Title: Blood and Salt
Author: Kim Liggett
Format I Read: eARC
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads
For those who are unfamiliar with Blood and Salt:
Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”
These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.
Wow, that was a wild ride. To be completely honest, I really wasn’t expecting to love Blood and Salt; I was expecting something more along the lines of some thorough enjoyment. Yet I found myself undeniably invested in the story, the thrill, and the twists. I ended up loving Blood and Salt. Quite a bit. I read it in one fell swoop, and it was wild.
Though I didn’t really connect with too many of the characters, they were still well written. Ashlyn’s voice was fiercely strong and spectacularly developed. I really enjoyed her point of view (the only point of view). I also adored Beth, a zany and “broken” seer from Quivira. She was just the right balance of loyal yet quirky. She was perfect!
While I didn’t enjoy Ashlyn’s love-at-first-sight-swoon-I-don’t-even-know-Dane-but-I-loooove-him, it was slightly bearable. In a contemporary, I would’ve been miserable. However, with the blend of magic and the inclusion of the blood connections, I wasn’t as turned off by the insta-love! It actually added a lot to the story, especially toward the end (no spoilers).
The plot was so intensely unique. The mixture of mystery, cults, and magic: absolutely captivating. I loved the idea of vessels, conduits, and alchemy.
I especially loved the twists and turns. Blood and Salt was an alarmingly engaging novel. Though I saw a few of the “big reveals” from a mile away, I’m happy to report that I didn’t even come close to guessing 75% of the other twists. The last 50 pages of the book was honestly just a tangled web of twists and surprises. One after the other, the reveals left me a gasping mess with a permanently dropped jaw. It was truly the definition of a wild ride.
I really enjoyed how Blood and Salt didn’t really fall in any single genre. It was horror but it was romance, it was thriller but it was humor. Liggett seamlessly combined these traits and created a masterpiece. One second I’d be biting my nails over one of Ash’s visions, the next second I’d be laughing as Beth sang the Backstreet Boys. It was perfectly constructed!
Liggett also wrote beautifully. I wanted to devour her words. Every sentence was like magic itself. I found myself completely sucked in by the writing. I really enjoyed the descriptions of scents. It added another layer to the story and was a really unique way of approaching the storytelling. It truly gave the book a little something extra. I don’t have any quotes to include about Liggett’s beautiful writing because if I quoted my favorite lines… I would have to quote the entire book. It was that good.
Overall, Blood and Salt was a fantastic surprise—an engaging horror layered with romance, humor, mystery, and suspense. Liggett’s fantastic writing talent was the cherry on top of a fantastically delicious and spine-tingling novel. I definitely recommend that you pick this book up. It’s got a little bit of everything and will surely keep you entranced until the very last page!
With lots of bookish love,