"This intriguing twist on the chosen child in an elite school trope confronts the reader with a number of unsettling questions that will linger long after the final page has turned." - Publishers Weekly
Briella Blake has always been wicked smart. When she’s invited to attend a special school for gifted students, she finally has the chance to focus on a project that begins to consume her – the ability to recreate and save copies of a person’s entire set of memories. Her friendship with a raven that’s as smart as she is leads to conflict with her mother Marian, who is no longer able to deny that there’s something wrong with her 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.
About the Author
Megan Hartwrites books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay. She can't live without music, the internet, or the ocean, but she and soda have achieved an amicable uncoupling. She can't stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves her cold. She writes a little bit of everything from horror to romance, though she’s best known for writing erotic fiction that sometimes makes you cry.
Find out more about her at meganhart.com, or if you really want to get crazy, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/megan_hart and Facebook at www.facebook.com/readinbed.
“Tear You Apart”, RT Magazine, Book of the Year, 2013
“Deeper”, RP Magazine, Best Erotic Fiction, 2009
Her erotic fiction novel “Switch” was on the New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists.
What is the book about?
A young genius determined to prove or disprove the existence of an afterlife becomes obsessed with the idea of being able to record and recreate souls. Her friendship with a raven become a part of her twisted plans.
What are the underlying themes?
Motherhood, existence of angels and the afterlife, the frightening consequences of unchecked genius
Did you base your characters on anyone you knew?
All my characters are a little bit of me and a whole lot of imagination.
Is there any advice you can give someone starting to write?
The only way to write a book is to actually sit down and write it. Lots of people want to write a book, and few manage to actually do it. Nobody else will make your writing more important than you will. WRITE.
Where did you write?
Wherever I have to!
Did you write in silence, or to any particular music?
I listen to music constantly and find it difficult to write in silence.
Did you find it hard to write? Or harder to edit your own work?
Some days, writing is like floating on waves of ice cream while being gifted with unicorn wishes. Other days, I’d rather listen to infomercials for off-brand kitchen equipment nonstop on three days of no sleep and in the aftermath of an army of mosquitos sampling me. Editing is always easier. It can range from “this is sewage” to “hey, this isn’t that bad.”
What was it like to be edited by someone else?
A good editor/author relationship is invaluable. To have someone who “gets” the work and helps to make it better is a true gift. On the other hand, sometimes editors and authors don’t mesh at all, and that can be a terrible experience. I always want my work to be the best it can be, so having someone who can look at the book and work with me on improving it is essential.
What are you writing now?
Whatever I want! It could be sexy romance or a creepy horror or an unnerving thriller. I’ve got a head full of ideas.
What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
My apartment used to be haunted by an angry ghost cat that would sit on my feet at night. Sometimes it would knock things over (always in the middle of the night.) You’d think a ghost cat wouldn’t be that scary, but it was pretty menacing. Fortunately, it eventually stopped bothering me.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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
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.
This is a hard one to categorise. Certainly dark. Definite horror elements, suspense, even a touch of sci-fi. It's not what I would call a fast paced book but it is interesting and does leave you wondering what's going on and what will end up happening. The characters are relatable, and the various familial relationships are portrayed with raw realism. The ending is certainly not something I saw coming. The overall mood of the book is unsettling, but it's not so bleak as to be depressing. Many thanks to Flame Tree Press for the ARC.