Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother’s body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, a peeling snake-priest, and more.
Sea Above, Sun Below is influenced by Western myths, some Greek, some with biblical overtones, resulting in a fusion of fantastic dreams, bizarre yet beautiful nightmares, and multiple narrative threads that form a tapestry which depicts the fragility of characters teetering on the brink of madness.
“There are darker parts in Sea Above, Sun Below that reminded me of Borges. They are outnumbered by the lighter parts (and by ‘light’ I mean the sun) that made me think of the science fiction of J. G. Ballard. Light and darkness are important to this as well as the vast vista of sky as seen in all directions through the eyes of skydivers falling to earth. It’s a sensory novel that asks of its readers to open their minds to the eternal…but not just that because as in Borges or in Ballard, Sea Above, Sun Below also plumbs the depths of the human subconscious–the root memories of our beings–those existing in prehistory and myth that lay at the deepest recesses of the mind of anyone who has ever been human. George Salis here brings at least some of it to the surface and into the light. We see a father with an Icarian dream of sprouting wings to fly; we see two lovers death-spiraling like eagles.
The intersect of all this myth and dreams into story makes this a great book.”
Read more reviews on Goodreads.
“I have read Sea Above, Sun Below with great delight, find it ‘a cacophony of jubilation,’ and I love the boldness of Salis’ characters, his wit, and the dash of his writing. There is electricity on every page, reminding me of what Dr. Sam Johnson said of Dr. Birch, ‘As soon as he takes up his pen, it turns into a tornado.'”
– Alexander Theroux, author of Darconville’s Cat and Laura Warholic
“George Salis has an exhilarating gift. The overall breadth of the book, the cinematic quality, and the ease with which he juggles all the voices are terrific. It’s masterfully orchestrated, vast in scope, and fearless.”
– Rikki Ducornet, author of the Tetralogy of Elements
“An eye for the character and an ear for prose that collapses the barrier between reality and metaphor; Salis’ debut novel comes out swinging with a maturity and humor often seen in postmodernist titans of the last century. Made even more stunning at the young age it was written and more exciting for what may come in the future.”
– Ben Shore of the BookTuber channel Book Shore
“Salis’ prose is creating a new vanguard of metaphysical, metacognitive postmodern magical realism. He possesses an ability to seamlessly incorporate mythological storytelling with a fresh structure and a unique interpretation of modern consciousness. The result is work that hearkens to a new Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, and Karel Čapek. Salis’ vision is one that is revolutionary in letters.”
– Garrett Zecker, author, actor, and teacher of writing and literature
“George Salis’ debut novel Sea Above, Sun Below is a real treat, a feast for the mind and a dizzying rollercoaster of a read. It’s an example of magic realism at its best.”
– Erik Martiny, author of The Pleasures of Queuing
“Sea Above, Sun Below is a second coming of demoted wanderers and is made of the starstuff needed to extend the life that doom guarantees.”
– Barton Smock, author of Ghost Arson
“Finished last night. All I can say is that I’m so glad that I was made aware of this book. Truly beautiful, personal and rewarding. And that this is his first book is even more impressive. I’m happy to have an author to follow. Yeah, we’ve read the classics and the masters but how many of them do we see and read from the start of their career. This is one. Read this book! A soon-to-be classic of American literature.”
– Goodreads/Instagram user Kevin Adams (@hvbooknerd)
“An excellent, gripping novel by George Salis. Christian eschatology, Greek myths, skydiving, bullying, defective heart valves and religious weirdos. Quite difficult to put aside. Even more impressive if one takes into account the fact this novel is Salis’s debut and was written at a young age.”
– João Reis, author of The Translator’s Bride
“I have never been more tempted and never more afraid to fall than after reading Salis’ creation. Sea Above, Sun Below engulfs you into the thoughts, fears, and lives of the complex individuals he has created. Winding through fallen skydivers and lost legends, every page brings an intense captivation that leaves you craving the next. Salis weaves myth and fantasy through science and rational thought so intensely, you are left believing that they should have never been ripped apart in the first place. There truly are no words for the experience to be had through these pages, and I urge everyone to take the leap themselves.”
– Kaleigh Dandeneau, author of Something Akin To
“There are no boundaries between reality, the fantastic, and dreams, and this gives George Salis a lot of room for the poetic and mythical mode of writing, which he is clearly adept at. […] This is some grand, well-crafted prose. […] I cannot express how much symbolism there is, how much allusion is going on. This is a book that showcases a mind of great learning.”
– Chris Via of the BookTuber channel Leaf by Leaf
“Simply put, this book astonished me. It resonated with me on so many levels I couldn’t even begin to count them. I laughed (a lot), I cried (several times), I scratched my head in wonderment at its more enigmatic moments (of which there are many), and I was consistently overwhelmed by the beauty of the prose itself. In a year chock full of incredible reading experiences, this one still stands out. The fact that it’s Salis’ first novel is astounding. I can’t wait to read whatever comes next from him. Sea Above, Sun Below is a modern masterpiece and it gets my highest possible recommendation. Don’t sleep on this one.”
– Goodreads/Instagram user Christopher Robinson (@bigholehnw)
“This is quite possibly the best debut novel I’ve ever read in my life.”
– Noah Clemons of the BookTuber channel Everyone who reads it must Converse
“Salis is the architect and engineer of wonder and I have no doubt that he will become legendary. In my top 5 greatest novels of all time and one of a very select few that have changed my literary life. Because it has managed to permeate into my very being.”
– Instagram user Daniel (@electricsheepbooks)