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Welcome to my stop on the Penguin Blog Tour for Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett! I am so, so excited to be participating in this tour, because I have been excited for this book since about the first minute I heard about it. Good news, it absolutely lived up to my expectations and then some. True story: I finished the book, and went to Goodreads to complain that it was over and I wanted more, when at the exact same time, the sequel was being put on Goodreads. I don’t know if this is fate, or an eerie Blood and Salt-esque coincidence, but I don’t care because I am excited!

Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt, #1) by Kim Liggett
Series: Blood and Salt #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 22nd 2015
Pages: 352
Format:ARC
Source:BEA, Copy provided by publisher for review

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.

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I confess, this book had me from the opening line. Because when you open with this, there’s no way I am putting the book down. I mean, that escalated quickly, right? That is the first thing I loved about this book: it jumped right into the action. There was no meandering until we got to the “good part”, because the whole book was the good part. I will admit, this made me a little apprehensive in the beginning, because I thought it would lack adequate backstory, but there are lots of ways that the backstory is incorporated that make it work very, very well.

Let’s discuss some of the things I loved about this book!

  • Cults. I have a “thing” for cults. The thing is that I freaking love them. Let me rephrase that, I don’t love them as in “I’d like to join one”, I am just so, so fascinated by them. I just want to know how things get so out of hand, and how otherwise stable, intelligent people get caught up in such business. The whole psychological process of a cult is complex and unique, and I love trying to figure out how it all came to be, and of course, how it will all end. Quivira is so, so creepy. Creepier than most, really, because there’s a supernatural element to it which adds to the mystery. Quivira also has roots, strong roots, from centuries ago. This is a cult dynamic that I hadn’t read about before, and it absolutely upped the creep factor, because I feel like when you throw in anything from centuries ago, it tends to make the skin crawl a bit.
  • The characters were fabulous and realistic. See, one thing that can usually throw me off in a paranormal/mystery book is when the characters just jump into the action and accept everything at face value. Not so here. Yes, Ash is more willing to accept it, but she’s also seeing dead girls in her kitchen, so that makes sense. Rhys, Ash’s twin brother, is having none of it. I love a healthy skepticism, it fosters realism, and Rhys has it in droves. He also has a fabulous humor that he brings to the table, which lightens the tone from time to time. Even as Ash tries to convince Rhys that the happenings in Quivira are real, he resists, and with charm:

    Ash: “What if you’re wrong? What if this is all real? And aren’t you the slightest bit curious about our dad?”
    Rhys: “I’m curious about the Loch Ness Monster too, but you don’t see me going to Scotland with a harpoon!”

    But it isn’t just Ash and Rhys that are great. There are a lot of people in Quivira who I connected to instantly, some I was on the fence about, some I did not like. Dane, the love interest, falls in one of those categories, but I am absolutely not telling you which.

  • The plot is incredibly unique. Seriously, I have never read anything like this before, and I think that says a lot. I mean, when you read at least a hundred books a year, it takes quite a bit to feel fresh, but Blood and Salt has that special something that hasn’t been done before. I will say that there were a few points that were slightly predictable, but not the plot itself, just a few things here and there. Overall, I was wondering what could be happening next, because there were just no guarantees in Quivira.
  • The writing was so, so atmospheric. I could picture Quivira so vividly, it was almost frightening. It was a chilling setting, and one I was completely immersed in. I absolutely love when I feel like I can “see” the settings in a book, and wow, could I ever in this one! Even some of the smaller, more relaxed scenes, I felt like I could visualize so clearly.

Bottom Line: I want to flail a bit more, I do. But alas, you must read for yourself so I do not spoil anything. Blood and Salt is unique and chilling while still being full of romance, family, and life lessons. It’s the kind of book that has something for every reader, and I will be anxiously waiting for the sequel!

