When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.
Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.
Snippet from the book:
Silas’ spirit had inhabited the rusting weathervane for many years. From his perch on the school roof he watched the townsfolk of Blackfin through his empty eye socket as they buzzed through their lives beneath him, no more significant than the grains of sand piling up against the shoreline, clinging to the struts of Blackfin pier.
Doesn’t that just grab your attention? It certainly did for me!
Edinburgh Book Festival:
I picked up a copy of Blackfin Sky at the Edinburgh Book Festival, and was lucky to get a signed copy as well as Cat Clarke’s The Lost and The Found. If you’d like to see my photograph with Kat Ellis and Cat Clarke, and my write up of their talk, The Disappeared, here’s the link: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/edinburgh-book-festival-edbookfest-cat-clarke-and-kat-ellis/
Do I judge a book by its cover? I have a tendency to do this to a certain degree as I think that well executed covers tend to give you a sense of the book. This one fitted the bill, I just loved this cover so much! It is so beautiful, and mysterious. Did the cover match the book? Yes in my opinion on the whole it did, Blackfin Sky had a lot to offer and was definitely mysterious.
I was so excited about this book, that cover just had me trembling with anticipation but did it live up to my exalted expectations? Yes and No. I liked this a lot, but somehow it didn’t quite reach the ecstatic heights of loving it that I hoped it would. I think this was in part due to my not quite engaging enough with some of the characters in the novel, apart from the main protagonist, Sky, the others just didn’t seem to have enough depth to them. And the baddie with the amber skull, he just needed more baddie factor, I just didn’t really get him. At times Blackfin Sky seemed a bit confusing, and possibly a little too far off the believable line, (I do realise this sounds odd with regard to a fantasy story but even so the emotions sometimes seemed a bit dampened, particularly when Sky turns up after being dead, I just could have done with more feels. I know that Blackfin is meant to be a strange community but even so…..)
I think Kat Ellis tried to cram in a heck of a lot into this novel, (very ambitious,) which is something I like to do too, ah, makes me think possibly it is better to keep things a bit more simple? Maybe. Somehow it didn’t quite pack the four star/five star punch I’d hope it would, perhaps some of the plot threads could have been simplified…. to allow more time for secondary character development.
On the positive side it read extremely well, Kat Ellis can definitely write – no doubt about that, and it has a very imaginative fantasy setting, full marks for imagination Kat. I love the circus aspect, the Blood House, and the idea of pathfinders too. Yes, there are definitely aspects of this debut novel that really appeal to me, I think with a few tweaks it could easily have been a perfect read.
So would I recommend it ? Yes, I would. This is Kat Ellis’s debut novel, I do think she has great potential and amazing promise, so my recommendation would be to read this author and keep an eye out for her, I reckon her next novel might just pack that knockout punch.
By the way don’t forget to vote for your favourite debut author, Kat Ellis is one of the authors you can nominate for First Book Award, vote for your favourite, voting closes at 5pm on Friday 16th October: www.edbookfest.co.uk
3.75 stars. Just short of 4, as I say with a few tweaks it could easily have been a 4 star read.
Have you read Blackfin Sky? If you have please do leave a comment to let me know what you think.
Bye for now!
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx