Salt & Storm
by Kendall Kulper
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother – the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic – steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe’s power.
The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches’ help to thrive.
Avery has never read a dream that hasn’t come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.
Expected publication: September 4th 2014.
Tattoos, witches, and murder, oh my! Salt & Storm has it all, it is packed with magic, themes, emotions, family and society issues. It’s a story of survival, it’s supernatural book, it’s a romance novel, it’s historic tale, Kendall Kulper wrapped a taste of almost every genre into one thick book.
That was one of the things I loved. She had a little bit of everything so it was unique and was interesting for a wide audience, but it was smooth. She wove the different elements together so that it didn’t feel like a weird mixture of everything with certain things just thrown in. In short…it worked for me.
Kulper’s writing was very enjoyable. I liked her voice a lot, and her writing had a silky kind of flow to it that a lot of writing lacks. The way that she wrote made it seem less like you were reading peoples actions, clunky, ordinary, and slow, but more like you were watching a painting come to life before you and listening to poetry that dances on the breeze, but this all happens in a subtle way. It doesn’t feel like she was trying really hard or anything and it’s not like hard core artistic sounding all of the time, it just has a great feeling.
Avery, her family and friends, and even the more minor characters
were very well described. They were more of show not tell descriptions and I enjoyed that. When she did tell us exact descriptions, they were tastefully done and not flat and boring. Each character that came into the picture had a vivid personality that you got a feel fore pretty much immediately which is hard to do. This impressed me, and made it really fun to read, it also made it easy to really immerse yourself in the story and fall in love with the characters. The character’s personalities themselves didn’t really stick out from others as being especially special or interesting, but they were still pretty darn great.
The emotions and character development were stunning and raw. The root of the entire story for me was really the emotion. It set the book up, along with themes about basic human nature and it fleshed it out. Every scene was vivid and intense but not in a way that seemed melodramatic. It made the entire book relateable and strong. The emotions will sweep you away. Also, it provided a great opportunity to develop Avery, and as I said earlier delve into psychology and human nature and express themes about these elements without making it seem like that was what you were actually getting out of it. It didn’t seem like a book about psychology and human nature, they were simply woven in as themes that weren’t shouted at you but that you had to read between to lines to find. I loved that. It was very well done.
The plot was actually very well done. I was a little bit worried that it would be flat and boring since the story line was so straight forward. Avery knows from the start that she’s going to be murdered. So the entire thing seems like it would be pretty simple with not many interesting or surprising places to turn, but Kulper took it and ran, keeping you guessing until the very end. And that ending…
Talk about stunning! It was amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire plot and as I said that ending was to die for! I was very happy with what Kulper did with the plot.
Last Thoughts: Overall I loved this book to death. The artistry that Kulper obviously possesses was very evident and absolutely beautiful. She did an amazing job crafting Salt & Storm. It was stunning and raw and is sure to be loved by a wide range of readers. It is a must read for all YA readers. I give it four and a half to five stars out of five.