Blood and Salt takes us from a childhood full of mysteries into a cult where magic and curses are real. The premise and creep factor were so good. I so wanted to love this, and I did enjoy it, but…
Series: Blood and Salt #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young, Penguin on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance
Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”
These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.
From the Hardcover edition.
Here’s the thing, I liked this book, but there were a few things that bothered me in the reading.
What I loved: The premise was amazing. Ash was really fun to learn about. Her family is really outer-limits creepy, from her mother tattooing her, to their cult background. There is a dead girl that pops up everywhere. I enjoyed the spooky corn all around them throughout most of the story and the eccentric cast. There was an eerie feeling in this story. Also, Dane and Ash had this immediate like and intrigue. Then they were forbidden to be together which, you know, made me want them together even more.
I loved the progress of this story. It moved at a great pace. I mean from page one I was hooked. There is a dead girl on page one! Ash is really a strange girl and it is completely obvious right away. I liked that she was different from the jump, and not, like, all of a sudden. It didn’t take me by surprise that her family was part of a cult. I found the cult to be a lot of fun to learn about. The people there are as strange and out of touch as you expect them to be.
There were so many great quotes I highlighted in my reading of this book. I almost underlined something, then I remembered I don’t do that. So I grabbed a notebook.
“With that, he left is alone in that strange empty house with nothing but ghosts and shadows to keep us company”
“We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, watching her body burn. The orange flames stood out with perverse clarity against the midnight sky”
“”There will be a path that will lead us from darkness,” she whispered, staring out over the corn.”
“As the sculpture collapsed into a heaping pile of embers, I followed Dane to the edge of darkness — and never looked back”
“As I ran through the woods, I felt myself losing ground, losing myself, until I finally disintegrated into another time.”
Also, it was nice to see under all the scary, the main theme for this book was love. I enjoyed the setting of Quivira and all the descriptive details of the scenes. I could easily picture the locations. I loved how Rhys and Ash interact with each other and how honest Rhys reaction was to everything. He is like the voice of reason in the midst of crazy. Oh, an Marie’s last line, View Spoiler »“A daughter’s love is the greatest love of all,” « Hide Spoiler just gutted me. I actually teared up, because it is so true!
What I didn’t love: The back story of Katia and Coronado and Alsono. I liked the way it was written, but I felt a complete disconnect to these parts for some reason. I couldn’t see why Ash would experience these flashbacks and it wasn’t made clear by the end of the story. I am still a bit confused by how some of the characters fit together into the story, and I hate that it wasn’t more obvious. I don’t know if it is me, or that those parts were really confusing.
There were things in this story that I would have liked to discover for myself instead of having the characters put the pieces together for me. I didn’t think the conclusions they came to were that obvious in the writing which made me, the reader, feel a bit put out by the story. (like the end of the movie where they show you all the clues, this book did that, but it didn’t translate so well for me) I felt like an idiot for missing so many clues, but that couldn’t actually be the author’s intention, could it? I know I am not the first one to figure things out, but some thing I miss, I feel. I just didn’t here and that kinda sucked. View Spoiler »For example; Rhys, Ash’s twin brother, had a dark power as opposed to her light one. Instead of making his power a bit obvious with questionable things throughout the story so that the reader could “get” it, once Ash figures it out she goes back over what should have been clues.
Also, the ending of Dane and Ash with the promise rock. Why wasn’t this more obviously earlier in the story? What was so some kind of rock guru and I missed it? I didn’t even consider checking for a rock based on those clues! « Hide Spoiler There was a lot of talking and not enough showing.
In conclusion: This was still a very enjoyable read. I almost feel like I want to read back over it slowly now that I know how it ends. When the sequel comes out, I will definitely be getting it. Even with the issues I had with this book, I would still highly recommend it.