Hold Back The Tide is written by Melinda Salisbury. She also wrote The Sin Eater’s Daughter series which was nominated for many awards including the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award 2015. I haven’t read anything by her before but I’ll be sure to look out for her other books!
Hold Back The Tide is about a girl, Alva, who believes, as does everyone in the village, that her father murdered her mother back when she was a child. She lives every day terrified that if she upsets him or makes him angry he will do the same to her. After a lot of planning, she prepares to leave and make a new life for herself. However, myths from the past return, threatening her hopes for her future. It deals with murder, monsters and small town life.
This book was included in March’s Book Box Club box Mythical Monsters. I was on a bit of a series kick with my Hunger Games reread and then the Scythe series which is why I think it took me so long to get around to it.
Once I did though it only took me two days to read, although that was probably helped by not being in work. It might have taken me longer if I only had the evenings. It was an easy read and quite fast paced.
Alva could be slightly annoying at times. She seemed a bit selfish to me. For example, preparing to leave even though there are people there who clearly care about her but she didn’t give them a moments thought. She did grow on me by the end as she started to show she cared about others. Which made the ending shock me as I wasn’t expecting it!
I didn’t quite believe the relationship between Alva and Ren. At the beginning she seemed to just be really annoyed by him and it seemed more like she saw him as a brotherly figure in her life although it was fairly obvious he liked her. So when she suddenly starts seeing him more as a romantic figure it seems like a very abrupt change. There wasn’t really much build up to that I felt.
The villain of the story was quite easy to imagine, a greedy rich man concerned with being the most powerful and richest man in the village not caring of the consequences. It made what he did to Alva horrifying and so it was good to see she was a strong female character who could stand up to him. You could see why she blamed him for the creatures reappearing and I did agree with her.
I won’t give away what the mythical creatures are in this book to try and keep it spoiler free. I did like how they were portrayed as it was different to how they’re shown in TV and films. It made them a lot more scary!
I think I actually would have preferred it to be a bit longer and gone into a bit more depth as it felt like it was over too soon. Overall I would highly recommend this!