Saturday, August 16, 2014

ARC Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Source: eARC via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Netgalley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars :star :star :star

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Salt & Storm is a debut that came amid the influx of young adult witch  books that are becoming so prevalent lately. I am a fan of this trend. I love witch books. Even if they're bad, I'm sick of vampires and werewolves and am welcoming this trend with open arms. The last witch book I read (ya) was House of Ivy & Sorrow, and Salt & Storm was definitely better. Unfortunately, that's not quite as good of a compliment as it sounds, lol.

So here's the thing. Salt & Storm is a meticulously researched historical fiction novel. I respected all the historical accuracies and enjoyed reading about a whaling island set in the time period of the late 1800s. Avery was an interesting main character; her mother and grandmother even more complex and interesting. My favorite character, however, was the "boy" Tane. He was hot and I really liked his character. When he emerged, my annoyances with the story took to the background because I wanted to keep reading about him. In some ways I cared more about his future than Avery's.

Avery Roe is a descendant of a long line of witches. The witches keep the whalers and the ships and the entire island safe and running, for a price. Avery was ripped from her grandmothers care, and her witchly training, as a child and now lives with her mother. Her mother cursed her so she cannot seek out her grandmother, and her magic is bubbling painfully inside of her. Avery has the power to tell dreams, and when she has a foreboding dream about her own murder, she desperately seeks to evade her mother and find a way to her grandmother's aid. This is when she meets Tane, a tattooed island homie who proposes a deal: he can attempt to break the spell Avery's mom put on her, if Avery will tell his dreams. She agrees, and thus their relationship develops.

I basically sped read a lot of this book. I just felt there were many details that were unimportant. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. Maybe they were important, but they were boring as hell. So I read super fast over the boring bits. Avery annoyed me, her grandmother disgusted me, and I pitied her mother. In the end, I thought the story was well done. BUT, I have to remember how I felt when I was reading it. I was kind of bored or just waiting for her to figure things out. When she finally did, I wondered why she didn't ask or deduce a lot of the things she found out. It felt unbelievable, in a way. Plus, all her whining didn't help. She just resigned herself to the fact that she was going to be murdered. Like, really? You're 17 years old, in love, and you're going to give up because someone you looked up to told you its useless? Psh. Whatever, Avery. Ookay.

I did get emotional a bit at the end, and that showed me I had enough of an attachment to the characters Tane. For a debut, the author did well. I don't want my review to be full of only criticism, because reading it was an interesting ride. I will definitely be watching for future works by this author.

Would I recommend this book to others? If you're a fan of historical fiction and witch-filled plots, then yes. Read it. It's not terrible, nor will it floor you with its amazingness. It's a good story.

View all my reviews

author image


(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.