- Title: The Book of Days
- Author: K.A Barker
- Category: Young Adult
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia 2014
- My Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Most people believe the best way to forget someone is to throw them down a well. Or lock them in a room with eight keys, or bury them at a crossroad in the thirteenth hour. But they’re wrong. The best way to forget someone is for them never to have existed in the first place. Madame Marisol’s Unreality House was where you brought people to make that happen.
My Review: In June last year I attended ‘Pitch Perfect’ at the Australian Society of Authors with Pan Macmillan editor Claire Craig. It was one of the most helpful and immediately useful courses I’ve done in regards to confidently pitching and selling your book to publishers. Read about the course HERE. Claire talked about writing blurbs and first impressions and submissions, how to write a great synopsis, how to hook the reader and amongst many other things – how to grab the attention of a publisher with the first page. Claire used an example of an author whose first page (and chapter) captured their attention.
Claire handed out a copy of the first page of the yet to be released ‘The Book of Days’ by K.A Barker to which I was unaware of the book title. John Marsden thought the first chapter was so good he recommended it to Pan MacMillan. The first page was awesome, fresh and new, mysterious and I wanted to read more. I wasn’t until I connected on Twitter with K.A Barker through author Kylie Fornasier that I decided to buy her new book. To my surprise it was the book that I read the first page of in June at Pitch perfect, so I was excited. The beginning of the novel is so original – and it just gets better.
It begins with the debonair and amusing Quintalion arriving on the doorstep of Mrs. Marisol’s Unreality House where people go to be forgotten. Once a person has been placed in there they are forgotten by the outside world – it’s as if they never existed. But sometimes people leave and Quintalion has received an invitation. He is there to pick someone up – a someone Mrs.Marisol calls Tuesday, who wakes from her ‘sleep’ knowing enough of the day-to-day actions get by in the world, but remembers nothing from her past.
What an adventure this book was! Tuesday embarks on a quest with Quintalion to find out who she is, or was before she entered Mrs. Marisol’s house. Tuesday is a sparky and vivacious heroine, brave (sometimes to the point where as a reader I was thinking ‘No, Tuesday – what are you doing!’), and knows there is more to the past than the mysterious letter she wrote to herself before she entered Mrs. Marisol’s Unreality House. Along the way she learns of the Days, the former gods of the land who have disappeared, but the old ways still linger even though the Daybreakers and their cruel commander Sterling, who is looking for Tuesday, continue to try to stamp it out.
On her journey Tuesday meets the brave Hester, a musket-wiedling, wooden-legged captain of a flying ship who is seeking revenge for the death of her brother, and Jacobi, the blind Assistant Librarian from the floating Fortune City who is searching for his father. It is there that Tuesday learns that the clue to finding out her identify will be found in the Book of Days which contains the knowledge, experience and magic of the Days themselves – but it appears that everyone else is looking for it as well.
K. A Barker has introduced a fantastic world with elements of steam punk, fantasy and even a bit of wild-west thrown in with chase/fight scene on top of a moving train. The Book of Days was full of action packed scenes, sword fights, gun fights, flying ships, a floating city, wild rides across a deserted plain while in a chariot pulled by wingless dragons, and more. This is a great story for young adults of either gender, adults (like me who love YA) and whoever enjoys an action packed fantastical read with characters to love.
Oh, and what a fabulous book cover! Do you agree?
Get your hands on The Book of Days and let me know what you think!
Read all of my Book Reviews HERE
Author Bio:Kirilee Barker is a Brisbane-based writer and is currently the Administration Officer at the Griffith Film School. She has a creative writing degree from Queensland University of Technology. Of the inspiration behind The Book of Days, Kirilee says: “Being adopted, I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of identity and belonging. I grew up reading a lot of fantasy, so when I started writing I naturally gravitated towards fantasy stories of heroes and heroines struggling with finding out who they were. Tuesday and her story are the logical extreme: a girl who literally wakes up not knowing anything about herself.”