Thursday, September 11, 2014

[Review: Salt And Storm by Kendall Kulper]

"Salt and Storm"
Author: Kendall Kulper
Series: None
Pages: 416
Genre: YA, Historical, Paranormal
Date Published: September 23rd. 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via NetGalley) for honest review


A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Salt And Storm,

Book, why were you so sad? I thought you would be full of adventure and scary things, but instead you were more of a look into the human soul and how fate and choice go hand in hand. I loved the themes that you presented and even though I felt like you were a bit slow, you had beautiful words and fantastic world building in your pages. Thank you for that.

-The White Unicorn

This book is beautiful and full of so much human emotion. Kulper presents us with a daring first novel and I'm excited to see more from her in the future. Salt and Storm is a mixture of historical fiction and paranormal myth. Kulper weaves these two things together in a way that makes you sink into the world and see it the way that her characters see it. The writing is lyrical and the images are dark and honest. I do have to admit that I found myself bored at times. I think that had more to do with the pacing of the novel and the limits of the stories setting, but even with those issues I still found myself enthralled with Avery's story. 

The witches' back stories were some of my favorite bits of the book. Kulper slowly unfolds what happens to the Roe witches and she also goes about it in a way that we get to know many of the ones who came before Avery. The mythology that Kulper has created was interesting and sad and tricky. To be a witch seems like it would be a blessing, but the way the book goes, it ends up being more of a curse. What these Roe women have had to put up with for years is amazing. I love when a writer is able to be brutal to her characters, while still seeming to care for them. Kulper has it down to a T.

Another favorite thing about the book was the interactions between the living Roe women themselves. Avery's mother annoyed me to no end, but then as things unfolded and I got to know her story, I felt myself sympathizing with her. And the same can be said for Granma Roe. These ladies all have unlikeable traits, but I found myself interested in their lives just the same.

Avery is an interesting character. She's almost a little too headstrong for her own good. Plus, it doesn't help that the other Roe woman are so secretive about the world around her. She had no one to turn to and because no one would help her she had to figure things out on her own. There is something so heartbreaking about her and her wants and dreams. They are so simple and yet you can feel the weight of them as you read. Avery isn't always likeable and yet I still liked her a lot.

Tane was a delightful love interest and I liked how they met and the love story that unfolded after. Kelper did them a justice by building a slow relationship that held a certain weight to it. I wish I could talk about all the things with you, but that would leak way to many spoilers out into the world. Let me just say that I was happy with the way things worked out. It fit the feeling of the story really well.

The historical elements in the book are ones that were interesting. You can tell that Kulper did a lot of research into American whaling towns and witchcraft. It made the book feel real, even though I knew that none of it really happened.

In the end I was a fan of this book and I think that anyone who likes historical fiction and witches and crazy mythologies should check this one out.

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Christina / Book Addict said...

Awesome review! I am so excited to check this one out. I think I will love the historical aspects of the story and I'm glad to hear that the romance works.

Sara said...

Oh there are sads? :( Looking forward to this one, but I think it's one that I'm really going to have to be in the mood for. Must plan accordingly! :)

Nicole said...

I do like historical fiction and withes so I think I will like this one but I bet I will have a problem with the pacing too. But the witches stories have me curious, as do the themes in this book. I'm excited to read this one!