5s

giveaway

Hardcover Copy of Blood and Salt (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Good Books & Wine – guest post #1 – 9/14

Addicted Readers – interview – 9/15

Jessabella Reads – 25 Random Things – 9/16

A Midsummer Night’s Read – Book Playlist #1 – 9/17

It Starts At Midnight – review & giveaway – 9/18

The Book Bratz – review & giveaway – 9/21

No BS Book Reviews – interview – 9/22

Once Upon a Twilight – Would You Rather? – 9/23

Please Feed the Bookworm – review & giveaway – 9/24

The Irish Banana – guest post #2 – 9/25

Winterhaven Books – Top 10 – 9/28

My Friends are Fiction – review & giveaway – 9/29

Fiction Fare – interview – 9/30

A Dream Within a Dream – Book Playlist #2 – 10/1

Two Chicks on Books – interview – 10/2

So, are you fascinated by cults? Or do they just plain creep you out? Would you believe in any of it, or would you be a skeptic like Rhys?

Posted September 18, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Giveaway, Review / 32 Comments


32 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

  1. I actually haven’t read fiction about cults before, but the idea does fascinate me. That quote was fabulous, it really intrigues me. The characters sound AWESOME. I’ve heard amazing things about Blood and Salt, and I’m super excited for it — really looking forward to release day!

  2. THAT OPENING LINE–I don’t even care anymore, I’m reading this book after the two I’m currently reading. I’m also really looking forward to the writing, because the #1 thing I look for in horror books is definitely atmospheric writing. 🙂 You’re making me SCARED about the romance, though. How can I ship people if I *might possibly* not like the love interest?! Awesome (and very convincing) review, Shannon!

    • HAhah right!? That line… it was perfect! The ship scared me too. Actually, it still does, because it is not done- book two will be out next year! And I really hope you love it! The atmosphere was just perfect to me. Like, even now, weeks after reading, I can still picture the setting- which is rare for me! And thanks 😀

  3. Great review! I loved this one as well. For all the reasons you mentioned. It was so creative and engaging with this atmospheric and Gothic vibe. Plus yes, I loved the characters. Haha, I totally connected with Rhys too on the sarcasm and skepticism. Plus he was great comic relief.

  4. I’ve been seeing this book around SO MUCH and it sounds fantastically creepy!! I love reading scary books in the fall time around Halloween, this I’ve added this one to my TBR. I hope to fit it in next month! Glad you enjoyed it so much. Great review! 🙂

  5. I SO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT CULTS. Like you, I am extremely fascinated by them because of the complexity they show when it comes to the psychological level. It’s like, how can someone be a leader to a group of people and lead them through questionable acts? How does he convince them that what they are saying, no matter how twisted, are truth? You’re making me stoked to read this, Shannon! Plus, I am so into horror and psychological reads mixed in one, so you bet I’m getting this 😀 😀 😀

  6. This book is top priority for my to buy list next month so I am ecstatic to hear that you enjoyed it! It’s so exciting to see so many good Halloween titles cropping up around October, between this and The Dead House. The excerpts you posted above definitely has me hooked, it sounds both chilling and mysterious. The idea of cults are something that is at once terrifying and intriguing, I have high hopes for this release 😀

  7. I am NOT a horror fan, although I love mysteries. Can’t watch Supernatural, stopped all horror films after one viewing of Friday the 13th way back when. My students, however, love horror. It’s my biggest lack in my classroom library, and I am trying to figure out how to fill the gap with (reasonably) age appropriate titles. I think I need this!

  8. Cults? YES. I’m so with you there. Awesome characters? YES. Ash and Rhys sound like they have the twin thing going on. (Also, totally random, but I went out on a Loch once, sadly, not Ness.) Unique? YES. Atmospheric? YES. Basically all the yesses, especially to the sequel, even though I don’t know how it ends yet, haha, and I need this book in my hands like, yesterday. But I forgot to preorder it, dammit, so now I’m going to have to wait, because I have like 4 books I NEED to get to that I’ve already pushed back for The Mirror King. But me thinks I’ll keep it for Halloween, I have a nice Halloween TBR list to choose from. 😉

    • Awwww boo! But, that’s okay, because yes, Halloween is perfect! It’s so good, and the ending like, shouldn’t make you stabby, but just wanting more- it wraps some stuff up, but leaves room for more. It’s the kind of ending I like in a series, basically!

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