Read blackfin sky by Kat Ellis Online


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 diggingWhen 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.*****This is the UK edition of Blackfin Sky....

Title : blackfin sky
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18186974
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 508 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

blackfin sky Reviews

  • Jen
    2019-06-04 13:57

    I received this book as a "first reads" giveaway on Goodreads. The plot for this book sounded so intriguing that I was immediately drawn towards it and it didn't disappoint. It's very impressive knowing that this is Kat Ellis' first novel. From the start the story captures the imagination and continues to hold it until the very last page. I would urge anyone who loves YA, fantasy and magic to read this book.I personally can't wait to read more from this author.

  • R.S. Carter
    2019-05-20 18:02

    Blackfin is a strange town filled with strange people. It's a small town with big secrets. Although the people are used to strange events, nothing quite this perplexing has ever happened before.Sky was a teenage girl who fell off the pier (or was chased off) three months earlier. But one day, she shows up at school as if nothing had happened. According to her, she's been going to school every single day since that fateful night of her birthday. Falling into the water was only a dream. But according to everyone else, she should be six feet under.This is the magical story of a girl with a gift that others want to conceal. As the story unfolds, the secrets of Blackfin and its people are revealed one by one, as well as past connections to an old circus, a deranged old seer, Sky's parents and the Blood House she was raised in, missing children, and people with all sorts of remarkable gifts.Thoroughly enjoyable!

  • Rusafa
    2019-06-17 11:16

    I just got this book in the mail the other day and I'm super excited to read it as its the first giveaway I've won. Many thanks to Firefly Press for sending me a copy. Sadly I can't start the book now because I have exams going on. I'll read and review it ASAP after the exams are over.EditYou know how they say, that just before you go to sleep, the face of the person you see is the one you love the most? Well it doesn't exactly work that way for me.Usually before I go to sleep, I get little bit of midnight reading done. And from time to time, if I really enjoyed a book, I’d think about that book before falling asleep. During the time I was reading Blackfin Sky, the characters just wouldn't leave me alone; I’d fall asleep speculating the answers to the millions of questions yet to be resolved, or wondering how Skylar was going to get out of a particular troubling situation. If a book keeps me up, pondering all night about it, that’s how I can tell whether I really enjoyed a book or not. And its safe to say I really enjoyed this one.Blackfin Sky was nothing like what I guessed it would be before reading it. And my guesses are usually uncannily accurate. It didn't follow my expectations at all. Is that a good thing, you ask? Well judging from the five shiny stars I gave it, I’d say yes.Now on to the actual review.The first thing that I noticed right off is Kat Ellis’ hauntingly lyrical writing luring me into the story and how it weaves a cloud of mystery and eeriness induced goosebumps. The plot of Blackfin sky is complex with an infinite amount of questions sprawled out like a spider web. Yet what is more interesting than the series of questions is the skillful way the author unravels the answers by joining the threads, and ties off the loose ends. My favorite parts of the writing however were the lovely description of the woods and the Blood House which were both so haunting and yet beautiful. The author’s writing is like an art, as she uses the story as a canvas to display her skill.The characters of Blackfin Sky were intriguing and authentic. Each character has their own flair, uniqueness and stood out well defined. And frankly this is a welcoming change after reading cardboard cutout characters time and time again. Skylar is an enjoyable protagonist with a headstrong personality who can stand on her own two feet. Her decisions throughout the book never seemed irrational. What I loved most was her way of taking great lengths to find the answers she wanted and taking action into her own hands instead of brooding over her situation. That is a quality I really appreciate in MC’s of YA books. The interactions between the other characters and Skylar has a factor on why the book is so enjoyable. (view spoiler)[ Specially the scenes between Skylar and Severin. (hide spoiler)]One thing that had bothered me was the fact the Cam and Bo didn’t really make any contribution to the plot, their existence seemed unnecessary, other than to provide comic relief.Well, I can’t say any more about some of the finer parts of the book without giving away too much. All that’s left to say is, Kat Ellis doesn't disappoint and her writing carries serious potential and is frankly amazing. This is a book I’m glad I didn't miss out on, and I’ll definitely keep an ear out for a squeal or anything else this author writes.

