully nowhere nearly as spooky as the last book I read by them, but just as terrifying in its own way. Plus now I am just afraid of Ravens!!! This is not your typical ghost and ghouls story but one which is of a more ominous brew as it is a mother trying to deal with a child who is just beyond anything we could imagine intellectually. But Briella, (gorgeous name!) does not care about the lack of friends, or that she is incredibly intelligent, all she is cares about it Onyx, her raven! I loved that for a change we were not meant to “love” this little girl, in fact, I felt quite the opposite, Damien springs to mind much. Marion, the mother, my heart went out to her, I have a “difficult” little lady, in which she is so strong-willed and knows her own mind, I just hope she does not befriend any ravens, although we do have a black cat…… With the story unfolding through Marion’s eyes, we do not always have the complete picture of why Briella is behaving the way she is at times it can be frustrating only because I wanted to know what made her tick, what was going on in that brain of hers! However, I think for my sanity I am glad I did not get an insight into her brain!! Black Wings starts slow, sucking you in before starting to unleash all the horrors we are to witness, and boy do you get sucked in. It is utterly engrossing, I did not even notice the witching hour upon me, and yet another night I was kept up past my bedtime, I promise I will get some sleep soon! Four books this week by Flame Tree Press so I think it is obvious who my favourite publisher is! Black Wings is an intense read, as the sense of foreboding was emanating from every page, leaving you reeling especially when you know what the “secret project” is and the accidents begin… I seriously feel like I need to get the house cleansed now from all the spooky, intense and horrifying books I have read this week!

  5. 4 out of 5

    April Showers Bring Fungi From Yuggoth

    BLACK WINGS is a totally engrossing psychological thriller, with implications for civilization's future. I identified with multiple characters (a rare event), including the focus character Briella, and her beleaguered but well-intentioned mother Marian. BLACK WINGS sets out on an intriguing, yet possible, premise; and becomes horrifying in its implacability. While many science-fiction stories cope with the "dangers" of Artificial Intelligence, BLACK WINGS examines the possibilities of a child wi BLACK WINGS is a totally engrossing psychological thriller, with implications for civilization's future. I identified with multiple characters (a rare event), including the focus character Briella, and her beleaguered but well-intentioned mother Marian. BLACK WINGS sets out on an intriguing, yet possible, premise; and becomes horrifying in its implacability. While many science-fiction stories cope with the "dangers" of Artificial Intelligence, BLACK WINGS examines the possibilities of a child with clearly genius-level intelligence, a child Stephen Hawking without adult maturity and stability, a child developing a wild and willful temperament to match the high intellectual capability. BLACK WINGS is a novel impossible to put down till the end.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Thank you to Flame Tree Press for sending me a copy of Black Wings in exchange for an honest review! There hadn't always been something wrong with her. Content warning: Animal Abuse. Right off the bat, I would like to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book whatsoever --- which makes this review extremely difficult to write, because I didn't find much fantastic about it either. Ten-year old Briella Blake is offered a full-ride to Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted stu Thank you to Flame Tree Press for sending me a copy of Black Wings in exchange for an honest review! There hadn't always been something wrong with her. Content warning: Animal Abuse. Right off the bat, I would like to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book whatsoever --- which makes this review extremely difficult to write, because I didn't find much fantastic about it either. Ten-year old Briella Blake is offered a full-ride to Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students. Quickly after starting her new school, her genius begins to manifest in ways her mother can no longer deny as strange. On top of that, throw in Briella's weird friendship with a raven & the unexpected deaths and illnesses that start to follow them around. With a plot like that, Black Wings definitely has potential. Listen, I 100% understand the reasoning as to why Briella was written the way she was, but that will not stop me from saying -- holy hell, she's a pain in the ass. I could not stand her throughout this entire read (nor could I stand most of the characters in Black Wings). However, I do enjoy me a story with a creepy kid (see Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke) & Briella does have that quality to her. From the get-go, I didn't enjoy the relationship between Briella and her mother, Marian. & obviously, because of the content in Black Wings, it gets even worst. I guess I just never cared about the dynamic? & if I did, I feel I would have gotten so much more out of this read. For me, Black Wings was a very slow read. It was filled with content, I cared nothing about. & there was so much explaining in the beginning and not enough happening. Eventually it did pick up, but the ending kind of just left me with a whatever expression on my face. Unfortunately, Black Wings is a case of I won't be remembering this later. I'm hoping that this is a case of wrong reader. I don't think you should keep your distance from this book, but at the same time, I don't think you'll be missing out by not reading Black Wings.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Marian is divorced from Briella's dad Tommy and now remarried to Dean. They are living happily and madly in love. Happy that is except for the problems with Briella. Maybe there hadn't always been something "wrong" with her but she never was quite like other little girls. Different enough in fact that her paternal grandmother found her to be an embarrassment to the family, Different enough that her current school thinks there is just nothing more they can do with her. Briella is a little genius, Marian is divorced from Briella's dad Tommy and now remarried to Dean. They are living happily and madly in love. Happy that is except for the problems with Briella. Maybe there hadn't always been something "wrong" with her but she never was quite like other little girls. Different enough in fact that her paternal grandmother found her to be an embarrassment to the family, Different enough that her current school thinks there is just nothing more they can do with her. Briella is a little genius, but sadly that genius runs towards the evil side. She is too smart for her own good and does not seem to feel any empathy or much emotions at all other than the fake ones she can wear like a mask. If the Bad Seed had been a mad scientist she would have been as scary as Briella. I Loved this book! 5 out of 5 stars. I received an advance copy for review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frank Errington

