Sunday, May 15, 2022

Book Review | Tidepool

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Greg insisted that I read this one and boy, am I glad I did.

First though, let's admire that cover, shall we? It's a beauty.

I was not entirely sure what to expect going in, but I trust Greg's judgment because he and I have pretty similar tastes in our fave kinds of fiction. I've never read Lovecraft and probably won't, so that did not help me in the slightest when others have described the book this way. After I finished, I took a gander at a few reviews and they all loved it and said it was very Lovecraftian, so if that is a hook for you, you will probably like this one.

On the other hand, if you are not into Lovecraft but love an atmospheric and creepy read that might make you lose your lunch over some of the descriptions, then do I have the book for you!

True story though, it's not actually that gross. I just have a really easily activated ability to gag over just about anything slightly yucky.


The story is set in 1913, in this crappy little seaside town called Tidepool. The citizens are quite content with their shabby little town that has caught the interest of Henry Hamilton and his associates, who want to turn it into a kind of resort town by the sea. When Henry does not return from his trip to scope things out, his sister Sorrow is determined to find him. Despite explicit orders from her father, she ventures off in search of her brother and finds way more than she bargained for.

Sorrow knows the residents are hiding something, that they know what happened to Henry. Yet she can't get a single one of them to talk. When remnants of bodies begin washing up on the beach, Sorrow decides to let her father handle it after all. But by then she knows too much. She's seen too much. Tidepool can't let her leave.

Super creepy, right?!?!

I won't go into further details than that because this book was SO GOOD. I could not put it down. I had no idea this was the author's debut until afterward. Absolutely enthralling.

I really liked Sorrow. She was incredibly well-developed and her words and actions believable as she tries to piece together what is going on. Her grief and frustration is genuine as she begs people to tell her what has happened to Henry. Her whole arc is so well-done, nothing seemed out of character as she evolved within the story.

Our other female lead, Ada Oliver, is just as well done. I was both intrigued and disgusted by her, sometimes at the same time. Her backstory was so crucial, without it there is no book. I did not see it coming, but it was masterfully done. I have a decent amount of sympathy for her, all things considered. That might make me sound a bit crazy, but oh well. She does what she needs to and takes care of business. That's that.

Tidepool itself becomes its own living, breathing character at times. The chilling atmosphere kept me coming back for more because though we find out in the prologue what happens to Henry, we are there when Sorrow finds out as well and the sinister feel of it all grabs you and won't let go. Before you know what the whole story is, there is no doubt in the reader's mind that it is nothing good and I wanted Sorrow to get out of town just as desperately as she did by the time things start coming to a head. So close, so many times.

Beautifully suspenseful and harrowing. Highly recommended!


  1. Brilliant! Definitely going on 'The List'.

    1. You will LOVE it! Greg suggested it to me (he says, lol) ages ago and I guess I forgot abut it? He reminded me again maybe a month ago and I snatched it up right away. So glad I did.

  2. Yes!!!! I was hoping you'd like it since, let's face it, some of my recent recs to you were not exactly stellar. :)

    "Tidepool can't let her leave". Right?

    My only issue is that a few times I thought it was a little contrived how she just couldn't get OUT. I mean, I would have been gone regardless! But otherwise yeah awesome.

    I LOVED that last line too!!!

    1. Agreed on her trying to leave, I was getting SO frustrated. Like, scared for her that she would die too. This was so, so good and I want to read more by this author.

  3. that cover really is stunning! I'm adding this one to my list!

  4. I'm a bit squeamish about "creepy" books, but will look up Lovecraftian to see what it refers to!

    1. It comes from the author HP Lovecraft and is really a subgenre of horror that deals with the unknowable, if that makes sense? It's not super gory, though people definitely die. But so much is happening at once you barely register some of it. It's a fantastic read and I hope you give it a try!


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