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Hold Back the Tide Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B084BQLK2V
- Publisher : Scholastic Fiction; 1st edition (5 March 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 1381 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 218 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 315,931 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Everyone in Ormscaula knows that Alva's father killed her mother when she was little. Alva herself remembers seeing the gun, the smashed glass, and never saw her mother again. She endured the years that followed after with a wariness, keeping her father placated so he doesn't murder her too, all the while plotting to escape. But her father's job - her job - is to keep watch over the loch, and recently its levels have begun to fall, drawing Alva's curiosity. As they fall to their lowest in a decade, her father grows agitated but he won't tell her why. His silence is nothing new, but soon animals are being found gutted. People are going missing. What does her father know? What does it have to do with her mother's disappearance?
I have no idea if the creatures in this book are real Scottish folklore, but it felt very folklorey with the setting, the time period and the creepy local history. Alva is also a great protagonist - she asks questions, makes choices and is determined. She was wonderful to follow around. Her, coupled with the setting and the creatures that come out at night, made for a great reading experience. Definitely pick it up!
It’s such a hard book to categorise – and impossible to blurb, hence the vaguery above. It’s a soft fantasy that’s also an eco-thriller and a horror. The fantastical elements are more horror than classic fantasy, but not gory or body horror (thank goodness). This strange mix of ideas does work, I promise, and I love the historic Scottish Highlands setting, because the isolation and rolling hills fits the setting so well.
It’s incredibly atmospheric, spooky and unsettling, that builds throughout the first half with a sense that something is very very wrong. Then it all explodes and all the hints of the first half come into fruition as the story rattles onwards without a breath. It’s a short book (<300 pages) so give yourself the afternoon to read it in one sitting. You won’t regret setting the time aside, and I think it’s easier to notice the foreshadowing if you stay entirely within the world.
The writing is gorgeous, so engaging from the go (Here are the rules of living with a murderer). Mel’s writing conjures up a village who distrust Alva thanks to her father, the hauntingly gorgeous Highlands, and the creeping unease. The setting is wonderful – feeling not too far away, but just far enough away for the mystical air to permeate every page.
Now, excuse me while I go and scream over that ending, because how dare you end the book like that, Mel!
Melinda Salisbury is one of my favourite writers, I’ve loved everything she’s written so far so I was extremely eager to read this one and I had really high expectations. From the get go this story hooked me in, I loved the dark and eerie atmosphere and the bleak remote setting Salisbury created. Salisbury created an incredibly vivid world and from the very first chapter I didn’t want to put this down. I absolutely adored The Sin Eater’s Daughter, but this might be my favourite book from her ever.
Alva is a brilliant protagonist, Salisbury manages to fit in tons of character development as she learns the dark truth of Ormscaula, what happened to her mother and fights for the survival of the town. She’s a strong protagonist and one I was absolutely rooting for from the get go. The secondary characters in the story are likewise well developed and fleshed out. There is a little bit of romance but it is very subtle and doesn’t take away from the main story.
Hold Back the Tide is one of those books that you don’t stop thinking about long after you’ve finished reading. It was creepy, genuinely made me uneasy at some moments and has an absolutely unbelievable ending. I can’t recommend this one highly enough and this book will be without a doubt on my favourite books of 2020 list.