House of Salt and Sorrows
Author: Erin A. Craig
Published: August 6, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
This book had me from the first time I saw the cover. Then I picked it up and read the description and I just knew. This is easily one of my favorite books this year: the story is unique, and twisty, and gorgeous. I hadn’t read anything like it before. I would very much like to visit the Salann Islands and to study the People of the Salt. I want to know every festival, every tradition, every bit of their culture. Each setting was imaginative and spun descriptively and completely. The gods of this world are obviously based on other gods from cultures around the real world, but I still completely believed every one of them.
I was so emotionally involved in Annaleigh’s family story. I cared about them. The sisters were unique and the curse was terrifying. Each ghost sighting gave me goosebumps. If you’re looking for a read that is creepy, but not scary, this is the perfect book. The mystery was complicated and kept me guessing. Overall, this is an awesome book that I would recommend to pretty much anybody.
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Published: June 11, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil’s Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations…
Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember–so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong?
In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward–one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.
1583. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it.
Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching…
Cheese and crackers, this book!!!! I had to go get it the day it came out. Kurtagich is easily one of those authors that I will read anytime. She does the creepy thing so well! The Trees Crept In had me sleeping with the hall lights on. When I started Teeth in the Mist, I was a little worried that it was going to be too vague for me to enjoy. Y’all know me, I like the obvious. But nope! I was sucked in right from the beginning. I now would like to go exploring in Wales . . . Maybe I’ll meet a ghost!!!
Meddwyn Mill House is fascinating!! The multiple timelines add so much to the story and actually help to answer many of my questions. Roan is a great protagonist that I sympathize with. And all the plot twists and turns!! And of course, guess what. It’s a series!!!!!! WHYYYYY? Why does this always happen to me? But thankfully, the next book is in the works and Kurtagich recommends that we all keep our fingers crossed . . . I even crossed my toes!
I don’t want to go into anymore detail because y’all just need to experience it, the darkness, the chills, the mysterious! But I absolutely recommend it!
Author: Nadine Brandes
Published: May 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
This is the second book of Brandes that I’ve attempted and the first that I’ve read all the way through. The problem that I had in Fawkes came out a little in Romanov but thankfully not enough for me to DNF it. It’s honestly my only real criticism. Brandes has a habit of writing books that need a prerequisite. She throws in details about magic and culture that have no context and I automatically felt like I was missing something important. As I said, I felt that a little in Romanov but not as bad. I’ve also studied the last Romanovs so I understood the historical context. Brandes seemed to try to stick as close to history as possible and I liked that a lot.
The unfortunate side effect was that the Romanovs’ boring lives in Ekaterinburg and Tobolsk bled through into the story and there were times that I wanted things to move a bit faster. However, I liked her portrayal of the family and of the Bolsheviks. I believed every word and action and I would be the least bit surprised if it all happened exactly like in the book. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. It’s also safe for teens to read, but due to the slow pacing, I’d save it for older teens.