Locus: Stepping into The Salt Grows Heavy is like stepping into someone else’s fever dream. This strange, dark, violent, lyrical novella contains some of Khaw’s most brilliant, elegant, haunting writing: ‘‘For all that humanity professes to delighting in its own sophistication, it longs for simplicity, for when the world can be deboned into binaries: darkness and light, death and life, hunter and hunted.’’ The use of language is immaculate, but that doesn’t detract from the great pacing. The prose is lyrical and flows like water from a broken vase, but that doesn’t diminish the impact of the gore, murders, and scenes of surgery and self-mutilation. The taiga’s cold is brutal, and the small village is a bare-bones place where life seems to barely hold on, but the wealth of details Khaw injected into the narrative rivals that of any 400-page novel. In short, this is a novella that feels much larger than its word count and shows a very talented storyteller at the height of their powers.