Salt by Hannah Moskowitz
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Summary from Netgalley:
In a world where sea monsters are real, what do you do with your inner demons?
Roaming the Mediterranean Sea on sailboats and hunting down monsters is the only life seventeen-year-old Indi has ever known. He never loved it, but now that his parents are gone—vanished during a hunt three months ago—it’s harder and harder to fight his desire to escape. It doesn’t help that he has custody of his parents’ journal, which contains a too-small section devoted to a treasure his parents promised they would someday give them. Maybe it’s something valuable enough to get militant Beleza to agree to settle down. Something that would take the little kids away from the life that’s turning Oscar into a pirate and wasting Zulu’s brilliant six-year-old mind. Something that could give Indi a normal life. If only sea monsters, his own conscience, and the entire ocean weren’t between him and that treasure.
ARC provided by Chronicle Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I really enjoyed it. The one thing I really liked was that she got what life is really like living on a boat for weeks and days at a time. Many authors do sort of gloss over the less glamorous aspects of ship board life, but wait, there is nothing really glamorous about it. You are wet and salty and on top of your shipmates all of the time! And if you get mad at some one there really isn’t anywhere you can go to get away from them, especially when you are away from shore. There is no privacy really, especially on the size of boat in this story. Her honest descriptions alone earns this book five stars.
The author’s straightforward prose might be off putting to some, but I loved it. Indi’s voice sounded more authentic by not being overly flowery or descriptive. He sounded like and really felt like a sixteen year old boy. You could instantly tell that he loved his siblings, but he did not feel that monster hunting was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He was conflicted because he wanted to protect his siblings but he wanted his own life too.
Beleza was driven to find and destroy the monster that killed their parents. She was intense and didn’t want to understand where Indi was coming from. She was very protective of her siblings, but she was also strict and maybe a tad abusive towards them, pushing them to do something that maybe they didn’t want to. Oscar and Zulu were both very sweet, although Oscar could be a pill to his younger sister. They were fierce fighters even at their young age, but still innocent enough to want to play hide and seek with their siblings.
This was a very introspective and character driven plot, but there was still enough action and monster killing to keep you interested. The climax felt a little rushed and the aftermath a bit puzzling. One of the best parts is there is no real romance in this book. There is sex, Indi meets a girl that he hooks up with through out the book, but there is no romance involved, in fact Hura uses Indi to further her own agenda. It was kind of refreshing to have characters dealing with casual sex and it’s aftermath.
This book is a bit quirky and will not appeal to everyone. If you are looking for a book that is all action and monster killing you won’t find that here. What you will find is an honest portrayal of a teenager who is trying to find his place in the world while fighting his inner demons and sea monsters.