  • Fred
    2019-05-22 10:57

    There was barely anything I liked about this book!This book is not particularly famous so I will give a quick run-down of the synopsis: this is a fantasy novel. It follows a girl named Skylar who falls from a pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday and then three months later, she walks in through the school gates as if nothing happened! It follows her story along with her friends and family from there. It is a YA Fantasy novel which focuses on magic and mind-access and many different twisted, magical, dark themes. One of the main problems I had with this book is that I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the character development was dire because there was no character development at all. Our main character is called Skylar and throughout the entire novel, I genuinely knew nothing about her. Apart from her love interest, her age and how confused she is over her life, what else do we know about the girl? Nothing. I don’t feel that I would know what type of person Skylar would be if I met her. She has these two best friends (minor characters) called Cam and Bo: they were just portrayed as two bratty teenagers. All they were were characters made to give Skylar someone to talk to and to put some plot movement in there. Nothing else! Other characters like Jared, Miss Schwartz, Randy (cannot remember the name of ANY of his brothers because none of them had any personality!) had no development, especially Miss Schwartz’s character! She’s a schoolteacher who works at Skylar’s school and is relevant to the story near the climactic parts; I just thought here character was glanced over: no development, her role played later on in the story was really unclear and really transparent and she was so forgettable. The only two characters I liked in this book were Sean and Guillame (Skylar’s crush and father respectively) because they had some slight development, but again, only some slight development! Not loads, it would still be hard to figure out how I would react to them as real people and none of the characters were that ground-breaking. It just didn’t feel developed.The pace of this book was very rapid: the whole thing moved really quickly. “MAJOR EVENT – MAJOR EVENT – MAJOR EVENT…(pause for a moment to contemplate what Skylar is feeling right now)…MAJOR EVENT – MAJOR EVENT…(another moment of stress and confusion that isn’t developed enough)…MAJOR EVENT, MAJOR EVENT. The end.”There were only a couple of moments when the author stopped to develop the friendship between Skylar and Sean and that was the only thing I slightly liked about this book because it was developed well and the romantic elements were good and I liked them…but that was pretty much it. It was pretty clear where Kat Ellis’s priorities lay and it wasn’t with the writing or the characters or anything: it was with the plot.Linking to that, we will now go to the plot. It just got messy. It started off okay: it was this book which was fast paced and could have done with a bit more development but at least it was controlled and steady…and then further and further in, the plot got messier and messier; it got more and more far-fetched and things got more and more ridiculous and all of a sudden it turned into this ludicrously handled, confusing, undeveloped novel which was really hard to follow and just baffles you rather than developing what’s going on. At times, it was like reading a film: a film that was a mix between James Bond and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I’ve chosen Book 3 for a reason but I cannot reveal more without spoilers.) There was a series of events towards the end of the book which just got more and more far-fetched and ludicrous and bafflingly confusing that I checked the ‘Time Until End’ caption at the bottom of my Kindle and it said I had half an hour left and my hopes slightly fell. To round up the negative part of this review, I thought the character development was extremely poor; the plot was a mess; the writing was just simplistic, not loads special about it and in general, I didn’t overly enjoy it as much as I said I would.So most of this book was disappointing. HOWEVER…This is the redemption part of the review. There were moments which made me laugh out loud (for the good reasons!) This book has humour and had it been better in the ways I have highlighted it was bad, the humour would have enhanced the reading experience further. “‘Happy birthday, Skylar Rousseau. Dibs on the first dance with the birthday girl.’ His voice had a phlegmy quality that made her shudder. She tried to cover it with a smile before edging quickly past him. ‘I won’t forget!’ You should have just said no.” There’s that humour which just adds extra little touches to the book and makes us enjoy those tiny moments of the experience.I have also said that I liked (sort of!) the romantic elements in this book. I’m going to expand on that: there is a hint of romantic interest between Sean and Skylar and (one thing Kat Ellis DID develop in the plot!) what she does is she builds up this premise that Skylar is desperate for Sean to kiss her but she thinks he isn’t serious about her and she thinks her love is unrequited. And then gradually she builds their friendship more and more, leading up to “will they or will they not kiss?”. Throughout the novel, we are waiting for them to admit they love each other and stop trying to deny it and just forget what troubles them and be together. The one thing I didn’t like about it was that some very brief conflict happens between them around halfway through the novel and that annoyed me because Skylar was being ridiculous and just assuming things and being a prat and it was just a moment when I resented her. To round it up, I thought the writing was adequate enough, the character development was non-existent and the whole book was too rapid. The plot was a mess and too difficult to follow.

