A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
Initially it was the cover for Salt & Storm that got me interested in reading author Kendall Kulper’s debut novel. After reading the synopsis I knew that I had to get reading. The premise was interesting and unlike anything I had seen before in spite of the witch-theme that the novel has. A story set on an island where a teen girl is fighting to continue her family’s legacy? That sounded pretty cool.
In Salt & Storm the main character Avery Roe has known since she was a child that the women in the Roe family are all powerful beings. Roe witches are trusted by all who inhabit Prince Island and are known for making deals with sailors in exchange for their magic. All Avery wants is to embrace what has been entitled to her since birth: to become the next Roe witch. When her mother steals her away from her life with her grandmother, the current Roe witch, new beliefs are thrust upon Avery. What she should want is a life with a wealthy husband who can give her everything her heart desires be it material or otherwise. What Avery knows she wants is to unleash the power deep within.
Then she meets Tane—a stranger and sailor with foreign magic she can’t quite understand. With her mother’s own magic trying to keep her apart from her grandmother and embracing her birthright, Avery joins forces with Tane to become the Roe witch. From then on Salt & Storm is a story about first loves, magic and family secrets that test the limits between wants and needs.
Plot-wise, Salt & Storm is great It’s a story that is unique in its own way and doesn’t give a clear indication of just what will happen next. The entire story is a mystery of what may or may not be and what choices will impact the end result. A bit of magic and romance is always everybody’s cup of tea, add dark family secrets and some harsh realities—who wouldn’t want that?
The character in Salt & Storm are all very unique in their own ways. No two characters share the same personalities. Even the island itself could be considered a character. The people around Avery as she maneuvers through the story all give Salt & Storm an amazing supporting cast. Characters like Tane, Avery’s grandmother and Avery’s mother all add emotional depth to the story while keeping the pace along. I was always left wanting more of a character after they left the scene.
I’ve only had two problems with Salt & Storm while reading. My first would be the writing-style. While it is lyrical and descriptive it also grew very confusing at times. The prose is heavy and makes reading a bit distracting and difficult to get used to at first. The transitions between flashbacks and current events weren’t very clear.
The second would be the pacing of the novel. I’m sure that while the writing heavily impacted this, the pace was awkward. Some parts of the novel had me on the edge of my seat and others left me bored as I turned through pages waiting for the next big peak in the plot. Needless to say, I wish that the pacing inSalt & Storm had been more consistent as it definitely would have made my experience a lot better.
I would recommend Salt & Storm to readers who are looking for a novel that is original in its entirety. Any readers who want some historical fiction with magic mixed in should also definitely give it a shot. To any readers who want a novel with a romantic side-plot, this is probably also something that should be added to your to-be-read list/bookshelf/stack/whatever. Happy reading!