Friday, December 11, 2015

Audiobook Review: Salt and Storm

Title: Salt and Storm
Author: Kendall Kulper
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Series: Salt and Storm (with a spin-off)
Volume: 1

A Quick Introduction: All Avery Roe has ever wanted is to take over for her grandmother as the witch of Prince Island. When she was twelve, her mother took her from her grandmother's cottage, and, ever since, Avery has railed against her mother's attempts to turn her into a proper lady. When she has a nightmare predicting her own murder, she grows more desperate to find her way out of the spell her mother has used to trap her and become her grandmother's successor. Because, as everyone on the island knows, no one can kill a Roe witch.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: Full of complex familial relationships and an amazing, grim atmosphere, the only place this novel didn't work for me was the romance.

Review: This was overall an enjoyable read. I listened to it as an audiobook mainly because I have a lot to do right now, and I needed my hands free, but I'm glad that I did go this route. Lauren Fortganag overall does a good job with the narration (though I'm a little unsure about some of the accents). I think my favourite part of her narration was that she puts a lot of emotion into the character of Avery, which fit the character well.

Avery is such a hard-edged character in a lot of ways- she's fierce in her convictions, even when her convictions are wrong. She goes on a very interesting journey of coming to understand that things might not be exactly what she's always believed them to be. Her relationships with her mother, grandmother, and island all evolve over the course of the story, and I found that very engaging.

The point where this novel sort of fell down for me was the romance- I just somehow didn't end up all that invested in it. It didn't ruin the book for me, because most of the rest of the story was fairly strong, but it was meant to be a fairly key element of the story. Love and loss are meant to be something very key to the Roe witches.

The setting was vivid and the atmosphere of this novel really stood out to me. Its rough-edged and grim, and I really liked what it added to the reading/listening experience. It makes everything feel like its constantly on edge, waiting. The overarching plot fit well with the atmosphere, and was refreshing in that the author took the story places I wasn't expecting.

I really enjoyed listening to this one, and I'm really considering picking up the companion novel, especially if it has a similar atmosphere.

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