Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on September 1, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Steampunk, Young Adult
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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.”
When Tuesday wakes from sleep for the first time at sixteen, she opens her eyes to a world filled with wonder – and peril. Left with only 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 one-legged mercenaries, flying cities, airships, and a blind assistant librarian. But danger lurks amidst the steam. The leader of the merciless Daybreakers is hunting her, convinced that she killed the only woman he ever loved. Tuesday will need all her wits about her to survive long enough to find out who she is and her connection with the mysterious Book of Days: a book that holds untold power…
The Book of Days was a fun, charming and quirky adventure set in a wonderfully imaginative setting. From Madame Marisol’s Unreality House which is a place where people go to be forgotten, to the floating Fortune City which was very steampunk in nature, to the corrupt Beggars End, I really enjoyed these creative settings. It was a true adventure story reminiscent of classic childhood stories like Peter Pan and Enid Blyton books.
There’s always something happening along the way, whether Tuesday and her companions are running into the evil daybreakers, meeting new and quirky characters like Hester the feisty warrior girl, or discovering something about the present and looking for the Book of Days. The book is filled with colourful characters, like the witty and charming Quintalion with a swagger, the sweet and unassuming blind librarian Jack, or the conflicted daybreaker with another side to him, Sterling. The personalities and dialogue was filled with humour and wit and so much fun. While many people love Quintalion, his ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ character has been done before such as Abe Mazur from Vampire Academy or Jackal from the Blood of Eden series.
“Now let’s have that mead. I wish to spend our journey to Fortune City completing forgetting about why we’re going to Fortune City.” – Quintalion
Now to the downside….the whole story felt like a really unexpected adventure with A LOT happening, and it was hard keeping the interest with so much jampacked into it. Tuesday’s goal was to find The Book of Days and discover her past, but they went so incredibly off track with running, fighting, discovering new locations and meeting new people that I didn’t know whether she was going to achieve her goal. It was hard to keep up with and I was cautious about whether the ending would be satisfactory, or whether it would drag out to another sequel, but luckily I needn’t have worried (and this is a standalone). The unexpected twist tied things up nicely too.
More in depth world building about how and why these wonderful places exist could have developed the world a bit more, but unfortunately this was all done on two pages explaining what the daybreakers and the Days who is this world’s version of gods and goddesses who are now in hiding. There are so many wonderful concepts that could have been developed further, but the dialogue and the quirky characters took center stage.
And then Tuesday realised that it wasn’t about her, not really. It was the east and the west: the old ways standing defiant to the last against the new, even as they battered down her door.
The Book of Days is a quirky, fun, out of the box adventure with a cast of colourful characters and imaginative steampunk settings. While it may go off track at times and had a few inconsistencies, it features some wonderful fresh and fun dialogue and really takes me back to the time of classic adventure stories.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.