Thursday, 30 January 2014

Review: Salt by Danielle Ellison

Published by: Entangled Teen
Release date: 7th January 2014
Series: Salt #1
I got it from: NetGalley
Goodreads summary:
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

My review:
Salt is one of those precious things - a totally unexpected Netgalley find that I absolutely adored. So I can only apologise about the amount of time it's taken me to get around to writing this review. I've been ill, and I didn't want this to be a short, second-rate review. I need to try and do Salt justice.

I have to admit, when I first started reading I couldn't help but think of Jana Oliver's Demon Trappers series, because, well, demon hunters. Plus, I love that series. Salt is something different though.

Ellison is that rare thing - a writer who gives you everything you need, and holds back what you don't need or want. She makes you feel, makes you yearn, and makes you fall into her world, head-first. Every word is considered and important, and there is none of the guff that fills up lesser books.

Penelope is all sorts of wonderful. She's bright, determined, brave, sassy and daring to the point of stupidity. We all hate characters that are too perfect, so that dumb recklessness is important. She's also very down to earth, very real. Then we meet Carter. Cocky, arrogant, hot and secretly vulnerable Carter. At first, the air between these two is just full of snark, which is kind of brilliant. No insta-love to set your teeth on edge - the interactions between Penelope and Carter were laugh-out-loud funny, toe-curlingly intense and full of promise.

Ellison gifts us with a devious plot full of twists, turns, sarcasm and kissing. Her world-building is outstanding - we are treated to a secret society of kick-ass witches, nasty demons, and magic that feels like it could be real. To call it a page-turner is a cliche that doesn't do it justice. I actually had to slow myself down while reading Salt. I wanted to savour it, and while I longed for the end, I dreaded it at the same time, because I didn't want to stop reading.

Turns out this review is kind of short after-all. I don't want to waste time describing what happens though - you've got the summary and that should be enough for you - it was for me. I refuse to risk spoilers, and while a review needs to give and impression of what a books is like, it's also a personal thing and you need to make your own opinion rather than wallowing in mine for hours. Salt is the kind of book that you need to just dive into and soak up.

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