The Book of Days by K.A. Barker Review: Quirky & Charming Adventure

October 22, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

The Book of Days by K.A. Barker Review: Quirky & Charming AdventureThe Book of Days by K.A. Barker
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on September 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
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.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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31 responses to “The Book of Days by K.A. Barker Review: Quirky & Charming Adventure

  1. Yeah, 3 stars is definitely pretty good depending on the review it gets 🙂 It's different for every book I guess. I'm so glad you loved reading my review Romi, glad to hear that it made a difference! It was a really fun adventure I think, constantly had something happening. Coming to read your review now!

  2. After reading your review I was pretty surprised to see you gave it three stars, because I anticipated that you would have really liked it, but then I realised that three stars is pretty good!

    I really enjoyed your review, and am glad that you did enjoy The Book of Days, for the most part! I can totally see where you're coming from that it has an awful lot going on, but for me that made it more enjoyable, I think. There was always emphasis on some new thing, always movement- perhaps somethings could have been more progressful, seeing as conclusions were come to fairly rapidly, but I did really enjoy it. The world is so neat!

    And so nice- not that I would have minded a sequel or another book in the world, with the characters- that it's a standalone. I appreciate standalone's so much at the moment! xx
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  3. Wow. Madame Marisol’s Unreality House. That's incredibly unexpected and original. But this sounds like such an awesome book! Like it really does! It sucks that it was so jampacked with random stuff, that there wasn't only one focus. Maybe that's why it's called the "Unreality House"?? Maybe. But The Book of Days sounds really cool. Hmm, if I see this I might pick it up though.
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    • I know, that concept just blew my mind with how amazing it was, definitely original! I'm so glad you love the sound of it. The Unreality House sits between two worlds so people aren't really dead or alive there, which is interesting. Thanks Val!

  4. Aww this sounds like a super fun book and one to dive into for just a plain, entertaining adventure! I love the steampunk aspect to it, too! It does sound like it has a lot going on, but at least it doesn't leave you with an open ending where you feel as if it bit off more than it could chew! Great review, hun!

  5. Jeann, I haven't heard about this book before, but there is something you wrote that caught my attention. About world building. I realized that I am more strict in judging paranormal and fantasy books because of that part of the story – if it's not believable, if there are no "cracks" or things left unexplained, I will probably love it. It's really hard to get into the story if you constantly notice everything that isn't convincing enough.

    Great review as always!
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    • That is exactly right Glass! We don't expect world building in many books, only when it's a requirement for the story and explored in depth, like with dystopias. But otherwise, anything goes! Really great point Glass, thanks for bringing it up!

  6. Glad you like it, Jeann! I loved the characters in this book, they were terrific. I didn't mind when it got off track and wasn't worried about it being resolved because I flipped to the last page to see how many pages there are (something I like to do before I start a book) and saw the words 'The End.' It was quirky and fun and sometimes it's nice to read something that isn't so heavy for a change.
    Rochelle Sharpe recently posted…Writing Tip Wednesday: NaNoWriMo Prep.My Profile

    • Thanks Rochelle, the characters were lovely and quirky which was really great to see. Ah, I couldn't skip to the last page for fear of spoilers and seeing something lol! It was definitely a fun read.

  7. This sounds like a book that I wouldn't typically pick up, but it does look like an interesting and whimsical read. Busy storylines can be a bit difficult to keep up with all the time, but the quirky aspect of this one and unique characters look somewhat promising. Maybe it they get it in at the library, I'll go and check it out then. As always, lovely review Jeann 🙂
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  8. Quirky adventures are the best! They're usually the most interesting to read about for me 😛 Haha. Reminds me of One Piece – it's quirky but serious at the same time and I just love it. Although it seems to be it must have been an exhausting reading experience majority of the time, since it seemed all over the place! But hey I dpon't mind… One Piece can be seen as all over the place as there is one big goal, and smaller goals, but in the end everything ties together ^_^ Will definitely check this out!
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    • Hehe glad to hear you love the quirkiness of this book – it was definitely an adventurous, unique story! I like how you compare it to One Piece, which I haven't seen it. It definitely sounds similar the way you describe it!

    • I know, this was probably light steampunk I think, I've only tried one hardcore one which was Dearly Departed and that one had zombies in it as well. It's quite an interesting genre, I'd love to explore more too. Thank you Purple!

  9. You had me at Peter Pan. This one sounds like one I'd probably fall in love with, despite how busy the storyline sounds. I really enjoy light steampunk and this sounds like it could even pass for mature middle grade even. I'm all about quirky characters and have to buy a copy tomorrow. I'm.glad you could still enjoy it despite its issues. Lovely review <3
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    • Yay, so glad to hear many people are intrigued with the book after this! It definitely sounds like it's up your alley Kelly, it's a really charming book with quirky characters. I am so glad you are picking it up!

  10. I'm really looking forward to reading this one! I actually borrowed a copy of it from the library, which I hope to get to soon, though most likely after exams. From the reviews of this I've read, it sounds pretty whimsical and fairytale-ish — so I think I'm going to like it, at least. 😀 Thanks for the review.
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