    Review copy Briella is a bright child, some would say gifted. That being said, she does have trouble making friends... "Along with a loathing for personal hygiene and lack of friends, Briella had taken up lying. Much like her father, she wasn't really very good at it." Briella's father, Tommy, was making an effort to be in her life, even though her mother, Marian had left him years ago and was now in a relationship with her step-father, Dean. As if that's not complicated enough, one-day Briella befr Review copy Briella is a bright child, some would say gifted. That being said, she does have trouble making friends... "Along with a loathing for personal hygiene and lack of friends, Briella had taken up lying. Much like her father, she wasn't really very good at it." Briella's father, Tommy, was making an effort to be in her life, even though her mother, Marian had left him years ago and was now in a relationship with her step-father, Dean. As if that's not complicated enough, one-day Briella befriends a raven on the way home from school. She names the bird Onyx, and this is when the wheels start to come off and things get more than a little strange. Black Wings is a wonderful, real-life-like story with a touch of the fantastical. Wildly original. The challenging relationship between Briella and her mother was spot on, very believable. Black Wings is a story that is simple, yet elegant. Simultaneously charming and dangerous. Intriguing and entertaining, right up to the unbelievable ending. I loved it. Recommended. Published by Flame Tree Press, Black Wings is available in hardcover, paperback, e-book and audio formats. From the author's bio - Megan Hart has written in almost every genre of romantic fiction, including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, fantasy and perhaps most notably, erotic. She also writes non-erotic fantasy and science fiction, as well as continuing to occasionally dabble in horror. Black Wings is one of the later.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    3.5 stars Ooh the daughter in this book got on my LAST nerve. I think Hart intended to craft her this way, and man was it effective. I enjoyed the premise of this story - precocious young girl with a dark side eventually attends a private school that provides her with the leeway for her unusual experiments regarding life and memories. Plus, an unusual connection with a bird that seriously gave me a case of the creeps. The character of the mother in this story caters to her daughter at the expens 3.5 stars Ooh the daughter in this book got on my LAST nerve. I think Hart intended to craft her this way, and man was it effective. I enjoyed the premise of this story - precocious young girl with a dark side eventually attends a private school that provides her with the leeway for her unusual experiments regarding life and memories. Plus, an unusual connection with a bird that seriously gave me a case of the creeps. The character of the mother in this story caters to her daughter at the expense of all else. At times, it was hard for me to believe that any mother would put up with, brush off, and/or explain away all of the truly atrocious things this kid came up with. All things considered, the ending just didn’t work for me - one of the characters behaves in a manner that is so out of character that it just pulled me right out of it. Now, this is probably a very subjective thing, so don’t think that my experience will be the same as yours may be. There is definitely some serious dramatic irony throughout this book, for me anyway. As the reader, I found myself yelling “look! This is happening! What can’t you see it?!?” several times. It was kind of fun to watch it unfold in this way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Although this synopsis sounded promising, this one isn't working for me. I have a hard time maintaining focus on books like this, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Baby Teeth, etc. I just have a tough time connecting to the "bad kid" storyline. A lot of this story is telling instead of showing, and I felt like there was so much unnecessary background/details instead of building on the plot points that were more interesting. Both of the main characters of Black Wings are unlikeable, and not in a fun w Although this synopsis sounded promising, this one isn't working for me. I have a hard time maintaining focus on books like this, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Baby Teeth, etc. I just have a tough time connecting to the "bad kid" storyline. A lot of this story is telling instead of showing, and I felt like there was so much unnecessary background/details instead of building on the plot points that were more interesting. Both of the main characters of Black Wings are unlikeable, and not in a fun way. It seemed like we were supposed to feel bad for both of them, but it was difficult not to constantly roll my eyes at the way they both behaved. On to the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily | A Literary Life

    When I first began Black Wings, I was expecting to read a story that would unsettle me. The book's premise, along with its subject, suggested it would tell a story that was truly chilling. For the most part, I believe Black Wings lived up to its reputation; any gothic novel involving a child sets itself apart as a story which has the potential to make its audience feel distinctly uncomfortable. Throughout the novel, I felt a sharp curiosity, wanting to uncover Briella's mysteries, but I was rest When I first began Black Wings, I was expecting to read a story that would unsettle me. The book's premise, along with its subject, suggested it would tell a story that was truly chilling. For the most part, I believe Black Wings lived up to its reputation; any gothic novel involving a child sets itself apart as a story which has the potential to make its audience feel distinctly uncomfortable. Throughout the novel, I felt a sharp curiosity, wanting to uncover Briella's mysteries, but I was restricted by the ignorance of her own mother. We see through Marian's eyes, and so when Marian doesn't question her daughter's behaviour, we, as readers, are unable to understand what the mysterious girl is planning. This makes for quite an effective narrative technique, because it means that a sense of mystery can be maintained throughout the story. The downside of this is, of course, is that the narrative can, at times, come across as a little frustrating. Yet Marian is not a totally despicable character; it is easy to understand why she is unable to give her daughter the attention she deserves - she doesn't understand her, and although she tries her hardest to connect with her, it may just be that no one can understand Briella. The result is a somewhat morally ambiguous character; I disapproved of the way Marian seemed to neglect her daughter, but I also understood her actions; she is a mother placed in an impossible situation, and so it is easy to redeem the way she decides to handle it. This moral ambiguity resulted in a character who was compelling and interesting to read about. As for the supernatural aspects of this novel - they were of good quality, but I must say that I was expecting more. Onyx made for an interesting character, and he was certainly eerie, but I feel as though I wanted more of a focus on him, and less of a focus on Marian sneaking off for a cigarette in the middle of the day. It's also worth mentioning that, as the book is written from Marian's perspective, many of Briella's actions - as well as her motivations - are concealed. I expected many of these to be resolved towards the end of the novel, but I was left a little disappointed. I liked the ending, but it didn't offer many explanations as to what Briella had actually been doing. This may have been a purposeful decision, as it did help maintain the mystery of the story, but I can't help from wondering whether there are a few loose ends still lost somewhere around the middle of Black Wings. Despite a few negatives, I cannot deny the fact that I really enjoyed reading this novel. It is exceptionally dramatic, capable of keeping its readers engaged even during the slower parts of the narrative. There is a tension that runs throughout this story, and it is impossible not to admire it. The book is well-written, too; there were a few periods of odd phrasing, but, for the most part, I was pleased with the style of writing. In fact, I was pleased with most of this book; it didn't outstand me, but it certainly engaged me, and I have had a pleasant time reading it. Despite its connections to the gothic genre, I would argue that this is quite a light read; it has relatively short chapters, and is sure to delight anyone interested in a story filled with drama.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzy Michael

