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Blackfin Sky

Blackfin Sky

4.3 3
by Kat Ellis

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YALSA 2015 Popular Paperbacks Finalist for Mysteries: Murder, Mayhem, and Other Adventures


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


YALSA 2015 Popular Paperbacks Finalist for Mysteries: Murder, Mayhem, and Other Adventures


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“With convincing logic and a thrilling pace, Ellis spins out a vivid and eloquent tale in which the borders between past and present, experience and memory, and even life and death are porous. Each smart and well-rounded character, even the enigmatic adults, contributes cleverly to Ellis' purposeful plot. Hand this well-wrought mystery to fans of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series and E. Lockhart's rich writing.”

"Fans of Lisa McMann and Gail Giles will welcome this debut thriller that immediately grabs readers with an intriguing premise."
Kirkus Reviews

“The book is so fast paced and engaging that readers will have a hard time putting it down. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys trilogy will enjoy this great tale.”

“This page-turner is sure to keep teens who love spooky sleuth novels up well into the night.”
School Library Journal

“[T]he dialogue-driven text might particularly appeal to readers of fast-paced, plot-driven thrillers.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Eric DuBois
Blackfin Sky is an interesting, if slightly confusing, twist on the idea of multiple realities and superhuman abilities. This book has a little something for everyone, as the main character, Sky, dances her way through a magnetic relationship and many different versions of the past. Despite the well-paced action and steady stream of revelations, Blackfin Sky may become confusing as Sky faces off against mind-bending antagonist Gage. Reviewer: Eric DuBois, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Etienne Vallee
Skylar Rousseau has always lived in Blackfin, a seaside town named for the whales that pass by. Not many people come here, and that is how the locals like it. The town and its folks have many quirks, but no one can explain how it is that, although Skylar died on the night of her sixteenth birthday when she fell off the pier and was buried, she has returned three months later with no recollection of where she has been during that time. Aided by her friends, Sky discovers that she is a Pathfinder. Blackfin’s secrets have been protecting a horrible truth, and no one is talking about it. Sean becomes her anchor, and he is the only one Sky can use to guide her travels through the Pathways. In a race against time, Sky must find what Gage, an ancient enemy of her parents, wants and how she can thwart his desires to save the lives of those she loves. Can she find the right path? Ellis’s debut novel is well paced and features a central mystery surrounded by many tales that intertwine and eventually connect seamlessly at the book’s climax. The main characters are well rounded, and even the supporting cast is believable in demeanor and actions. The book is so fast paced and engaging that readers will have a hard time putting it down. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys trilogy will enjoy this great tale. Reviewer: Etienne Vallee; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
If Sky didn't die like everyone says, then where has she been for the last three months? Blackfin has always been a small, odd town. Even so, its residents still wonder how Skylar returned when everyone knows she fell off the pier and drowned on her 16th birthday. They even saw her corpse pulled from the water and later buried. No one wonders more, however, than Sky herself, especially since she recalls a different version of the events. Fans of Lisa McMann and Gail Giles will welcome this debut thriller that immediately grabs readers with an intriguing premise. When Sky's parents seem reluctant to answer her questions, she seeks help from some unusual sources: her boyfriend, whom she may or may not have kissed the night she "died"; her mechanic father's apprentice, who's also the town's only newcomer in years; the old gypsy woman in the woods; and even her own home, known as the Blood House as it was once a butcher shop…and possibly more. As Sky slowly discovers her family's and town's mysteries, she also realizes her own remarkable gift. Perhaps so too does a villain, drawn to her power for his own evil intentions. The plot-driven ending is less effective than the atmospheric beginning and suspenseful buildup of events, but by then, readers are already hooked. Overall, a satisfying thriller. (Supernatural thriller. 13-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year old Skylar Rousseau is late to class, which is no surprise. The real surprise comes when she's told by her shocked friends and family that she's been dead for more than three months. Skylar is adamant that this is all a practical joke and that she remembers the past 97 days just fine—then she begins having dreams of lying with her own dead body in a coffin. Ellis creates a tone that is playful yet eerie, drawing readers into the oddities of the town of Blackfin one bit at a time. It becomes evident that Sky's life has always been peppered with the occult, from the way her home (enigmatically called Blood House) seems to speak to her in code, or how she sees faces in the wooden panels of her wall. As she tries to solve the mystery of her own disappearance, the protagonist starts unraveling a dark past that threatens to change life in Blackfin forever. The town residents are a colorful bunch, and Ellis deftly captures teenage dynamics and mannerisms while maintaining each character's trademark eccentricity. The work ends with an explosive resolution, alongside plenty of questions and tales to be explored. Readers are left satisfied yet hopeful for a continuation of Sky's journey. This page-turner is sure to keep teens who love spooky sleuth novels up well into the night.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

Product Details

Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kat Ellis grew up immersed in ancient myths about dragons and giants, and spending most of her time getting into trouble while exploring the local cemetery. Blackfin Sky is her debut novel. Ellis lives in Denbighshire, North Wales.

