Friday, August 22, 2014

Blackfin Sky review

Blackfin Sky
by Kat Ellis
Running Press
September 2014

First line: "Silas's spirit had inhibited the rusted weathervane for many years."

Sixteen year old Skylar Rousseau heads to school one morning to find, much to her shock, that everyone in her small town has believed her to be dead for the past three months. Skylar's memories are different - she remembers an uneventful few months, where life went on as normal. It's a huge adjustment for her friends, family and schoolmates, as no one can explain why this has happened.

Wow! What an amazing start to a story! I was eager to dig in and figure out the dramatic mystery of Skylar's reappearance. The only thing that surprised me, was that the small Southern town of Blackfin is known as a place where "weird things" happen. The weathervane is haunted, a local well magically steals pennies from passersby, the rooms in the school are known to shift and change place without warning, and Skylar has grown up in The Blood House - a house where the walls can either muffle or amplify sound, literally allowing certain people to eavesdrop.

Given that it's a clearly magical world, I was surprised that throughout the book, all of the townsfolk have such difficulty with Skylar's mysterious return. Wouldn't they be used to bizarre magical events like this? The book piles one mystery on top of another, as the suspense grows to nearly unbearable heights. What happened the night that Skylar's memories and the rest of the town diverged? Who is Skylar's biological father? What secrets have her parents been keeping from her? Where is Blackfin exactly? Near New Orleans? Why is Skylar blinking in and out of places? Is she teleporting? Time traveling? Where, and when, is the creepy circus that Skylar keeps teleporting to?

Finally, about midway through the book, a few tantalizing clues are dropped and things gradually begin to fall into place. There's a hint of a love triangle between Skylar, Seth and Jared, with Seth soon taking the lead. Blackfin Sky felt like an enormous clockwork piece, where at the last possible moment, all of the elements, including things one might initially think were throwaways, finally come together.

It's an interesting world, and though everything wraps up neatly by the end, there is plenty of more room to explore.

Compare to:
This Wicked Game - Michelle Zink
Parallel - Lauren Miller
Dissonance - Erica O'Rourke

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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