    *I was given a copy of the novel by the publisher in return for my fair and honest review.* Megan Hart decided to take a stab at writing a horror novel. To me, this is an engrossing psychological thriller about the dark side of parenting. In any case, Black Wings definitely knocks the ball out of the park on both counts. Our main subject to study in this book is Briella, an exceptionally gifted 10 year old girl who is having problems fitting in at school. This is because she knows how smart she is *I was given a copy of the novel by the publisher in return for my fair and honest review.* Megan Hart decided to take a stab at writing a horror novel. To me, this is an engrossing psychological thriller about the dark side of parenting. In any case, Black Wings definitely knocks the ball out of the park on both counts. Our main subject to study in this book is Briella, an exceptionally gifted 10 year old girl who is having problems fitting in at school. This is because she knows how smart she is and doesn't let her classmates or teachers forget it. The story is told by her mother Marian's third person POV. Marian is an incredibly sympathetic and lovable character. She loves her daughter and is sympathetic to her daughter's plight, even if it's her own doing. When Briella is given a scholarship to go to a prestigious private school for gifted students, Marian and Briellas stepfather are delighted, thinking this is just what their daughter needs. The school does not have a set curriculum, and allows its students to do research projects of their own choosing. Briella, unbeknownst to her family, is studying the human soul and how to recreate it. Creepy. The new school change and the announcement of Marian expecting a child, throws Briella into a volatile tailspin. Her tantrums get worse and she becomes increasingly more unpredictable. When she finds a raven hit by a car, she insists she take it home and nurse it back to health. The raven however, seems to be just as scary smart as Briella is, who is able to teach the bird to mimic human speech and to come when called. This disturbs and frightens Marian. Soon, devastation begins to follow wherever Briella and her pet raven named Onyx go. Marian starts having trouble with her pregnancy, and there are the disturbing accidents happening around the neighborhood and school. Surely this can't be Briella? Not Marian's little girl? This was a fun, but tense read! A big part of this book centers around Marian and the struggle she has accepting what her daughter really is. We see her go through many emotions- anger, confusion, but especially guilt. Marian thinks she is the reason Briella has turned out the way she has, and as the reader, you can't help but agonize for her, knowing it's not her fault. The guilt she feels puts on blinders for Marian at the beginning, making it possible for her to try and explain away her daughters odd, sinister behavior. Marian does not know what Briella's "secret project" is, but knows her daughter is up to no good. When the accidents start happening, Marian can no longer deny what her daughter is- a monster. Speaking of, Briella is incredibly unlikable from the very first page to the last. She first seems like a typical manipulative brat, but as the story progresses, the reader becomes fully aware that Briella is a full blown sociopath. She lacks anything resembling a conscience, and will do anything, including kill, to continue with her project. It's as if she was gifted intelligence, but not a soul. Black Wings is a heartbreaking story of a mother's love of a child who is truly impossible to love. The characters were all well developed and the creepiness factor started at the very beginning and slowly grew, along with the tension, to the novels epic climax. Whether you like Horror or Thrillers, Megan Hart satisfies both tastes with this remarkable and disturbing tale.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Elizabeth

    This book was very odd. It reminded me a lot of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’. I was expecting it to be more about the relationship between Briella and Onyx and the science fiction but instead it was in the background, being menacing. It didn’t work for me. —- I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda Sfetsos

    I started the year with the first Flame Tree Press ladies of horror release, and this is their second. Since I was lucky enough to get an ARC, I got stuck into it as soon as I could. From the very beginning, I was intrigued. Marian Blake's ten-year-old daughter has trouble keeping friends, drives her teachers crazy and is always scribbling in her notebook. She's a smart kid who's always lost in her secret experiments and has a brain that won't stop thinking. But when she befriends a raven, her beha I started the year with the first Flame Tree Press ladies of horror release, and this is their second. Since I was lucky enough to get an ARC, I got stuck into it as soon as I could. From the very beginning, I was intrigued. Marian Blake's ten-year-old daughter has trouble keeping friends, drives her teachers crazy and is always scribbling in her notebook. She's a smart kid who's always lost in her secret experiments and has a brain that won't stop thinking. But when she befriends a raven, her behaviour changes completely. She calls the bird her only friend, and seems to talk to him. When the opportunity for Briella to attend a special school turns into a blessing in disguise for Marian, because her daughter might finally fit in somewhere. Yet, Briella becomes consumed with her secretive experiment, to the point of being obsessed. At the same time, something unexpected happens to Marian. Something that might push Briella over the edge... Wow. This is one creepy story about the darker side of motherhood. Marian is such an honest character. I liked her instantly, enjoyed reading her inner thoughts and how hard she tried to overcome the endless cycle of guilt. Guilt about how her daughter turned out. Guilt about her husband working so hard. Guilt about not working outside the home. So much guilt she's pretty much drowning in it. In fact, her guilt is the reason why she ignores so many of the clues so obvious to anyone else. So many of the awful signs pointing towards her daughter's sinister personality and awful manipulations. Although this was Marian's heartbreaking story, all the other characters are great too. Dean is such a kindhearted man who loves her unconditionally. Tommy is the jerk of an ex who admits something is wrong with their daughter before she's ready. Marian's dad also provided the opposite outlook on the whole faith thing. Amy was the nice and friendly neighbour who offers real friendship because she doesn't see what's coming. Everyone fit so well together, and provided a truly spooky insight into how far Briella was willing to go. Speaking of Briella. OMG. She is infuriating and very hard to like. Actually, she's the only character I didn't like. At all. Not once. That little girl was frustrating as hell from the first time she appears, all the way to the end of the book. And it was sad to watch the adults--especially her mother--trying to reason away her evil ways by claiming she was 'gifted'. As if intelligence encourages evil behaviour. And Onyx. Wow. I love ravens and crows, but this guy was freaky as hell. Yikes. I seriously enjoyed this book. It was SO engrossing. I was hooked all the way through because the tension was so thick that even when seemingly everyday mundane things were going on, I was waiting for something terrible to happen. And plenty of horrid things do happen in this book, but what makes everything that much more unsettling is how quietly everything happens. The horror creeps up on you, and I loved that about this story. Black Wings is a little The Omen, a bit Rosemary's Baby, and a lot awesome. It's disturbing and the tension drips off the page, kept me on the edge of my seat as the nightmare unfolded. I couldn't put it down, found myself racing towards the shocking conclusion. It's also the really sad story of a mother and the daughter she just can't reach. I'm very excited about the inclusion of women to this very cool publisher. Don't get me wrong, the guys are great, but these two titles written by ladies of horror are truly outstanding.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nia Ireland

