Sunday, May 25, 2014

An ABC Review of BLACKFIN SKY & RRR Interview with Kat Ellis

I recently had the chance to read BLACKFIN SKY by Kat Ellis. (I won an ARC of the US edition through a Twitter giveaway.) 

Here's the book blurb:

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.

BLACKFIN SKY is now available for purchase in the UK and available for preorder in the US. (US release date is September 2, 2014.) 

First, I LOVE the cover! It's so perfect. The UK cover is great, too.

This was so much fun to read. Reviewing this is difficult, though, because I don't want to give anything away. There are so many mysteries surrounding Skylar and the other characters in BLACKFIN SKY that if I say anything it'll probably spoil something big. Sooo you should just take my word for it and read it! ;-)

Because BLACKFIN SKY is so unique (and I want to avoid spoilers!), I thought it would be fun to do the review a little different and theme it around the ABCs.



The story of BLACKFIN SKY moves quickly without feeling rushed. I was never bored or wondering when something would happen. Just enough of the mystery was revealed throughout the story to keep me reading and wondering what happens next. From the very first page, reading from the point-of-view of Silas, the haunted weathervane, I was hooked!  

My initial thoughts about the mystery surrounding Sky were wrong, and I was really surprised when I found out what actually happened to her. I think BLACKFIN SKY would appeal to fans of Les Revenants. (Sky's reemergence in Blackfin reminded me a little of Camille's in Les Revenants.)


While Kat Ellis created a town completely unlike any town around, it felt very familiar and real at the same time. The town of Blackfin is mysterious and quirky. I mean, there's a haunted weathervane and a well that steals your loose change if you walk too close! I think that speaks of Kat's magic as a writer--these quirky things all feel very real and possible.  


Skylar Rousseau is a great heroine. I immediately liked her and wanted to know what happened during her three month absence. Even with her otherness, she feels like any other girl. She could be your best friend.

Sean Vega is a refreshing love interest with his grandpa cardigans, dorky glasses, and strawberry licorice always dangling from his mouth. I also liked that he's just a nice guy. Because there are so many complicated bad boys, someone like Sean is a breath of fresh air.  

If I name or explain about anyone else from BLACKFIN SKY, I'm afraid it'll give things away...

Now it's time for my interview with Kat Ellis!

Some BLACKFIN SKY questions:

What inspired you to write BLACKFIN SKY? Did you get the initial spark and immediately start writing, or did you think about it a while before writing?

I knew the hook before I began: that Sky died and came back 3 months later, and couldn’t understand why her recollection of events was so different from everyone else’s. But (and this is unusual for me) I hadn’t written an outline before I started drafting, so I hit a bit of a stumbling block when I realised I had no idea what had actually happened to Sky. I spent a few weeks mulling it over before a fateful visit to the circus with my sister and niece helped me to fill in the missing pieces. 

Have you casted any of the characters in BLACKFIN SKY in your head with celebrities?

Ha! Of course. I’d cast Dakota Fanning as Sky, and Robert Sheehan as Sean, her love interest. I’m not sure about the rest, except for Sky’s father, Gui – I’d have Tom Hardy to play him, looking like he did in the film Bronson (though Gui is a very different character from Charles Bronson…)

Other than the characters in BLACKFIN SKY, are there any literary characters you could see Sky being friends with? Or enemies?

I could definitely imagine her being friends with Cas Lowood from ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD; they have the same almost weary acceptance of the bizarre nature of the world around them, although I like to think that Sky has better taste in love interests ;) I think Willow in the ANGEL series by L A Weatherly would also make a good friend for Sky. In terms of enemies… Sky probably has enough of her own to be going on with!


What are you currently reading?

I’m about to start WE WERE LIARS by E Lockhart - mostly because nearly everyone I know has already read it, and I’m bound to stumble on a spoiler if I don’t read it soon!

Do you bring a book with you every place you go or do you mainly read in one place?

I tend to travel with a book or two, but if I’m going anywhere far I’ll take my kindle; I worry I’ll somehow become a super-fast reader the minute I hit the motorway, and will run out of things to read if I don’t have my overstuffed kindle.

What's your favorite book to recommend to other people?

UNWIND by Neal Shusterman, mostly because it’s less well known than a lot of my other favourite reads, and you really can’t beat it for great, creepy SF!


What time of day do you prefer to write?

I’m a night owl; I generally start mid-afternoon and work into the wee small hours.

Do you need to eat or drink something while writing?

Oh god yes! I mainline coffee…although I tend to forget to eat, so I quite often get lovely little caffeine headaches.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, do you listen to different types of music while drafting and revising?

I make playlists for each manuscript I work on, and sometimes play those in the background. Other times I find random songs, or work in silence. It’s very much mood-dependant.


When you’re not writing (or thinking about writing), what do you do to unwind?

I read, which really does feel like a luxury sometimes, and I mess around on my piano and guitar.

What’s your not-so-guilty pleasure?

The TV show Catfish. People on that show are INSANE, but it’s kind of addictive.

Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?

I love travelling around North Wales taking photographs of forests and castles and stuff like that. I post quite a lot of them to my Tumblr.

Thank you so much Kat for being brave enough to be the first interview on my blog! You can find Kat on Twitter or on her blog. A few places you can find BLACKFIN SKY: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog, and for the great review! :)

  2. Great interview, Melody & Kat! I hadn't heard of this book yet, but now I am definitely going to get it! I'm just sad I have to wait so long until it comes out!

  3. I've wanted to read this ever since I saw the description on Goodreads! It's on my to-read list!