  • Luna
    2019-06-01 14:08

    “A wonderful, compulsive read.”is what Yangze Choo says on the cover of Blackfin Sky and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t normally quote other people but this time I am, because I couldn’t put it any better and Yangze Choo is an amazing writer.Here’s the thing, a lot of what I love about Kat Ellis’s debut I can’t put in this review because I want people to discover that for themselves. The book is addictive from the moment you begin reading.Blackfin is a place I partly wish I could visit but also never want to set foot in. Blood House however (Sky’s home), has got to be the best house ever. Please can I move in?The mystery of what happened to Sky is best left for readers to unravel I can talk about the writing. I use ‘good’ quite often but Kat Ellis deserves the word: excellent. There is an otherworldly feel because of Blackfin and the strangeness of the place but Sky and her friends are normal teens. The dialogue has to work with the atmosphere and it does, so well.Blackfin Sky has got to be one of my favourite debuts of the year.

  • Tatum Flynn
    2019-05-30 11:12

    Whoa, what a roller coaster ride! Blackfin Sky was an absolutely enthralling read. The town of Blackfin is a brilliant character in its own right, full of quirks and mysteries, and the story just piles twist upon twist and revelation upon revelation. Original, unpredictable, spooky, fast - paced and deliciously imaginative. Highly recommended if you're hankering after a refreshingly different kind of YA.

  • Emma Adams
    2019-05-25 15:14

    Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis has to be one of the most original books I've read in a long time! The setting and the creepy atmosphere drew me in, and the mystery had me guessing up until the end.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-21 13:04

    I wasn’t sure that to expect after reading the back cover of Blackfin Sky. 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... but she’s not the only one digging up the past.Nothing stays buried in Blackfin, a town that no one visits and no one ever leaves…It has a very unique speculative fiction feel, like paranormal and magical realism with a dash of science fiction. And one thing I love about a story is when I don’t guess the twist. I sure didn’t with this one. But it was still a believable twist that you could have guessed from the clues Kat leaves us. I very quickly fell in love with Skylar very quickly. She had this mysterious quality, an X-Factor that made you believe she didn’t understand why there was so much fuss over her. She is adamant that she hasn’t been anywhere, despite everyone being in mourning for her and the fact that there is a gravestone with her name on it. Her voice is so authentic and gripping. Then there is Sean *drools*. He is the perfect amount of quirkiness to match Skylar. He is solid, dependable and fun. The two of them have this great chemistry that leaves you dying for them to finally get together. The opening is set so well with the introduction of Silas, the spirit that inhabits the local weathervane. Creepy with his indifference, and even creepier with his interest in Skylar’s return, and the fact he’s not the only one who is watching her. It was so intriguing to see Skylar interacting with everyone, so sure in her memories of the past three months when everyone else has seen her dead body pulled from the pier. This creates a mystery I so desperately wanted to solve and didn’t. Yet I was still so satisfied. I don’t want to add spoilers for people, but the mystery only deepens once we learn the truth about why Skylar can remember the last three months differently to everyone else. It’s a plot so masterfully crafted that you want to keep turning the pages (I even took the book to my son’s football game so I could keep reading while he wasn’t on the field). Kat crafts such a wonderful tale with amazing use of language that is poetic, setting it apart from so many modern YA stories. It has a classic feel, rich in word choice and plot weaving. It’s important to take note the characters, as many of them have roles to play that you won’t see coming. My only criticism is the early portrayal of Skylar’s mother. It doesn’t align for me with the person I saw at the end of the story. She came across as too shallow and distant then quickly shifted. But that isn’t enough to drop my rating of Five Stars! This story haunted me for days after I read it. I can’t wait to read what happens next for the residents of Blackfin.

