Review from Erin: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Hi Everyone!! I've got yet another review for you today! Salt & Storm by debut author Kendall Kulper!!

From Goodreads:

You don't know what you must give up to become a witch.

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before.

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

Avery walks the knife's edge between choice and destiny in Kendall Kulper's sweeping debut: the story of one girl's fight to survive the rising storm of first love and family secrets.

Erin's Review:

I have to say, this book was kind of a disappointment to me.  I mean, the synopsis sounded AMAZING!! And look at that cover!!! Beautiful, is it not??? So, I don't know, maybe my expectations were just too high, but Salt & Storm just did not do it for me.

Okay, I've got to admit, I should probably say that in addition to having pretty high expectations, I had some wrong expectations as well.  First of all, I thought this book was a high fantasy novel, which it is NOT.  I've said this before, but I do have a tendency to do that pretty often (not sure why???).  I guess in this case, the whole witches thing kind of lead me astray, not to mention that I, as someone who lives in the West, was not aware that Prince Island was an actual place (but that's really just my own stupidity :))).  So, I think a lot of it had to do with that.  And just to clarify, Salt & Storm is a historical fiction book.

But even besides that, there were some things in the book that didn't sit right with me.  There are many instances in the book where something would be happening, things are going on, when Avery kind of goes into a flashback and talks about past memories or stories and I felt that this really slowed down the pacing of the book.  It kind of broke up the action right when it was going on, and I did not enjoy that.  In addition, the flashbacks were not very "in the moment".  And by that, I mean it was Avery telling you what happened in her memory instead of actually dropping into the memory itself.  Errr...sorry, don't know if that makes any sense... O_O I hope it did!

Another big thing that bothered me was the narrator's tone in general.  No offense, but it sounded really pretentious to me, I found myself rolling my eyes multiple times while reading this.  I don't know if this is just me or if anyone else kind of felt a similar reaction, but the language did grate  on me.  And I think this linked to the whole flashback thing.  Because the flashback was told in such a way, I believe it made the tone sound preachy or "teaching you a lesson"-y.  Again, sorry that's not the best explanation, but I hope it helps a little.

And the characters...well, I did not love any of them.  And in fact, I kind of dislike Avery.  She seems really childish to me.  She threw fits at her mother and I though she was kind of bratty.  Even at the end, I don't feel like Avery understood that her mother was trying to help her and protect her and I did not feel like her character grew at all from the beginning of the book to the end.  I also didn't get why Avery was soooo intent on being the Roe witch.  Maybe it's because I couldn't relate to her character at all, but I felt absolutely no connection with her.  And all the other characters...Meh.  Nothing special that drew me to them or anything.  And I had the misunderstanding that one of the characters who helps Avery out, was twelve when in fact, he was seventeen (I think, if I'm getting that right).  Of course, not a big deal, but for a good portion of the book I was super confused because I thought was much younger than he actually was and then BAM he's suddenly a lot older.

Overall rating:

Well, I'd say closer to two and a half bookies! Of course, keep in mind that this is my own personal preference: a lot of others seemed to enjoy this book.  If this sounds like an awesome book to you, GO FOR IT!! As much as I wanted to like this book, it just didn't work out for me.  And, good to note, Salt & Storm, I believe is a standalone novel, so yay!!! No waiting!!! Also, if you like historical fiction with some magic mixed in (and I say some because there wasn't a ton of magic), this might be the book for you!!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)


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