Review of As Black as Ebony by Salla Simukka

Barnes & Nobles/Books-A-Million/Indiebound

Review Written By: Jessica C.

I’ve been watching you.

I’ve been watching you when you didn’t know. I’ve been watching every move you make and every expression of your face. You thought you were invisible and unremarkable, but I have seen everything you do. I know you better than anyone else. I know you better than yourself. I know everything about you.

People tease, joke, and kid around about having stalkers, about being a stalker. It’s a threat as much as a game to society. For Lumikki a stalker is not something to laugh about, especially when it comes to the truth that someone is watching her. After dealing with a stressful summer in Prague where she was almost murdered by a cult, Lumikki returns to Finland and art school.

Life as much as it can be for Lumikki is back to normal. If you exclude the dreams that are more often nightmares that plague and haunt her. The mysterious unknown sister and the once lover, Blaze that left her so long ago. Despite the nightmares, Lumikki lands the role in the school play that she seems destined for… a modern day adaption of Snow White.

However, as to be expected in true Simukka fashion, nothing is ever light and laughter. In Lumikki’s world there only seems to be the continuation of darkness and the surrounding of shadows. She dreams of dark forests where she is hunted by one with a heart as black as ebony. Her dreams aren’t so far from the truth for she is being stalked by one that claims to know her, love her more than she possibly could love herself.

The story was filled with the typical anticipated tension and terror that Simukka seems to have made her near trademark. The twisted retelling of Snow White in Simukka’s prose is so beautifully twisted in its dark lore while keeping with a modern twist. It isn’t just the play for truly the play that Lumikki stars in is a story within a story.

As if it wasn’t enough to have the meat of the story being Lumikki’s determination to discover her stalker, the reader also learns if Lumikki’s sister is real or make believe. Is she truth or just make believe.After all not all stories start with Once upon a time and end with Happily Ever After.

Does Lumikki’s story end with Happily Ever After? With there being the haunting question over the existence of Lumikki’s sister, to Lumikki’s new boyfriend Sampsa and the return of her once love, Blaze, to the main plot of the stalker it seems in question that such a thing as Happy is truly possible for dear Lumikki. Like so much in Simukka’s writings not everything is black and white.

This trilogy was so captivating and breathtaking, dark and lovely i was sad to see it end. The end to me didn’t truly seem to be one (and I truly hope it isn’t) because there seems so much more left unsaid for Lumikki. There is the question of the woman she is to become and meant to be on her own, and the question of Blaze’s presence in her world. So many questions without many answers. All together the end of the Snow White trilogy was mysteriously captivating. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

If you followed my prior reviews and taken the time to read the first two volumes then you need to follow down the dark path Simukka so willingly leads her readers on. Take the road more shadowed… you might be surprised where it takes you. Until next time readers, happy reading!

Knowledge is power.

Truth is beauty.

I will make you more powerful and beautiful than anyone else. 

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