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Blackfin Sky 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"You can't be remarkable without being remarked upon." Three months ago, on the night of her sixteenth birthday, Skylar Rousseau fell from the pier and drowned in Blackfin. But she also didn't. Three months later, Sky mysteriously returns to Blackfin with no memory of having died. Someone was pulled from the water. Someone was buried. No one, least of all Sky, is sure how that someone is not her. No one knows exactly what happened to Sky and no one except Sean, her friend and long-time crush, wants to help her find answers. When impossibly real dreams begin to draw Sky to a strange circus in the woods, Sky knows the truth must be lurking there too. Secrets are buried and waiting to be uncovered in the strange town of Blackin including truths about Sky and her past that could change everything in Blackfin Sky (2014) by Kat Ellis. Blackfin Sky is Ellis' first novel. Blackfin is a strange town where the weather vane follows people instead of the breeze and church bells chime every hour even though the town has no church. Strange things are always happening in Blackfin. But a girl has never died and returned. Even in Blackfin. Blackfin Sky begins with this impossible premise and strings it along into a well-realized fantasy filled with marvelously quirky things and not a fair bit of wonder. Sky's understanding of her place in Blackfin begins to expand and change after her death when she finally realizes she might be more than a fascinating outsider to Blackfin's locals. Ellis populates this novel with a myriad cast of well-realized characters including supportive parents for Sky and an admirable sidekick in Sean. Excellent pacing and an action-packed plot move this story from one revelation to the next as Sky begins to uncover long-hidden secrets and learn more about her mysterious death. Blackfin Sky offers the perfect blend of mystery and the supernatural (with just a bit of humor and romance) to create a story that is as satisfying as it is entertaining. Readers can only hope that Ellis will return to Sky and Blackfin in future novels.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I found this book confusing, it seemed to go and go and then finally at the end the puzzle was solved and I was left standing for more. In the beginning, I was following along and then all these fragmented pieces came into play and I couldn’t tell whether I had missed something or the character had just had one of her experiences. Stopping, I had to go back and reread what I had previously read, it was all so confusing, like a senseless mind trip for which I wasn’t totally submerged. After reading the novel, I looked at the reviews and many people praised the book for its unpredictability and its mysterious nature and I have to agree that it sure had that. The story is told from the perspective of a haunted weathervane, Silas who watches everything in the town of Blackfin. This town along with its population is unique; the town has a reputation of messes with its citizen’s heads. Sixteen-old Sky makes her way into school one day, except this is not a typical school day. Everyone is shocked to see her as she has been dead for 3 months after her birthday party. Retrieved from the water, they buried her and mourned her but to Sky that was just a dream that she had. Where has Sky been these past three months and how can she be alive? Sky must retrace her steps the night of her party to uncover the truth. The story gets twisted complete with a circus, a gypsy, a Blood House, dreams, and time travel, so hold on as this book will definitely take you on a trip. I liked the beginning and the ending; I just wished that in the middle I could have had something more to hold onto.
JessabellaReviews More than 1 year ago
Blackfin is one of the most strange and quirky towns I have ever encountered in YA. I mean, some pretty freaky stuff happens everyday, and the town residents never even bat an eye! I loved that about this book. Kat Ellis's lyrical writing style hooked me, and her great characterizations, highly visual world-building, and creepy, mysterious plot reeled me right in! Ellis is a master at evoking her readers imagination. Her descriptions gave me a picture perfect vision of every scene and character. Ellis's writing really brings this mysterious and magical debut to life! The pacing of Blackfin Sky was spot-on. There was absolutely NO point in which I wanted to put the book down. The plot never drags. It simply flowed beautifully, from one scene to the next, as the origin of Skylar's mystery is slowly uncovered.  The main character, Skylar is smart, funny, brave, and overall just a good person. She really cares about her family and friends. I loved the scenes that included her two best friends, her father, and her long-time crush Sean. They provide a bit of comic relief at just the right moments.  It seemed to me that Ellis tied up all of the loose ends at the end of the story quite nicely. Therefore, I'm guessing that this is a standalone novel, and a sequel will not be forthcoming.  Overall, Blackfin Sky was a eerily strange magical mystery, with beautiful writing and great characters! It was equal parts creepy, odd, smart, fun, and emotional. I loved every part of this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys trying to solve an unbelievable mystery, while at the same time finding yourself transported to a world of the bizarre yet beautiful. Oh, and if you crave romance in your reading, there is a little sweet something here for you too!  Blackfin Sky is a wonderful debut. I will be eagerly awaiting Kat Ellis's second book. I can't wait to see where HER mind will take MY imagination next!