    This book isn't quite what I expected - I imagined fantasy and strong paranormal/sci-fi themes but this book is actually more about the strains of parenthood and the relationships between the four main characters - Marian, mother of Briella (morbid child genius); her husband and her ex I'm not sure everyone will get the same message from this book, but for me everything the little girl does is influenced heavily by the adults in her life and the way they treat her. They all seem to refer to her This book isn't quite what I expected - I imagined fantasy and strong paranormal/sci-fi themes but this book is actually more about the strains of parenthood and the relationships between the four main characters - Marian, mother of Briella (morbid child genius); her husband and her ex I'm not sure everyone will get the same message from this book, but for me everything the little girl does is influenced heavily by the adults in her life and the way they treat her. They all seem to refer to her as 'the kid' despite giving the appearance of caring about her, they let the fact she's a bit weird affect the way they treat her and I found myself feeling sad for her. The pacing of this book was really good and a lot of the twists and turns were unpredictable - I think the beauty of this book is that it's a puzzle, forcing the reader decide the accountability of the different characters. *Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this title*

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    My mother put up with various things in my childhood, and a wide variety of animals....lizards, rats, a duck, and even a crow. Fortunately for my mother I, unlike Briella, was not a super genius so my interaction with these animals was limited to feeding and admiring. The Briella in Black Wings is "super smart" as her mother Marian says. Marian loves Briella totally, but feels like a failure as a mother because there's times that Briella, frankly, gives her the creeps in some intangible way. Whe My mother put up with various things in my childhood, and a wide variety of animals....lizards, rats, a duck, and even a crow. Fortunately for my mother I, unlike Briella, was not a super genius so my interaction with these animals was limited to feeding and admiring. The Briella in Black Wings is "super smart" as her mother Marian says. Marian loves Briella totally, but feels like a failure as a mother because there's times that Briella, frankly, gives her the creeps in some intangible way. When Briella takes in an injured Raven those creepy feelings grow more and more and come more often. That Raven...it disgusts her and scares her. The relationship between Briella and the Raven terrifies her and worries her. What is the "secret project" her super-smark, genius daughter is working on? Why is Briella so interested in the human soul? Why are strange tragedies happening at school and around the neighborhood? This book takes you on a journey through motherhood hell. I enjoyed this book and found that I had to be read the last 40% in one sitting. I kept saying, "one more chapter, then I'll go accomplish something". Nope. I had to keep going until the end. A true page turner! #BlackWings #netgalley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

    DNF. I gave this book up until the halfway point to interest me and it didn't. Which is a shame because I like the author and wanted to support her delve into horror. She makes a lot of newbie horror writing mistakes: assuming what the MC is afraid, the reader will be afraid of; not enough tension; telling us all the supposed scares; trying to pass on innocuous things as scary just by telling us. Her telling her friends she's 'scared of her daughter' for no reason -- there is ONE incident that sh DNF. I gave this book up until the halfway point to interest me and it didn't. Which is a shame because I like the author and wanted to support her delve into horror. She makes a lot of newbie horror writing mistakes: assuming what the MC is afraid, the reader will be afraid of; not enough tension; telling us all the supposed scares; trying to pass on innocuous things as scary just by telling us. Her telling her friends she's 'scared of her daughter' for no reason -- there is ONE incident that she might've done but the mother hadn't even considered that at that point. Or, her daughter is this inventor genius and she has a bunch of wires and odd metal bits, and her mother feels "ominous" feelings looking at it. Why? She hasn't built anything terrifying yet. Like, you know your daughter is an inventor and you find a box of obvious inventors stuff, so what's ominous about that? Gawd, I'd bet she'd feel ominous to see people wearing shoes. Basically, the telling us this is scary thing you see a lot. I didn't like the kid, but she was at least understandable for what she was. I truly disliked the mother. I couldn't connect with her at all. Her obsession with hating this bird confused the hell out of me. Up until the 50% mark, it did NOTHING to her. One time, in the very beginning, it flew a bit too close to her. That was all and the entire book is her just hating on it. It saved her daughters life, and was injured in the process, but she's just like "ew, leave it alone, get away from it" and spends the rest of the book all horrified by it. In perspective, her daughter has no friends and this is literally the first friend she's made in years but oh gawd no, it's a birb so it must be evil. Bleh. I was my hands of this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    julianne

    Really enjoyed this, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all from the blurb. I'll certainly look out for more books from Megan Hart in the future. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex findingmontauk1

    3.5 stars - full review to come!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana Lavaughn

