Hold Back THe Tide by Melinda Salisbury
I’ll start by saying that this is my favourite book by Melinda so far (and that is not to say I didn’t like the previous ones, I did, this one is just better).
We meet Alva and her rules for living with a murderer, who is in this case, her Father. She is 110% sure he killed her mother and will kill her if she does something wrong or something. But she has a plan to leave and do her life the way she wants and not have to deal with her Father.
All good so far, except that suddenly some supernatural beings appear and wreak havoc and well, Alva has to make some choices.
Now, I liked Alva. She is scared, trying to make her life something more than be and survive. And she has been planning this for a while. And not just that, but living with her Father and taking care of the loch, means she’s well prepared and trained well. Obviously, she’s the daughter of the loch keeper and there’s stigma and dislike for him so she is a little bit of a loner and a stranger in the town that relies on the loch.
Then there’s Ren, who seems to be a friend who also feels shunned because who knows who his father is. And he has helped her accidentally with her plans to have a life outside of the town.
As Alva gets closer and closer to the day she is meant to leave for good, things start getting scarier and scarier and weirder. Until she sees this creature outside of her house and can’t deny that something real bad is going on.
In general I liked this as Alva is confronted with a lot of choices and sometimes it feels like she has NO choice and still she makes a choice or gives herself the option to do so. The lore was interesting and it has a very “small town” feel in the vibe of how things suddenly happen, there’s a lot of secrets, lies and cohersion or manipulation that has kept the town running the way it was, which wasn’t great.
As the supernatural beings start attacking and killing some of the villagers, obviously things slowly fall away and truth comes out, including the truth about what happened the night Alva’s mother disappeared and a gun was shot.
Book is intense but engrossing, and the writing gets you going and you forget what time is and just keep reading, which was very enjoyable even if there was a lot of scary in it and at times I had to pause.
Some trigger warnings just in case: attempted rape, murder, violence and abuse of others (non sexual). The one that got me a bit surprised was the attempted rape/sexual assault because I was most certainly not expecting that.
Oh and the ending is quite something. That’s all I can say without spoiling it!