Book Review: Salted

Salted (Salt Series #1)
Published by: Createspace 
Publication Date: 19 April 2014 
Page Count: 358 
Source: e-book provided by author 
Audience: Young Adult –Urban Fantasy

I admit I wasn't sure what this story was about when I started reading it.  The synopsis doesn't give away a whole lot of details, but I really enjoyed it once I knew what was going on.

Salted is about Selkies and Silkies, males and females who can switch between being human and seals. Lenny and Chidi are slaves to more powerful selkies sent out to catch another slave that ran away. The two, along with their owners and three other slaves, leave the comfort of their cave and travel to the human world away from the ocean. Garrett is a senior in high school who has been ostracized and picked on his whole life for his discolored skin; then one day his skin changes, freaking him out completely, and he has no idea why it happened.  Lenny and his crew follow the runaway slave to a zoo where they come across Garrett and all their lives are changed forever, some for the better and some are far worse than before.

Aaron Galvin has created a unique world with his selkies, seal hunters, merrows (half dolphin and half human), nomads (half shark and half human), and other creatures.  He does a wonderful job of describing this world: the caverns the selkies live in, and the creatures themselves.  It was very easy to imagine what they all looked like and envision how they changed their shapes.

The book was written from four different points of view: Lenny, Chidi, Garrett, and Kellen (another teen from Garrett's school, he bullied Garrett quite severely).  I really liked reading Salted from each person's perspective, each character was written well and very distinguishable from the others.  They each had their own strong personalities and I enjoyed seeing how each one changed and grew as different things were presented to them, for the teens it was watching the unimaginable happen, for the slave selkies seeing there were other ways to live.

I had fun reading this story.  It started out a little slow, but once I got into it I didn't want to stop reading.  There was quite a bit of action, chase scenes and gun fire, that kept it moving along.  And once I got to know the characters, they kept my interest piqued.

It was a bit harsh and sad at times, witnessing how the slaves were treated by their owners and seeing through the eyes of the slaves this way of life.  Some of the choices the slaves have to make: sacrifice others to save your own life or be selfless and the narrow line they tread between the two.  It makes you stop to think about the slavery that happened in the real world, and what life was like for them. That is one of the things I love about Aaron Galvin's books, he's not afraid to show the harsh realities that are a part of our past and even present, but also the possibilities of change, making things right, the light at the end of the tunnel.

The end of the book definitely leaves you hanging, with lots of questions yet to be answered.  I am eager to continue reading the journeys of these characters and find out what happens in the next book, Taken with a Grain of Salt.

One Last Thought: There were a few grammatical errors throughout the book, and they can sometimes interrupt the flow as you are reading, but the story was still enjoyable.

Favorite Thing About This Book: It was fun watching the characters change and grow, their morals were tested and some eyes were opened.

First Sentence: Lenny Dolan never asked for a Salted life.

Favorite Character: Chidi

Least Favorite Character: Oscar

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.

Early Praise 

 It's always hard to find a unique novel on mermaids. I've seen a spin or two from time to time, but nothing really original, and certainly nothing I'd really describe as 'cool'. That was until I got the chance to read Salted.   - Steampunk Sparrow Book Blog 

 I totally bought into the Salted world Galvin created. Not an easy read but a unique one, I would recommend Salted by Aaron Galvin for people who are looking for something beyond the typical mermaid and selkie tales.     - Cherie Reich, author of The Foxwick Chronicles 

 Salted was an intriguing read that kept me hooked. It is a different spin on the underwater world and creatures, which I found brought quite a bit of originality to the genre.     - Lost To Books 

 Salted is sure to grab your interest at the onset. Let There Be Movies