Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
salt (Hannah Moskowitz)
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/e-book)
Upon reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat. It is about fighting sea monsters in the Mediterranean! But I just could not finish it and had to abandon ship at 42%. Why ye ask? Well for a myriad of reasons:
- Sea Monsters – Well this be the entire reason I wanted to read this book. I love me some fierce fighting of nasty beasties. The first battle with monsters came at the 2% mark and I was excited that it jumped right into the thick of things. The monster sounded awesome. But this was only in concept. The battle was lackluster and was over pretty quickly in about 2 1/2 pages (the 3% mark). It was light on details. But it was the first one so I cut it some slack. The second monster battle begins at 33%. The decision about how to get the monsters attention was silly and ye tell me how a teenager is able to out-swim that swarm? Better than the first but still missing real tension. I was very bored by these monsters!
- The Siblings – This tale follows four siblings as the hunt for the monsters that killed their parents. I actually did like all of the siblings and thought they were fun folk. The problem was that what they did was unrealistic. Ye put a 6 year-old in charge of butchering a sea monster over half the size of the 15 meter schooner? And also putting the 6 year-old in charge of the weapons? Ummm no. And the 19 year-old and 16 year-old leave the 12 and 6 year-old to fend for themselves in a port where they don’t speak the language well? Ummm no. All so they can get laid. Ugh.
- The Parents – So the parents hunted sea monsters for a living. Cool. They go off on a massive hunt and leave the children behind for safety. Cool. They have no backup plan for what happens if they don’t come back? Very not cool. All the kids have is a small amount of money and a journal with cryptic clues about a mysterious treasure and snippets of where their parents might have gone. Also the kids have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about how to live on land. That’s just stupid. The parents should have at least had an onshore base or some other sea hunter friends that could help them out if something happened to then. Unrealistic.
- The World-Building – The ship knowledge felt off. The port of Marseille was so lackluster that it could have been anywhere. The shadowy society of monster builders wasn’t explained in any detail. I wanted grand adventures and scary sea serpents and to feel that this version of the Mediterranean was real. The book just felt flat.
Fun concepts here. I wish this one would have focused on the sea monster battles and how the monster fighting community works! I wanted an awesome treasure hunt. I didn’t get them. With so many books on the horizon, I just gave up. I want me reading to make time seem to disappear, not to accentuate every second passing. I am sad, but I couldn’t fight the tide.
If ye be interested in a better sea monster story, try into the drowning deep about killer mermaids.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Chronicle Books!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Even though their parents disappeared during a hunt three months ago, seventeen-year-old Indi and his siblings, Beleza, Oscar, and Zulu, continue to roam the Mediterranean on their sailboat and hunt down monsters–but Indi yearns for a more settled life for his family, and he hopes that his parents’ journal with its tantalizing hints of a treasure, will provide them all with the means of escape from their nomadic and dangerous life before it is too late.
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