Book review: Blackbirch #1

After devouring a 700-page book in a week, I jumped straight into another. This time, the first book in K. M. Allan‘s Blackbirch series. This was a bit farther from my usual reads, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Considering how long I’m folowing K.M.’s writing tips, it was probably just a matter of time before I would decide to see her writing for myself – but with the long TBR pile, it wasn’t too high in the priority list.

Now that I realized I’ll have to wait a while for the fourth book in the series I was reading before, I decided to go for it instead of spending days thinking what to read next, as it was ready – K.M. and I had swapped our books in “when you get to it” manner. And it took me just half a week to devour this book, though a shorter one.

The book follows quite small group of characters – Josh, who had lost his parents in a car crash, along with a major chunk of his memory, and Josh’s friends and adoptive family. The other two major characters are Eve – a girl considered a weirdo, and a school counselor/volunteer firefighter who survived a major fire in the Blackbirch woods of… black birches.

Josh also has quite vivid nightmares – and those are really well executed – about magic and evil that stalks the woods behind the Blackbirch town.

Haunted by his past and the nightmares, Josh pretty much self-isolates (apart from his friends), no matter how much (but subtly) they try to break him out of his shell – until things start happening, eventually leading to some major revelation. As it seems to be, the myths about Blackbirch’s history of witchcraft may be more than just myths…

The ending, in the midnight woods, has quite the dark atmosphere, and the reveals only increase this haunting feeling. And when you may think they’re out of the worst… well, sorry, the hints for book two doesn’t seem to make it look so.


Read date: 24.-26.1.2021
Published: 17.2.2020
Goodreads/Amazon rating: 4,30/4,7
My rating: ~90%*
Length: 200 pages (Kindle edition)
Complimentary copy – highlights unavailable.


As I said, the book gripped me quite fast despite being out of my usual genre preferences – my best guess would be to classify it as paranormal thriller with fantasy elements. Either way, I’m likely to return to the story at some point.

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