Shark Week Blogiversary – Wednesday

Sharkwrecked: Crash Landing

This episode was interesting, if unnecessary in my mind. Simulating a plane wreck/shipwreck to show the predatory behaviors of sharks and the dangers of dehydration was dangerous enough; but the experiment was flawed by the necessity of having safety equipment and health drops.

Laws of Jaws: Dangerous Waters

These experiments were fantastic! I like the challenging of Shark myths using the scientific method. Hime, my younger sister was absolutely fascinated by the concept of proving or disproving commonly held beliefs.

Air Jaws Strikes Back

Great episode! I had been concerned about how the Great Whites would react to the fact that their favorite seal hunting spot had been invaded by orcas hunting THEM. Finding a new area had been selected and was inhabited by both seals and juvenile sharks was gratifying. The use of drones to film was inspired!

Want a chance to win your own Shark puzzle? Giveaway Link: Here!

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On to today’s review! I won’t lie, this book is one I have been desperate to read. I love fairytale retellings and gothic horror/Lovecraftian horror is a guilty pleasure of mine. House of Salt and Sorrows is entirely satisfying on both fronts!

A little background story here: I received this book as part of a Goodreads promotional giveaway held by the publisher, Penguin Random House. I had no idea when the ARC was due to arrive. It showed up on the only day we had torrential rains in fortnight’s worth of hellishly hot days. IMG_E6125IMG_6127IMG_E6126My book was soaked!!

Thankfully, SC is the king of Macguyver hacks and had me layer the wet pages with paper towels and press the book under a heavy tote before I left for a con. While I was gone, he removed the towels and put the book back under pressure to keep the pages from curling. IMG_6189IMG_6194It worked!!

To explain why I’m so excited by this book, here is the blurb from the back of the book:

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.

I won’t lie, I devoured this book. I literally cover to cover read it in a little under 3 hours in one sitting. Not to say that it is an easy read… Just because House of Salt and Sorrows(HOSAS for short) is labeled as YA, that doesn’t mean that the themes are not just as complex and compelling as adult fiction.

We meet Annaleigh at the funeral of her fourth sister, Eulalie. This is the fifth death in six years for the Thaumas family, and once again plunges the family back into the cycle of a year of mourning. The problem is, human beings aren’t built to mourn constantly for years on end, and while the youngest sisters literally have never not known anything but, the older sisters have started to chafe. When their new Stepmother chooses to announce her pregnancy and throw off mourning for the household, most of the girls are eager to embrace reasons to celebrate.

But the rumors of a curse upon the House of Thaumas makes finding a beau impossible; and when the girls find a portal that transports them to a series of endless balls, the girls jump at the chance. But Annaleigh has been plagued by the thought that Eulalie’s death wasn’t an accident and has been having visions and frights featuring the ghosts of her dead sisters. She finds herself increasingly conflicted between her need to find out what has happened to her family and her growing attraction to Cassius, the bastard son of one of her father’s sea captains.

HOSAS is full of wonderful themes of family, love and loss. Seeing the story unfold through Annaleigh’s eyes makes it all feel that much more real. The eventual reveal is both shocking and yet, it explains everything. Honestly, HOSAS is an amazing story. The twists and turns make an old familiar fairytale feel new, and the pacing leaves you on the edge of your seat! I’m thrilled to review this debut novel, and look forward to what Erin writes next!

  • Title: House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Author: Erin A. Craig
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press/ Penguin Random House
  • Released: August 6th, 2019
  • Language: English
  • Format: Trade ARC
  • Pages: 416
About the Author:
Erin A. Craig

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories.

After getting her B.F.A. from the University of Michigan, in Theatre Design and Production, she stage managed tragic operas with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky.

An avid reader, a decent quilter, rabid basketball fan, and collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in Memphis, TN with her husband and daughter.

For more information on Erin and her book, visit www.erinacraig.com or follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.
Where to buy:
House of Salt and Sorrows will be available August 6th on Amazon in hardcover,Kindle and audiobook. The hardcover will retail for $18.99 USD.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

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