  • Simon Clark
    2019-05-30 16:56

    A received an advance copy of Blackfin Sky from the author.Full review here:'s a fantastic read - gripping from the first page (where Silas, a disdainful haunted weather vane - yes, you read that right - catches sight of a dead girl who's not dead) to the last (which I'm not going to spoil for you). I finished the book yesterday and, I have to admit, took a longer lunch than I'm technically allowed. I was too wrapped up in the climax - and it's a good one, guys. There are so many different threads to this story, and so many questions, but Kat manages to bring them all together at the end like some sort of mad puppeteer. It left me wanting more, but not feeling frustrated. That has to be the mark of a good book, right? I want sequels and prequels. I want to know more about Silas, and Bo, and what's up with Jared, and I want to know now.Two things especially surprised me about this book. Firstly, I started caring a lot about certain characters. Whether it was Kat's writing (never flowery, always well paced) or the sheer inventiveness of the story, I don't know, but one scene in particular (involving an open grave and a mob of boys who are keen to see it refilled) had me balling my fists and imagining, there and then, the terrible vengeance I would enact upon those who did wrong. I got a bit worked up, I'll admit, and had to take a break. That's a good story. And then something happened later that made me feel bad for thinking those things. I only have so many emotions a day, Kat. You can't do things like that.Secondly, Blackfin Sky is funny as hell. The banter between the characters, and Sky's description of her mother especially, are bang on. There's sarcasm, jokes, and awkward teenage moments we can all relate to. The fact it's happening alongside danger and confusion only makes it better. Yes, there's romance too, but it's natural and never forced. Sean seems like good guy. I'd let him date my sister, if he wanted.

  • Kristin
    2019-06-04 16:57

    I'm giving this book 3.5 stars, even though I physically can't do that. In book report terms, I'm giving it a B+!Also, is there a genre specifically for creepy circuses? Because I'm pretty sure they're the most terrifying things on the planet and there should be a genre dedicated to their horror.Ellis's debut novel is an intriguing mystery with a hint of the paranormal. Fantasy? Paranormal. Sky shows up at school one day, which wouldn't be anything too out of the ordinary for a teenage girl, except for the fact that she died three months ago. As she works to unravel the mystery surrounding her death, she discovers some pretty strange happenings around the town of Blackfin — strange occurrences that involve her.I was captivated throughout by the mystery — what exactly happened to Sky that night? — though it did take me a few chapters to get into the book itself. Sky's friends and townsfolk seem a little nonchalant at her abrupt return from the dead (though, when I think about it, I don't know how I would even react, so maybe it's not too far off!) and the dialogue between Sky and her friends in the beginning seems shallow. There were plenty of opportunities to explore their feelings about their friend's death and sudden return that seemed wasted. But Ellis makes up for it when strange events start dragging Sky into the mysterious woods and memories of the past.I couldn't put this book down! Without giving too much away, the events surrounding Sky and her family begin to raise more questions than they answer, and as soon as the haunting circus is pulled into the mix, I was hooked. My only complaints were that I wanted more! Blackfin and Sky's family seem like they have many more mysteries inside of them, and I could've ditched some of the earlier chapters for more on those aspects later on. It's a good start for Ellis, and I look forward to seeing how she grows as a writer (and what else she has in store)!

  • Colleen Fauchelle
    2019-06-14 13:18

    I feel very spoilt to have won this book through a Goodreads give away. I hope that the word gets out that this is well worth the read. I loved this story, it was easy to read and hard to put down.Skylar has been dead and buried for three months when she turns back up at school in Blackfin. Everyone is shocked to see her and she is shocked to find out that she has been dead. So between her and her lovely friend Sean - who is a really supportive and caring young man. They have to sort out where Skylar has been and what is going on in the woods? and what secrets are her parents keeping from her. Also she lives in a home called the Blood House, what is the house trying to tell her.This story has it all Mystery, love, secrets, an evil man, some very strange visions and people. Secrets long hidden exposed and of course a dead girl come back to the land of the living. This was my first dive in to Paranormal and I enjoyed it. It was freaky at times but nothing I couldn't handle. I wish this book and the Author all the best. I hope it is successful because it is a well written hard to put down type of book. Go buy and enjoy.Quote:"Why she was drifting in and out of her life like a kite caught by the wind"

  • Kimberlyϟ
    2019-05-24 14:54

    'An engaging, richly detailed fantasy, full of magic and mystery...'I recently went to a book signing at my local library about this book and decided to give it a go. I definitely underestimated this book when I first saw it, even though the cover is beautiful and it sounds FANTASTIC I just wasn't drawn to it straight away, however that was a mistake, if I knew how INCREDIBLE this story is I would have bought it straight away! I read this within the period of two days it was that good! I love the character buildings (i kind of have a crush on Sean!) and the setting of the scenes, seen as the writing is absolutely beautiful! the plot is definitely extremely well thought out, and it all ties in together perfectly and it was very unpredictable! I definitely recommend this book for ever person who enjoys reading as I'm sure anyone will LOVE this story! ( Just to let you know, there are a few swear words here and there if you are alright with that, DEFINITELY don't let that put you off the book though, the author said the editors had to take most of them out! :) )

