Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (5/5)

39679076Annaleigh 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.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that will rip your heart out and sew it back in. This book this just that. Several times.

House of Salt and Sorrow is a haunting tragedy, whodunit, fantasy thriller, and horror story all wrapped together in beautiful details and amazing world-building. Craig knows how to set the scene. The world building and scene building is some of the best I’ve read in a while. Oh, I could taste the briny sea air and feel the terror of a ghost’s visit!

Despite how amazing this book was, I have complaints.

First, the pacing. It had intense moments where I couldn’t stop reading, but it also had slow moments where I found myself skipping ahead. I also called the person behind it all within the first few chapters. I did, however, doubt my initial suspicions several times. Craig did a fantastic job of constantly shifting the rug under your feet.

Second, the ending felt so rushed. Craig spent so long building up to this grand finale, and it just didn’t live up to the expectations. There was a lot of things I was left to assume near the end, or things that were just left off.

Still, this book left me with that empty feeling of having lost a friend – you know, the one where after you finish a story, you feel like you’re never going to see someone again? I was invested in the story and the characters, despite getting the sisters mixed up through the entire story.

So, House of Salt and Sorrows gets five sea turtles out of five.

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