Review + Excerpt: Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Format: ARC
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pages: 304 pages
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: n/a
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Just like any other morning, Skylar Rousseau is late for school, but when she is greeted by a blanket of silent stares upon entering Blackfin High, she discovers that the whole town thought she fell from the pier and drowned on her sixteenth birthday three months earlier. However, Sky remembers the last three months living her life as normal, and since she is a full, living breathing human being, she has no idea whose body is buried underneath her tombstone. Everyone seems reluctant to help except her steadfast friend and crush, Sean . . . and a secretive man who draws her to a mysterious circus in the woods.
Sky must wade through impossibilities and lies to discover the truth about what happened to her, which proves to be a bit difficult when someone is following her every move with the intent to harm her. And Sky's only hope of finding the answers she seeks may have already been turned to ashes.

Before I get into my review, I'll just start this review by saying how incredible Blackfin Sky is. I thought it was an amazing read and I'm giving it

Blackfin Sky is one of those books where the less you know about the story going in, the better your reading experience will be. So, I'm not going to get into the specifics but I will mention some highlights that will hopefully convince you to pick this book up.

When I got the review pitch from the publisher, they compared it to the novel The Night Circus (a novel I very much enjoyed--read my review) and I definitely got flashes of the ambiance of it, but Blackfin Sky stands uniquely on its own. 

The writing was fantastic and brought to my mind Sarah Beth Durst (one of my favorite authors). Like Durst, Kat Ellis does not waste words yet still manages to convey a strange, whimsical world full of engaging characters with her simple prose.

After the first few chapters it did slow down and some parts were somewhat confusing but it was never predictable and I loved that. You have to stay with it and be rewarded with a twisty mystery that was totally unexpected. Throughout the novel, I didn't know where the story would go. I thought I had the mystery of Sky's death kind of figured out and then a twist comes and turned everything topsy-turvy again. Then, there was element in it that I was not expecting at all and was pleasantly surprised by--this might be toeing the spoiler line so click the button to see it.

The characters were all really great. As soon as I read the first line of the book and met Silas  (you can read about Silas below) I knew I was in for a unique read. This novel was chock-full of quirky characters and the town of Blackfin was a character of its own. The undercurrent of weird and strange in the town made for a unique setting. I hope the author revisits the town again in future novels.

I love Skylar Rousseau. She was feisty and brave but she's also a thinking girl. She doesn't just jump into potentially dangerous situations--she knew to bring someone with her or to make sure at least one person knew where she was. She also does not keep things to herself and try to solve things by herself. All of these qualities I appreciated so much about Sky. I love Sky's relationship with her dad, Gui--theirs is one of the best father-daughter relationship I've come across in YA. Of course, I have to mention Sean. He was a sweetheart! He's the kind of guy you want by your side when fighting with a baddie.

Blackfin Sky was whimsical, twisty and unpredictable. The lyrical writing, the otherworldliness of the setting and the quirky characters made for a uniquely fantastic story. If you like Sarah Beth Durst, if you liked The Night Circus, if you like reading novels with a sort of peculiar slant with a touch of magic then Blackfin Sky is for you. It is so, so, sooooo GOOD, you guys! I highly recommend you pick this book up tomorrow.

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