  • Tammy Farrell
    2019-06-05 16:52

    Atmospheric and Captivating. Blackfin Sky is an amazing debut. Kat Ellis weaves together a spine tingling mystery set in Blackfin, a shadowy little town cut off from the world and filled with secrets just waiting to be unearthed. The story will make you shiver. The cloudy skies, dark forest, Blood House (‘cause all creepy houses should have names), a veiled circus, and the spectral observer watching the mystery unfold give this novel a very Gothic feel. But while the setting fascinates, the mystery surrounding Sky’s apparent death (and return), drive the story forward. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author adds another twist to keep you turning the page because in Blackfin, nothing is as it seems. Kat Ellis is very talented writer and an incredible storyteller. It truly is a tale of magic, mystery and emotion.

  • Edel
    2019-05-27 11:04

    I was really intrigued by the sound of this story and let me tell you the opening chapter was awesome. The main character Skylar drowns on her 16th birthday then turns up three months later, alive. As you can imagine it leaves you with plenty to wonder about. The town of Blackfin is where the story is set and it has an eerie feel to it, almost a presence all of its own. Nothing was quite as it seemed. The characters in the book were interesting and I desperately wanted to know more about Skylar . This would be perfect for those who enjoy an eerie story with suspense, mysterious characters , creepy settings. This book gives up it's secrets slowly , willingly dragging you to the last page. Go read it!I won this book here on Goodreads. Yay! :)

  • Isobel Pratt
    2019-06-04 12:09

    I loved everything about this book, it was well thought out, well written, gripping and unpredictable. The characters are loveable. Overall this was a brilliant read and EVERYONE needs to read this book.I have never read a book like this and probably never will again.

  • Kate Ormand
    2019-06-05 13:57

    A tangled mystery in an atmospheric setting. A real page-turner!

  • Faye
    2019-06-16 11:18

    I really liked the first chapter. It had a circusy feel to it, and I was intrigued. However, it quickly turned into another paranormal romance story. The main narrator was pretty neat though. She was bold, but not to the point of facepalming, stubborn, but not to the point of slapping her, smart, but realisticly. Sky wasn't the best main character ever, but she's better than a lot that I've read about. There's a huge mystery about what happened to Sky that night. I was really curious about how Sky supposedly came back to life. And that's where it all started to go downhill. The powers, or the concept of the magical stuff is confusing. I don't get anything about it. It isn't that it's complicated. It's just glazed over.Even so, I remember this not as the most interesting take for a paranormal romance. The other characters, like Jared, Sean, etc, were boring. None were offensive, but just really boring. I only liked Sky's dad, but he isn't a prominent character. I spent my time reading this book in a haze. I had no idea why certain events were happening half of the time. It's like there was a brick wall between me and the book. I couldn't feel anything for anyone. I'm not saying that Blackfin Sky is a bad book, because it isn't, but it was really boring and another typical paranormal book.

  • Dawn Kurtagich
    2019-06-07 13:00

    I was lucky enough to get this book before publication and I was NERVOUS to read it. I was worried, because Kat is my friend, and, well... what if I hated it? But I needn't have feared! Blackfin Sky is a masterpiece and I loved every second of it. My highest praise is that I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, but also, that it is unlike every other YA book I have ever read. Sky is a compelling character with an intriguing story (that scene with her in the grave... I still shudder) and each and every character around her felt fully developed and I struggled to let go of them once it was over (I'm rooting for a sequel... come on Kat). Blackfin was a town I didn't want to (and probably couldn't) leave, and the magical elements of the novel were superbly written. I love this book so much. I was guessing right up until the end and then thinking about it after it finished. It gave me chills and kept me solidly entertained and tense the whole time! :D

  • E
    2019-05-24 11:04

    Strange town where people take the strangeness in stride. Until Sky shows up at school one day, astonishing friends and family who thought she was dead. She remembers leading an ordinary life for three months. But now has to figure out what happened. And do the homework she missed. Reminds me of Welcome to Night Vale, in the acceptance of ghoulish weirdness. I liked the specific touches of mythology, but could have used more time developing and exploring them. Stands alone, but I would read a sequel happily. Also, one or two plot points that reminded me I was a grownup reading YA (a Boy figures as a plot point in a very First Teen Romance sort of way.) On the whole, though, a terrific read.

