Book Review: The Book of Days
By: K.A. Barker
Published By: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Page Count: 400
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Genre: Young Adult - Steampunk, Fantasy, Adventure
The Book of Days is the debut novel by Australian author K.A. Barker. It is the story of Tuesday, a 16 year old girl who wakes up for the first time in the Unreality House, watched over by Madame Marisol. Occupants of the Unreality House can’t just wake up, they must be woken by someone, and the someone who wakes Tuesday is the roguish Quintalion. Of course, it’s not really the first time Tuesday has woken up, but it’s the first time she remembers waking up, and in a real sense the beginning of her existence.
Armed only with a letter, which asks her not to seek answers about her past, she does what all stubborn and inquisitive 16 year olds would do, and sets off to find her true identity. Accompanied by Quintalion, who has reluctantly sworn to see her safely to her destination, she falls foul of the leader of the fanatical Daybreakers, Sterling. He believes that Tuesday was responsible for the death of his one true love, and will stop at nothing to get revenge. In the course of their adventures, Tuesday and Quintalion enlist the help of Hester, the one-legged airship captain with her own score to settle against Sterling, and the assistant librarian Jack. Discovering that the missing Book of Days is the key to her identity, Tuesday and her companions set off to find it, all the while being pursued by Sterling and his Daybreakers.
Steampunk is not usually my thing, but Barker has created a fantastic adventure story with a great cast of characters that kept my interest throughout. Tuesday is a great lead, she’s strong and determined and, like all teenagers, is searching for who she really is. Quintalion is the quintessential loveable rogue, with his mismatched eyes and brightly coloured waistcoats. Jack is sweet and brave and insightful, and was my favourite character. Hester is not nearly as prickly as she’d like everyone to think, very much a case of a warm gooey centre inside the hard exterior.
I love that we find out Tuesday’s back story as she does. I did suspect her true identity from early on, but that in no way affected my enjoyment of the discovery.
Flying ships, floating cities and a fight on the roof of a train – there is so much to love about this book! This is an exciting debut and I so look forward to more from K. A. Barker.
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.
When sixteen-year-old Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder - and peril. Left only with a letter from the person she once was, Tuesday sets out to discover her past with the help of her charming and self-serving guide, Quintalion.
Along the way she runs into mercenaries, flying cities, airships, and a blind librarian. But what is her connection with the mysterious Book of Days - a book that holds untold power...