Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 23, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romantic, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
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.
SALT & STORM sounded so good, but unfortunately, the description and the book don't actually match up, and not for the better. With a whiney heroine, strong deviation from a typical romance plotline, and some frustrating questions left unanswered, SALT & STORM isn't a book I'll be revisiting.
The writing in SALT & STORM is excellent. The words flow off the page and make it easy for me to imagine the locations described, and the people. But excellent writing can't make up for everything - and there is a lot lacking in SALT & STORM. Avery, our heroine, is hard to connect with since she spends the majority of her time acting like a child throwing a temper tantrum. She had reasons to be upset, sure, but I could not think of a time when she was not complaining about the fact that she didn't yet have her magic and couldn't become the witch. It got very old, very quickly.
Plus, there was significant deviation from what one would expect from a book being billed as a romance. It was unexpected and unfair, because to me (and others, I assume) romance means a certain type of storyline, and when the book doesn't follow that, it is disappointing. Not to mention as a result of that deviation, there were questions left unanswered at the end that were irritating, like a mosquito bite in a hard to reach place. If you don't think about the ending, it's fine, but if you think about it at all, it becomes rather distracting and takes away from whatever resolved feelings I may have had.
Overall, while there were a few good points about SALT & STORM (interesting mythology, atypical setting and wonderful writing) they weren't enough to make up for the negatives. SALT & STORM was a good premise executed poorly, and while it may work for some people (potentially younger readers), it didn't work for me.