  • Rhian Ivory
    2019-06-18 13:54

    I loved this quirky novel and was completely swept up in the magical and sometimes creepy world of Blackfin. It reminded me at times of the wonderfully spooky world of Twin Peaks. Blackfin is a place where strange things happen and as the novel progresses the people that live there become stranger and stranger. I didn't know what to expect next but couldn't stop turning the pages as I became more involved in Sky's peculiar and beguiling world. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this impressive debut author.

  • tinabel
    2019-05-18 15:54

    What an odd little novel Blackfin Sky was. A mixture of magical realism and fantasy, it’s about a town where the strange and unusual are a part of everyday life, that is until our protagonist, Sky Rousseau, appears in town after being dead for three months. Don’t worry, it’s not about zombies, it just has characters with telepathic and mind-control powers, others who can travel through time and space, a slew of ex-carnies, and some “normal” people thrown in for good measure.Overall, it was a fun, quick little read.Disclaimer: I read an advanced reading copy.

  • Tiffany Guthrie
    2019-06-01 12:21

    ***ARC for Honest Review***This novel intrigued me from the very beginning. I thought I would read it for a few days on my down time, but it was so interesting that I couldn't put it down and finished it within a day.I was constantly trying to guess what was behind the mystery of this small town and Sky's three month disappearance. In the end, I never guessed correctly. Its hard to believe this is the authors debut novel. I'm very impressed and I look forward to reading more by her.

  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    2019-05-26 18:07


  • Carly
    2019-06-04 16:19

    4.5 / 5 Stars! A gorgeously absorbing debut that has a lot of fab characters, hauntingly creepy scenes and an intriguing mystery. Lots of really interesting little quirks that make it memorable! Review to come...

  • Crystal O'connor
    2019-06-13 13:06

    I received this book as a first reads giveaway.I really enjoyed this book, and finished it in 2 nights, could barely put it down, and would look forward to a sequel.

  • Charley Cook
    2019-05-20 15:02

    Check out my video review to see why I rated this book 4/5 stars!

  • Laura
    2019-05-29 12:55

    Sometimes impulse buys based on cover art pan out. This one has been on my shelf over a year, but turned out to be exactly what I needed right now -- light but intriguing YA fantasy. I love the nonchalant presentation of the town's fantastical quirks (sentient buildings, possessed weathervanes), and how that frames the current events that even the residents consider not normal. Reminded me a touch of Night Vale in that way. It was creepier than I expected, which resulted in my reading it pretty much in a single sitting so I could get to sleep. And I do love any nod to the circus.