    Black Wings (Fiction Without Frontiers) Kindle Edition by Megan Hart I received a complimentary eARC via NetGalley. I am choosing to leave a far and honest review. Half The Omen or The Bad Seed and half The Yellow Wallpaper, Ms. Hart gives a child that would give Damien and Rhoda Penmark the creeps! “Just because she didn't like her kid, that didn't mean she didn't love her.” “But she had always been different.” Briell Blake is a brilliant child, beyond what her mother Marian ever expected In fact, s Black Wings (Fiction Without Frontiers) Kindle Edition by Megan Hart I received a complimentary eARC via NetGalley. I am choosing to leave a far and honest review. Half The Omen or The Bad Seed and half The Yellow Wallpaper, Ms. Hart gives a child that would give Damien and Rhoda Penmark the creeps! “Just because she didn't like her kid, that didn't mean she didn't love her.” “But she had always been different.” Briell Blake is a brilliant child, beyond what her mother Marian ever expected In fact, she didn't expect to feel the way she felt about her genius child. Confused, angry and dislike for the precocious child who seems to be missing something deep inside. And she didn't expect Onyx, the raven that Briell rescued to give her such a foreboding feeling. When suspicious deaths and injuries begin to fall all around the girl and bird, Marian is unsure of her own feelings and reality. Marian is an excellent example what is expected of modern parents in the Everyone Gets a Trophy environment of motherhood today. Stretched too thin and constantly feeling as if she hadn't done enough, she presents as an unreliable narrator. Her story is laced with foreshadowing to the gut-wrenching sucker punch of a climax as well as confusion of reality and fantasy. Her feelings of imagined inadequacy colors her narrative and our impressions of what is really happening with the at times frightening and at times sad child. Ms. Hart's writing is amazing as we are brought into a world of snacks, bullies and special children. Marian is an amazing character and I enjoyed her evolution. Also, I sort of understand my own mother better, even though I am much too old for the phenomenon of helicopter parents! The book reads like a modern Shirley Jackson story, with the questioned sanity and social pressures that surround the mother. There are also, for part of the book, the delicate tension found in Charlotte Perkin Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. And of course, with the inclusion of Onyx as a catalyst, I would be laxed if I didn't find a slight E. A. Poe influence. A story that has many layers, each scarier than the next, that draws you into Marian's world. The Book Nerd was impressed with the steady creep factor. 4/5 stars out of 5 https://www.amazon.com/Black-Wings-Fi... #BlackWings #NetGalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mommacat

    Review Copy BLACK WINGS by Megan Hart was an interesting read and I enjoyed it for several reasons. To begin with it was a novel concept - no rehash of the same ol' same ol'. Nice. The characters were distinct and well developed. I didn't like all of them, but I appreciated that Hart attempted to make them real. I think she may have succeeded. The writing was good, but I felt some ends were left undone, still not enough to detract from the story - just dropped bits here and there. This is a book I Review Copy BLACK WINGS by Megan Hart was an interesting read and I enjoyed it for several reasons. To begin with it was a novel concept - no rehash of the same ol' same ol'. Nice. The characters were distinct and well developed. I didn't like all of them, but I appreciated that Hart attempted to make them real. I think she may have succeeded. The writing was good, but I felt some ends were left undone, still not enough to detract from the story - just dropped bits here and there. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who has a child or is themselves different. You will have empathy after reading this, I hope.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Flame Tree Press made a big splash in the second half of 2018 with a string of horror novels by leading lights in the genre, including Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Janz, Tim Waggoner and John Everson. “Black Wings” sees a change of direction; this latest offering is more thriller than horror, by an author better known for writing erotic fiction. One online source noted Megan Hart “occasionally dabbled in horror”, but if “Black Wings” is anything to go by, I hope she returns to the darker side of fi Flame Tree Press made a big splash in the second half of 2018 with a string of horror novels by leading lights in the genre, including Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Janz, Tim Waggoner and John Everson. “Black Wings” sees a change of direction; this latest offering is more thriller than horror, by an author better known for writing erotic fiction. One online source noted Megan Hart “occasionally dabbled in horror”, but if “Black Wings” is anything to go by, I hope she returns to the darker side of fiction with more frequency. Briella Blake is a ten-year-old girl who is incredibly intelligent, but she is also having friendship problems at school, which are partially a biproduct of her condescending attitude towards both her classmates and teachers. Briella lives with her mother, Marian, and stepfather, whilst her biological father periodically reappears on the scene. They are short of cash, but a happy family. Much of the novel centres on the family dynamics and Marian’s internal struggle to understand her daughter’s challenging needs and the root of her problems at school. One of the major strengths of “Black Wings” is the relationship between mother and daughter and the level to which Marion is blinded by Briella’s intelligence. Even if she is a genius, she continues to throw wild tantrums and gets increasingly unpredictable with her parents struggling to cope. Would any parent like to be comprehensively out-argued by their ten-year-old? Even though the story is told in the third person from Marion’s point of view, we never truly see it from Briella’s angle, so a hint of unreliable narrator also lurks in the background. The story contains a certain amount of ambiguity, which is handled very well, with the mother obviously under extreme strain. Because of Briella’s problems at school she is given a scholarship to Parkhaven, a private school for extremely gifted students which does not follow a normal curriculum. Pupils are allowed to carry out their own personal research into areas which stimulate their own interests. This develops into a key element of the story and I will provide no spoilers. Initially her parents are reluctant to send her to this new school, which Briella’s father said was for “retards”, but she settles well, until other strange behaviour escalates. It is a fact that parents can genuinely struggle with difficult children and “Black Wings” has an original, honest and for the most part believable take on these problems. Marion thought, “Just because she didn't like her kid, that didn't mean she didn't love her.” So even if you find Marion to be an irritating neurotic, most readers will empathise with her troubling family situation. As “Black Wings” is more thriller than horror, it has more in common with “The Bad Seed” than “The Omen” and it cleverly shrouds the direction the plot heads into, developing tension and making it very easy to read. It is also one of those books which readers who do not read horror might enjoy, as although it does eventually head into the ‘unexplained’, by that point readers are so invested in the story few will quit before the end. Horror takes many forms and the realisation that there might be something seriously wrong with your kid is right at the top of the list for most folks. Briella’s favourite subject is science and in her new school she is encouraged to work on a ‘secret project’ and shows interest in subjects such as the human soul. She asks complex questions her mother just cannot answer and in turn Marion struggles with her own lack of faith after abandoning her childhood Christian roots. The family beats at the heart of “Black Wings” and Megan Hart has created a believable and sympathetic family unit. However, their family is lacking one crucial member; a pet. When a car accidently clips a raven, Briella insists her family restore it to health, calling it “Onyx” the bird seems to be unnaturally intelligent and is quickly trained by the little girl. Onyx mimics speech, appears when called, and pecks at the window when left outside. Brielle develops a strange relationship with the bird, escalating the difficulties in her family as the raven repulses them. This part of the plot is excellent and the bird creepily unsettling as it ties into the wider story arc. This is horror with a light touch, and although the ending may seem a bit far-fetched, it is a fast moving and entertaining drama which I sped through in a couple of days and is well worth checking out.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)

