Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Title: Blackfin Sky
Author: Kat Ellis
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Target Age Group: YA
My Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Book Jacket Blurb

Skylar Rousseau is no stranger to the strange. After all, she lives in the town of Blackfin, where the weathervane will follow your movement instead of the wind.

Even  so, being told that she has been believed to be dead for three months when she has experienced life as usual is... odd. And strange dreams leading her to a dusty circus in the middle of the dark, foreboding woods only makes the situation more curious. Yet Sky will need to unravel both the present and the past to solve the mystery of her own existence.

My Review: 

First off, this book has everything I could ever want in a book. It's creepy, mysterious, filled with memorable characters, written very well, and is just downright strange. All reasons why I loved it and rated it as high as I did. It's hard to believe this is a debut book by this author. If her first book is right out of the gate is this good, I can't wait to read more.

Right off the bat in the story, we learn the weathervane is inhabited by a spirit named Silas, who observes the main character, Sky Rousseau, running toward home even though she had died three months before. This sets the tone for the entire novel. The presence of the strange alongside the everyday. This is one of the coolest qualities of this book. Everything in this story seems to be alive, including the house, known as Blood House, that the main character Sky lives in. 

Every character is also fleshed out very well. They all have their own personalities, and they all act the way they should act when someone who has been dead for three months comes back. They're elated, and scared, and confused, and even grossed out, all at the same time. 

The story is structured like a mystery. Sky spends the entire book trying to figure out what happened to her - how she died, and why and how she could be back from the dead. When the mystery is resolved, it makes senses in its weird logic. The reader should be satisfied with the answer even if they can't fully grasp it. Most of the questions the reader may have are answered. (It seems like there's more to the story that needs to be told though. Sequel maybe?)

While there is not a time constraint on her finding the answers like in most mysteries, there IS a growing sense of foreboding and danger to Sky. As she gets closer to finding answers, she also gets closer to forces who are a threat to her. In this sense, the story is structured very well. There are a few slow parts here and there, but for the most part the story moves forward and ramps up the tension as it goes.

There is also a great sense of humor peppered into the story, placed in appropriate places to relieve tension and provide unique character traits. It made the characters likable and believable and the story fun to read. 

Finally, although the climax of the story comes quickly and suddenly at the end, it's satisfying, along with the conclusion. All the important answers are known, and things that are still left unknown are left over... for a sequel? (Hint hint, Ms. Ellis!) This tells me the book is well plotted and intentional.

Overall, anyone who likes the strange and creepy but also a light and fun read, I would highly recommend this book.