Tuesday, 5 July 2016

As Black As Ebony - Book Review

As Black As Ebony - Book Review
Salla Simukka
YA Thriller
Lumikki Andersson #3
UK Publisher: Hot Key Books

Other books in the series:

As Red As Blood #1 - Review HERE
As White As Snow #2 - Review HERE


Lumikki has a new boyfriend — easygoing, gorgeous Sampsa — but she is unfaithful in her dreams, longing for the electrifying touch of her ex, Blaze.

Then  the threats start arriving, from someone who seems to know Lumikki intimately. Sharing her fears risks deadly consequences; now she is more alone than ever.

When Blaze suddenly reappears, Lumikki is torn. She can’t deny the chemistry between them, but can she trust him? To stop the killer, Lumikki must uncover a dark secret that has haunted her family for years. 


This is the last book of the Lumikki Andersson trilogy, and for such a short novel, Salla Simukka really packs a lot of punch into each page. With beautiful prose, lots fairytale references and a very unpredictable plot line, I felt this trilogy was brought to a stunning conclusion.

A few months after her trip to Prague, Lumikki is now back in Poland and is at last settling into a normal high school life. She has a new boyfriend, new friends, and has somehow landed the starring role in the school play. Yet her past continues to haunt her. Surfacing in her dreams each night through broken memories.

Then she receives a letter. She is being watched. And her new stalker knows the truth about Lumikki’s childhood. The childhood Lumikki herself has forgotten. Now with tasks hidden behind thinly veiled threats, Lumikki is forced to meet her stalkers demands. She must unlock her memories. But all she can recall is one little girl, and lots of blood…

This was such a good book. The writing is uniquely beautiful, full of flowery sentences but brushed with darker undertones. Like thorns hiding beneath pretty petals, each word morphs together to paint vivid yet often melancholy scenes. A truly fantastic and spellbinding story.

As with the first two books, I was drawn to Lumikki’s character. Her strong survival instincts, her quick thinking and generally passive attitude toward others. She is not your typical teenager. However I did think she came across as a little different in this book.

In the previous stories Lumikki seemed more sure-footed and rational. Then again she was mostly dealing with other peoples problems. Yet in this third and final book Lumikki undergoes a mental journey, which made her appear more fragile. She couldn't stay dispassionate about her own life, and this newfound rashness was clear in each of her choices. However Lumikki was still a kick-ass-heroine. 

In terms of other characters, I was pleased we finally got to meet Blaze outside of a flashback. I love that Lumikki’s first love was with a transgender girl, and really thought this unconventional (but awesome) romance epitomised Lumikki’s personality.

I also liked the contrast Sampsa (Lumikki’s current boyfriend) provided. He is the opposite of everything Lumikki has known and I was happy to see Lumikki with someone so loving. 

However even with a small cast of only seven or eight characters, I was never able to work out who the stalker was. Huge kudos to Salla Simukka for all those red herrings! When the culprit was revealed I was totally surprised and this really made the book doubly enjoyable. Generally I’m really good at figuring out the “who done it?” stories - it was nice to be stumped for once.

Otherwise the biggest thing that drove this book forward was the plot. For the past two books, there has always been a hint of Lumkki’s dark past. Now in this final instalment we finally get to see that past revealed. 

Simply put, it was a great read. Everything was tidied up nicely and no box was left un-ticked. A truly satisfying conclusion.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed this series. Although each book is pretty short, each is packed with so much story that it’s just the perfect length. These are great books for anyone looking for a quick, action packed read. Fans of Holly Black or Melissa Meyer, this is definitely a trilogy you should check out.

4 stars!

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