    The creepy kid subgenre is one of my absolute favorites in all of horrordom — sit me down in front of The Omen or Who Can Kill a Child? and I’m a happy girl — so I tore through this book like a baboon trying to get its hands on poor Lee Remick. I had to know what manner of evil was lurking behind the eyes of Briella, the ten-year-old genius/sociopath/creepy kid in question. Did I find out? Mostly. Black Wings falters a bit in the execution, but it is ultimately a disturbing and compelling examin The creepy kid subgenre is one of my absolute favorites in all of horrordom — sit me down in front of The Omen or Who Can Kill a Child? and I’m a happy girl — so I tore through this book like a baboon trying to get its hands on poor Lee Remick. I had to know what manner of evil was lurking behind the eyes of Briella, the ten-year-old genius/sociopath/creepy kid in question. Did I find out? Mostly. Black Wings falters a bit in the execution, but it is ultimately a disturbing and compelling examination of the horrors of motherhood. We read the story from the perspective of Marian, Briella’s mother. Marian is stressed and exhausted from dealing with a preternaturally gifted child who also happens to be a bit of a jerk. Marian is struggling with feelings of shame and guilt, because while she loves Briella, she can’t honestly say that she likes her, and she feels like a failure as a mother for even thinking that. Marian believes that any personality flaws or social difficulties Briella is having are due to her own perceived maternal incompetence. I don’t have any kids myself, but author Megan Hart’s portrait of Marian’s parental doubt feels very well-drawn. Marian’s resulting competition with the supermom down the street (which takes place entirely inside her own head) is hilarious and is one of the few things I actually like about her, to be honest. Another thing I like about Marian is her complete and utter distrust of birds. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten on a bird’s bad side before, but I would not recommend it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: birds are evil, ill-tempered velociraptors of the sky, and they are not to be trifled with. Marian knows this deep in her bones, so she is immediately wary of Briella’s new friend Onyx, a huge raven whose unsettling intelligence and unnatural devotion to Briella throw up even more red flags for Marian about her increasingly odd child. Unfortunately, Marian’s hobbies include smoking, sniffing her husband’s armpits (don’t ask), and denial, so she doesn’t really act on her concerns about Onyx. But to be fair, there’s not much she can do. Birds are powerful enemies even when they’re not in league with demonspawn. (Speaking of birds, I must commend Megan Hart for her Hitchcock shout-outs. Marian’s husband Dean mockingly calls her Tippi Hedren for hating Onyx so much, a reference to The Birds — not laughing so much now, are you, Dean? — and Marian’s first name is one letter away from matching that of Marion Crane, Janet Leigh’s character in Psycho.) Soon after Onyx appears, terrible accidents and ominous events begin happening around Briella. Positioning the story from Marian’s perspective gives Hart the chance to ratchet up the tension, which is why I devoured the book so quickly: Briella is dishonest and secretive, so her mother (and therefore the reader as well) are kept in the dark as to her actions and motives. I was dying to know what this sinister little girl was really up to. There were times when I loved the suspense, but I also felt quite frustrated at times. Though I understand the reasons for it, the depths of Marian’s denial sometimes became too much for me to handle. The reader realizes when Briella is responsible for some act of sabotage or violence far sooner than Marian realizes it, and I occasionally found myself wishing for Hortense Daigle to show up and loudly accuse bad seed Briella of murder just so everything would finally come out into the open. When we discover Briella’s true motives, it’s chilling, disturbing…and a little nonsensical. I’m not certain that Briella’s worldview hangs together coherently within the book’s internal logic, but then again I may be asking too much of a 10-year-old sociopathic mad scientist. Speaking of, I wasn’t surprised at Briella’s ableism — as I said above, she’s a jerk, so I’m not surprised that the pre-teen super-genius thinks anyone below her IQ level is subhuman — but it’s also pretty prevalent throughout the book from other characters, which did bother me. The “r” word is thrown around a lot (though it is challenged) and Marian wonders more than once if she wouldn’t be happier with a “normal,” “dumb” kid. There seems to be an implication at the end of the book that “dumb” people can’t be evil, which didn’t sit well with me at all. If it feels like I’m pecking at this book like a buzzard, it’s not because I hated it, but because I was so excited by the concept that I wanted to absolutely love it. I enjoyed this read, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Despite my issues, though, Black Wings is a book that won’t let you put it down until you’ve finished the last page. The ending left me both satisfied and unsettled, which is a perfect way to walk away from a horror story. My thanks to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lou Jacobs

    Chilling and yet relentlessly riveting best describes this gem. Megan Hart craftily unravels the tale of Briella Blake with a remarkable sense of an impending expectation of escalating dire events .. and a virtual crescendo of dread! Briella is merely a ten year old girl who's light years above the mental skills of her classmates. But, unfortunately not shy or savvy enough to avoid pointing out their short-comings - or "stupidity" Naturally, she is not popular, nor even tolerated. However, her p Chilling and yet relentlessly riveting best describes this gem. Megan Hart craftily unravels the tale of Briella Blake with a remarkable sense of an impending expectation of escalating dire events .. and a virtual crescendo of dread! Briella is merely a ten year old girl who's light years above the mental skills of her classmates. But, unfortunately not shy or savvy enough to avoid pointing out their short-comings - or "stupidity" Naturally, she is not popular, nor even tolerated. However, her public school officials are well aware of her genius stature and pave the way for her transfer with a full scholarship to the prestigious Parkhaven Academy, who specialize in the education of exceptional students. Briella loves her new school which both fosters and encourages her studies and provides time for independent study and research with individual "projects" Briella is attempting by programming to record and save memories .... with her motives secretly guarded. At Parkhaven the process of trial and failure is considered more important than ultimate success. However, her relentless drive and focus and motives for her project prove to be disruptive and detrimental. They soon realize that she is working on proving the presence of an afterlife and trying to create or capture a soul Briella's story is told through the perspective of her mother, Marian. Who realizes that Briella has evolved from "scary smart" to something else ... with weird mood changes, tantrums, secretiveness and even inappropriate affect. She wonders if she's lost control of her own child ... who she should unconditionally love. Slowly the realization cannot be denied ... that bad things happen to adult, child or animals who thwart Briella's aspirations or simply cross her path in a somewhat contentious manner. Marian struggles to understand and accept who and what her daughter really is ... and how to account for her sinister behavior. The unexpected denouement builds with epic tension to the heartbreaking but plausible climax. Thanks to Netgalley and @Flame Tree Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book I've read by Megan Hart ... she is now added to my "Must Read List" of Authors.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elli (Kindig Blog)

