Chilling, and difficult to put down. Read when around water for an additional layer of fear!
I’ve read my fair share of thrillers, mysteries and crime novels, but I’ve never really stepped over the line into horror. Hold Back The Tide is a horror standalone, with a young adult audience in mind, but is also just as captivating for adult readers.
Hold Back The Tide focuses around a young girl named Alva, who belongs to a family who have guarded the loch in her town of Ormscaula for generations. From the first line, you are drawn in and led to understand that every second of Alva’s day to day life is riddled with fear, mistrust and a desperate longing to escape the small town that is all she has known. At first you could be fooled into thinking that the story is just going to be about Alva, but it grows into so much more, and a world develops that is so sinister and menacing, it is hard to not read on.
What starts as Alva’s story becomes a story of a town that has let nature be forgotten, residents turning the other cheek to any damaging effects to Ormascaula. What is so powerful about Hold Back The Tide, is that not much is given away, though Salisbury reveals just enough to make your hairs stand on end, as you know something isn’t as it seems. Every page is a frantic guess as to what, or who is around the corner, and at times I even found myself holding my breath as the story developed.
There are also some really interesting secondary characters, especially one who could be perceived as the true villain of this story, but I’ll let you see that one for yourselves. No spoilers!
The book is under 300 pages, so I was able to read it quite quickly, but I think if it had been any longer, it would have ruined the punch that the story packs. From reading other reviews, the ending seems to have mixed reactions, which I can understand, though I personally found it apt.
I’m eager to read more by Melinda Salisbury, and will be picking up her The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy in the future.
4 out of 5 stars.
2021 Reading Challenge – Book 9 out of 50.