Question Not My Salt
Amanda M. Blake
Crystal Lake Publishing (February 16, 2024)
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale

Question Not My Salt left me questioning many things non-spice related. I questioned the place of torture porn in written horror. I questioned myself as I was devouring this piece of extreme horror as if it were a pleasant travel essay. I questioned why I was not reading more of Blake’s writing.

Canadian Sierra is invited to the home of her roommate Zoe for her first American Thanksgiving. It sounds perfectly magical at the onset: food that has been prepared for days, a warm home full of family, a respite from dorm-living. Once the rules are provided: the meal lasts for ten hours and you will eat and enjoy all that is served, it quickly shifts to a struggle for survival.

As already mentioned, Question Not My Salt is an extreme horror novel and, as such, is not for everyone. The violence is graphic and it escalates with each course of the meal. Despite the naked exposure of the gore, I found myself leaning into it as opposed to looking away. There was something about the way Blake presented the plot, through Sierra’s lens, that made it strangely…appetizing. If not appetizing, it was stimulating, and I was so enthralled that I read the book faster than the fictional meal lasted.

I enjoyed Blake’s discussions of consent and boundaries. There is also ripe satire in terms of decaying social decorum and rules of etiquette.

For those with a strong stomach and a healthy morbid curiosity, I recommend Question Not My Salt.  You can either savor it, like a languid Thanksgiving dinner, or inhale it, as I did.

About Elaine Pascale

Elaine Pascale had been writing her entire life. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, son and daughter. Her writing has been published in several magazines and anthologies. She is the author of Blood Lights, and If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit. Elaine enjoys a robust full moon, chocolate, and collecting cats.

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