Salt & Storm By Kendall Kulper

I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.

Salt & Storm By Kendall KulperSalt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Published by Little Brown on September 23, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal

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.

Salt & Storm had a great plot and a lot of potential but I was left mostly disappointed by the end.  Avery comes from a along line of witches and is ready to take her rightful place on the island when her mother takes her from that life and binds anyone from helping her return to her grandmother’s shack.  Avery is clearly angry and much of the book is her anger and attempts to escape.  We do get some background on the mother and grandmother, which I really liked, but I wanted more.  The interactions between Avery and her mother were filled with a lot of very tense emotion, but Avery’s escape attempts seemed repetitive, after a while. One thing I did rally like was her power to interpret dreams. I thought that was a very interesting part of the story and of Avery’s character.

I think what disappointed me about this story was the lack of development and uneven pacing.  I never felt that I got to know Avery.  Her mother, who seemed to have a really interesting back story, but I just felt that it was never really developed, either.  There was a lot of angst, some romance in which I didn’t became invested, and an ending that seemed a little rushed.  While the ending was extremely action-packed,  it was in contrast with the first half of the book, which was very slow.  I would have rather the pacing be more consistent because it read less as building-up to something and more like the author was trying to cram as much as possible into the last 100 pages.    I wanted to know more about the grandmother, the mother, and the magic itself.  The island setting, which I loved, had the potential to be a living breathing character in this story, but fell to the wayside, unfortunately.   While I did like the story, I was a bit disappointed in certain aspects of the execution.  However, I think that people who are fans of books about witches will find something to like in Salt & Storm.



About Kendall Kulper

Kendall Kulper is the author of SALT & STORM, a Young Adult historical fantasy to be published by Little, Brown in September 2014. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and currently lives in Boston with her economist husband, Dave, and Abby, her chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd.


7 responses to “Salt & Storm By Kendall Kulper

  1. I am still curious about this one but my expectations have lowered considerably with all of the mixed reviews. I think my biggest problem will be with the angst, which tends to bug me more so then some of the other pitfalls. I imagine I will still pick it up at some point but it is not a must-read for me right now.

  2. I love the cover of this book! I’m sorry it fell flat for you. There does seem like a lot of potential for an intriguing plot and backstory and I hate that you didn’t get that. It does sound like this got repetitive which would be annoying!

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