    Marian knows she should feel lucky to have a child genius like Briella but something is very wrong and her child’s obsessions and fantasies are starting to impact her life in a big way… Black Wings wasn’t at all the book I was expecting to read from its pre-release blurb. I was imagining a kind of dark Hogwarts story but instead it’s a sinister horror centred around a mother and her daughter who is growing up to be a troubled young lady. It’s an odd book in the fact that there isn’t a character i Marian knows she should feel lucky to have a child genius like Briella but something is very wrong and her child’s obsessions and fantasies are starting to impact her life in a big way… Black Wings wasn’t at all the book I was expecting to read from its pre-release blurb. I was imagining a kind of dark Hogwarts story but instead it’s a sinister horror centred around a mother and her daughter who is growing up to be a troubled young lady. It’s an odd book in the fact that there isn’t a character in it that I liked enough to be routing for and yet still completely enjoyed reading it. Marian, the mother comes across as a doormat who has bad parenting habits and dislikes her own child, even at the very beginning of the story. Briella is a self-absorbed, obnoxious, know-it-all brat who screams like a five-year-old if she doesn’t get her own way. Father Tommy is absent most of the time unless it suits him and has a weird habit of calling Briella ‘the kid’ instead of her name. Dean the step dad is the only one who is remotely normal but even he has such long shifts he’s asleep in the next room for most of the narrative, even when important plot points are happening! That said, I actually enjoyed reading this book, it’s paced really nicely and ramps up to a final crescendo very well. I liked the way its constantly written from the mother’s perspective who becomes quite an unreliable narrator at times as her mental health is pushed towards breaking point. I also found it really refreshing that Briella’s problems weren’t based on her genetics – too many times I find authors use the ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ theory to explain away children’s behaviour but Briella just seems to be a nightmare despite her parent’s upbringing. The ending had a nice twist I didn’t really seem coming but on deeper thought seemed to be written for shock value. I didn’t really believe or understand how the ‘eight months later’ epilogue would have actually been able to happen in that scenario (trying to remain spoiler free!) Overall Black Wings was a great, surprising find and an unsettling, sinister horror story. Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review. For more reviews go to www.kindig.co.uk

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Oh gosh, what can I say about this book? I loved it, but I hated so many of the characters. I don't think I've ever raged so hard at characters you're supposed to like/are the good guy (if you will). First off, this book cover is beautiful, and I absolutely love it. Second, the synopsis sounded intriguing, and I was curious to see, exactly, where the story would take me. Ooh, boy, did it take me on a journey. A journey of (probably irrational) emotions that had me wanting to throw my Kindle out Oh gosh, what can I say about this book? I loved it, but I hated so many of the characters. I don't think I've ever raged so hard at characters you're supposed to like/are the good guy (if you will). First off, this book cover is beautiful, and I absolutely love it. Second, the synopsis sounded intriguing, and I was curious to see, exactly, where the story would take me. Ooh, boy, did it take me on a journey. A journey of (probably irrational) emotions that had me wanting to throw my Kindle out the window a few times. I found Briella to be a grating, obnoxious little brat. Her "I'm smarter than everyone" attitude, and her complete dismissal of her mother's punishments (and I use that term lightly, since the woman barely tried) irked me so much. As a mom, I'd be thrilled if either of my kids were genius level prodigies like Briella seems to be. But if they even acted like a sociopath with no regard for anyone or anything else, I'd be getting them some serious help. That's where Briella's mom went wrong. Her daughter needed serious help, and she instead brushed it off and ignored it. Even when the evidence that her daughter was basically some "Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son" type child was presented to her, slapping her right in the face, she ignored it. Ugh. I hated Briella's mom just a bit more, actually, because of her naive stupidity. I also didn't care for Briella's dad, and I especially hated Briella's paternal grandmother. Even though we never meet the woman in the book, the stuff she's said is mentioned, and it brought back memories of my own now ex-mother-in-law. That woman wasn't a nicer person, either. I think the only characters I did like were Briella's stepdad and her maternal grandfather. They were the only two decent people in the book, Although I do wish they had spoken up and forced Briella's mother to see just what a nightmare child she really was. Overall, I thought the plot was solid, keeping me on my toes and making me wonder what sort of nonsense was going to happen next. The characters are well-developed (hello, rage emotions) and well-written. And that ending reminded me of The Good Son. The story also had a We Need to Talk About Kevin vibe too. I enjoyed it, even though it angered me so much. I'm rating Black Wings 4 stars. Would recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    I received and an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book seemed more science fiction with a lot of mystery and intrigue. Brielle Blake is an extremely smart 10-year-old girl bordering on genius territory. She lives with her mother Marian and her step-father Dean. Her dad, Tommy is loosely in the picture. Briella reminded me a lot of the little girl from Baby Teeth and I hated that little girl too. Briella befriends a Raven that is injured after being hit by a car. I received and an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book seemed more science fiction with a lot of mystery and intrigue. Brielle Blake is an extremely smart 10-year-old girl bordering on genius territory. She lives with her mother Marian and her step-father Dean. Her dad, Tommy is loosely in the picture. Briella reminded me a lot of the little girl from Baby Teeth and I hated that little girl too. Briella befriends a Raven that is injured after being hit by a car. The only things I know about ravens are what I remember from Edgar Allan Poe lore. Briella's mother had a bad feeling about this bird from the beginning and should have put her foot down. Briella brought the injured bird into the house and named him Onyx. The two developed this unhealthy attachment. Weird things began to happen around Briella in relation to this bird. First, after her school basically kicks her out, a student she was playing with mysteriously goes into a fit of seizures. Things just get worse and worse at this point. More people started to get seriously ill or die. Briella was saying very inappropriate things like how she smelled death and she had this fascination with souls. This child was feverishly working on a secret project in her room and writing in her journal. Onyx would even bring her trinkets for her mad scientist work. Marian really should have been more strict with this child but I do not know if that would have helped. She was pure evil! Briella was a little psychopath and she refused to bathe. Listening to her mother describe how when she hugged her that she smelled sour and had dried snot on her nose was just nasty. The girl was nuts and refused to bathe! The school politely tried to speak to Marian about this little deviant be she seemed too preoccupied with finding a part-time job, her husband, and pretending her daughter wasn't crazy. I recommend reading this book. The mom did put all the pieces together but I feel the book ended as if there was more to the story. Get this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bridgeman

