Friday, 11 April 2014

ARC Review ~ Salted by Aaron Galvin

SaltedeARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 24th April 2014

Life isn’t better under the sea.

Lenny Dolan is all too familiar with this reality. A Selkie slave in the realm beneath the waves, he has no choice when charged with leading a crew ashore to capture an elusive runaway. If unsuccessful, the loved ones kept behind will pay for his failure with their lives.

But when their target leads Lenny and his crew to deeper, darker secrets, the Selkies are faced with a moral dilemma. Secure their own freedom at the expense of others, or return empty-handed to face the grisly consequences?

How Lenny and his crew answer the question will teach them the harshest truth of all. Only through the loss of innocence does one become Salted.

My Opinion

Going into this book I didn't really know what to expect. I have read a few books that are set up around the theme of underwater beings (whether they are mermaids or Selkies) but stopped after finding that they were all too similar. However, Salted caught my interest and seemed like it was going to be different, which it was.

The whole paranormal aspect of the Selkies and being Salted was new to me and so made this book interesting. The way the Selkies went from land to water, transformed into animals and had a permanent suit was all original and intriguing, which I think is a hard thing to do in a market as saturated as the mermaid/underwater beings one. This was one of the only books I've read that did something different with the paranormal aspect. However, I would have liked more background on the Salt, the history of the beings, specifics on each being (Orc, Selkie etc) and more description on how everything worked. Even after finishing Salted I'm still slightly unsure of how the suits worked and because this book is different I feel the author needed to make everything a bit clearer just to help with imagining everything.

Salted is written in the third person but each chapter is from the perspective of a different character and follows their journey. I have only read one other book that used this style and I felt that the book was brought down by it. Because of this, when I saw more than 3 character appearing I did become slightly wary as I didn't know whether the style works. In total I think there were four characters who had chapters to their names and I've said it before that I normally draw the line at two. However, although it took me a while to get into and learn who everyone was, the author managed to pull it off. I think it worked well in this book because the characters were not close together: two in totally separate locations and the other two were part of the same group but in different areas. Because of this, the story was not held up by constantly repeating events from different POVs but rather had mini story lines throughout the main plot which I think worked and moved things long in this case.

I liked the overall story line of Salted but I felt the ending needed a bit more development. The characters changed so suddenly--especially Lenny--and to me it felt a little drastic and needed more subtle development so it wasn't a 180 in beliefs and actions. I definitely didn't see the ending coming though and there was some good action which surprised me.

The only major thing that stood out to me, which really did get on my nerves a few times, was the speech by some of the characters (especially the humans--or 'Drybacks' in Salted). At times the speech felt very unnatural and more like an adult than the age at which the characters were and I found myself going "they would not say something like that." There were also a few moments where adults (like teachers) said something and although the comment made me smile, it wasn't believable as in this day and age the teacher would probably be sued (and I'm only saying that because it happened with a similar phrase at my own high school and the teacher ended up fired). It's small things like this that detracted from the overall flow for me.

Overall though, Salted was an intriguing read that kept me hooked. It is a different spin on the underwater world and creatures which I found it brought quite a bit of originality to the genre. Salted shows the potential of this author and I'd recommend the book, I just think a few changes could make it shine to its full potential and really stand out.


  1. Reading this at the moment (about 18% into it) and I am having a little trouble getting into it, although I can't deny the storyline is unique! Hopefully I'll get into it soon. Great review!

    Under The Mountain

    1. Thanks Vickie! I had the same problem at the start as I was confused about the world/creatures. It did get better for me though so I hope you find the same and enjoy it!


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