  • Cecelia
    2019-06-08 16:54

    Have you considered the elements that pull you into a story lately? I am always partial to a beautiful book cover, but I’ve noticed my reading taste changing, too. I am beginning to adore atmospheric magical mysteries, for one thing, and I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘mystery’ person. Before I read the summary of Kat Ellis’ debut Blackfin Sky, I had NO intention of signing up for a book tour. And then, somehow, I was hooked (like a fish on a line, she says, pun intended). Good thing, too, because another one of my weaknesses is humor, and this book is strangely compelling AND funny.Skylar (or Sky, for short) is running late for school one morning when she notices that EVERYONE is acting weird. Her friends, her family – it’s as if they’ve seen a ghost. In fact, the entire town believes that Skylar fell off the pier three months ago on the night of her sixteenth birthday and died. Skylar doesn’t know how or why everyone is under this delusion, but as Blackfin’s normal level of strange amps up, it’s up to her to unravel it all: her supposed death, the crazy fortuneteller’s odd pronouncements, the friend who went after her the night she died, her parents’ silences, and the odd circus in the woods. Blackfin’s citizens may be used to the town’s oddities, but they may also be in danger…Skylar has never ventured far beyond the borders of Blackfin, but even she knows that the town is full of freaks. And she counts herself as one of them – after all, she’s been enduring stares ever since she can remember. Her unrequited crush on relative town newcomer Sean notwithstanding, life seems ideal. Ideal until she wakes up one morning and everyone believes she has somehow returned from the grave. Much of Skylar’s emotional energy in the first chapters is spent dealing with echoes of grief and open rumors of what happened on the night of her birthday. While the dialogue is snappy and it’s quite a hook, the main character’s very real confusion does not lend itself to immediate reader understanding. In other words, the book gets off to a somewhat baffling start.That said, things quickly pick up, as Sky’s intelligence, wit, and charm come to her aid in unraveling Blackfin’s mysteries. It’s a fun, weird, crazy-in-a-good-way ride. The sassy banter between Sky and her friends Bo and Cam is a major highlight, as is Sky’s relationship with her parents. And of course we can’t forget her budding will-they-won’t-they-admit-their-feelings thing with Sean (it’s adorable too). The supernatural/fantastical elements were done well, although I would love to one day see a diagram (or glossary of powers!) on paper. It’s light contemporary fantasy with a twist of sci-fi for good measure.If we’re going to talk cons, I must again point to the slow-ish start, and also to the overabundance of odd characters in Blackfin. Which included a haunted weathervane named Silas and Sky’s home, aptly called Blood House (and an almost-sentient structure). Yes, they add a charming dose of quirkiness, but I did, on a couple of occasions, wish there weren’t quite so many strange tendrils of story to keep track of. At the same time, I couldn’t easily eliminate any one thing, so that kept the mystery intact. Net result = neutral-to-positive.In the end, this is an engrossing story about a girl everyone thought was dead, and a legacy of creepy and freaky happenings that make her reappearance seem almost like one of Blackfin’s everyday occurrences. It’s also young adult romance with snappy dialogue. Basically, good fun.Recommended for: fans of Gina Damico’s Croak and Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken, and anyone who likes contemporary young adult fantasy with humor, quirky heroines, and writing to pull off a combination of the two.

  • M.J. J Mallon
    2019-05-24 12:57

    3.75 stars. Full review at 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: Cover: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.My thoughts: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: My rating:3.75 stars. Just short of 4, as I say with a few tweaks it could easily have been a 4 star read.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-02 18:19

    Right off the bat, I knew that Blackfin Sky was going to be a creepy book that held a lot of secrets. I was pleasantly surprised how much the story really drew me in and kept my attention until the very end with all of the secrecy and lies. On Sky's 16th birthday, she falls off the Blackfin pier and dies. Too bad she doesn't remember dying. Three months after her "death," Sky walks back into her high school as if it's another day, and to her it is. But when she learns that people have thought she's been dead, especially after they buried her and held a funeral, Sky has no idea what happened to her. Sky digs deeper into the town she's been living in for the past 16 years and discovers secrets behind the forbidden woods that could reveal the town's real history and uncover what really happened to Sky after she died. At the very beginning of the novel, Sky discovers that she's supposedly been dead for the past three months, even though she remembers those three months as her just living her ordinary life in Blackfin. That being said, the town Sky lives in is definitely one of those creepy towns that you know holds a ton of secrets. The only problem is, we have no idea what those secrets are and neither does Sky. Sky starts to realize that things have always been strange in Blackfin, she's just never noticed it before. Things definitely get scary as Sky uncovers the burnt down circus in the woods and meets even more mysterious people that know more about her than she even knew herself. Trying to keep all of the facts and secrets about Sky and Blackfin straight became confusing at times because there was so much history to the town, but once everything fell together at the end, the story and characters were much easier to understand. As always, I loved the romance we got in the novel. As great and adorable as the romance was, though, I wanted more from Sky's relationships with her "best friends" in the novel. Sure, Sky has a huge crush on her best friend's brother, but we didn't really get to see her relationship with her best friend that much. I mean, if I was going through as much as Sky was, I would definitely call my best friends for help, not some random guy I had just met or people who really freak me out, which is what Sky ended up doing. Cam wasn't really present throughout the novel and I wish we could see their close relationship balanced with Sky's relationship with Sean. We did get more of Sky and Bo's relationship, but I think there could have been a lot more best friend moments than we got. In the end, Blackfin Sky was a creepy story about a strange town with even stranger people. I really enjoyed Sky's character and how real she was with everything going on around her. The mystery behind who Sky really was and what was happening in the small town of Blackfin provided an intriguing story that brought in some pretty unique characters.