    Marian is married to Dean, and in a co-parenting arrangement with her ex, Tommy who is Brielle’s father. As Briella grows up, she has noticed, as have her teachers, health visitors and drs that Briella is super smart, and when she starts school, she is put on the gifted programme. Constant worry about making ends meet versus Tommy being held up as a paragon of virtue and a endless wallet causes friction between Dean, Briella’s step father and Marian is caught between them. The house is constantly Marian is married to Dean, and in a co-parenting arrangement with her ex, Tommy who is Brielle’s father. As Briella grows up, she has noticed, as have her teachers, health visitors and drs that Briella is super smart, and when she starts school, she is put on the gifted programme. Constant worry about making ends meet versus Tommy being held up as a paragon of virtue and a endless wallet causes friction between Dean, Briella’s step father and Marian is caught between them. The house is constantly on a knife edge, Briella has no friends at school and whilst Marian tries no to panic that her daughter is different to a point where she is a concern.Her worries are confirmed when she befriends a raven whom she names Onyx, and who, bizarrely, saves Briella’s life. And then things begin to get really strange… Black WIngs’ is so well written, there is a creeping sense of menace where you are unsure if Marian is an over protective mother, is Briella super clever or a danger to herself and others? The raven is known in classical mythology as a psychopomp, a device used to great effect in ‘The Dark Half’ by Stephen King. Is Onyx there for good reasons or bad? How will Brielle react when Marian falls pregnant and why are there suddenly deaths and accidents happening around them? Marian is a fabulously drawn character, she fiercely loves her daughter and fights for her depite not always understanding her own child. Briella tells her on many occasions that she is smarter than her and she absolutely runs rings around Dean, Marian and Tommy. In this family situation, Megan Hart has constructed a seamless sense of unease and tension that tightens itself around the reader , like a noose, until freeing you on the very last page…or does she? Read ‘Black Wings’ and find out….

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Remen

    What did I just read? This was insane! I have no words that will adequately summarize this in a way that will do this strange tale justice. We read it in the voice of the mother. We follow it with her eyes and the as the strangeness that is Briella makes itself known we want to deny it in our own voices. We should love our children, never doubting that, and embrace their uniqueness. But how do you embrace the disquiet you feel when you encounter this smart, unique child, doing and saying things What did I just read? This was insane! I have no words that will adequately summarize this in a way that will do this strange tale justice. We read it in the voice of the mother. We follow it with her eyes and the as the strangeness that is Briella makes itself known we want to deny it in our own voices. We should love our children, never doubting that, and embrace their uniqueness. But how do you embrace the disquiet you feel when you encounter this smart, unique child, doing and saying things that leave you a little uneasy, slightly sick and utterly perplexed? Seriously, this is a very strange read. Not what I expected at all. And I love the strange and otherworldly voices of many authors. I just don't know where to place it. I read it in a day. So no problems there! It speaks for itself. You just have to make up your own mind and answer the question yourself. How do you love your child, if they do jot even possess the unique qualities that make us human? Definitely a book that will make you think. I could never even being to imagine how it would be to have that question even enter my mind about my own children. I feel a disquiet, an uneasiness when evne think about it. This is well written and the characters grab you, even the Raven. Though it will give you the creeps! If you like strange and the unexplainable then this is definitely for you! I revieved a review copy of this from Netgalley. This has in no way affected my review. It is honest and all mine.

  30. 5 out of 5

    S.D. Vassallo

    I loved this story! Megan Hart's novel was a pleasure to read, and it kept me guessing pretty much all the way through the book as to what was going to happen. Even heading into the climactic last few pages, I still was not sure what the outcome would be. At first, the story seems to be one that's been done before, i.e., a super genius child who become evil and does some wicked things, but Megan Hart took the 'trope' and made it her own. Though there are creepy and eerie events that take place in I loved this story! Megan Hart's novel was a pleasure to read, and it kept me guessing pretty much all the way through the book as to what was going to happen. Even heading into the climactic last few pages, I still was not sure what the outcome would be. At first, the story seems to be one that's been done before, i.e., a super genius child who become evil and does some wicked things, but Megan Hart took the 'trope' and made it her own. Though there are creepy and eerie events that take place in the story, the heart of the novel is about relationships, and the price that we pay in our relationships for our actions. Hart did a great job of presenting the various characters, and fleshed all of them out quite nicely. I felt sympathy for even the worst of the characters in the novel, a testament to the power of Hart's storytelling. I give this novel four stars, and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good tale. Disclaimer: I received an advance reading copy of the novel from Flame Tree Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation (other than the book itself) for writing a review, and the opinions stated in this review are entirely my own.

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