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Blood and Salt

by Kim Liggett

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18710117,094 (2.91)6
"Seventeen-year-old Ash Larkin finds out her family is involved in a centuries-old saga of love and murder, alchemy and immortality when she follows her mother to an isolated settlement in the cornfields of Kansas"--

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This novel was at moments of character insight and great plot twists, but overall, I struggled to get through it. Part of the problem, for me at least, is that I struggled to suspend my disbelief enough and for much of the book, I agreed with the character of Rhys, who's consistently telling his sister that they've entered a crazy cult, not to trust people, and maybe it's time to leave already. Of course, strange things are happening in the community of Quivira, which is trapped by enchanted corn fields and whose community grapples with the centuries-old magical legacy of Coronado and the witch Katia. The ending of this book sets up a sequel, but considering my "meh" feelings towards the initial volume, I'm not likely to read it. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Aug 13, 2020 |
Blood and Salt is an engrossing and rather creepy young adult romance with supernatural elements. This debut novel by Kim Liggett centers on Ashlyn "Ash" Larkin, a centuries old family curse and a mysterious spiritual commune in the middle of a cornfield in Quivira, Kansas.

The history of Quivira is rather convoluted, goes back centuries and features a love triangle between Katia Larkin, Alonso Mendoza and Spanish explorer Coronado. Katia's quest for immortality results in betrayal and death and the Larkin women are called upon to carry out their fate in Quivira as Katia's "vessel". Nina Larkin escaped from Quivira before giving birth to twins Ash and Rhys seventeen years earlier. The family now lives in New York, but just before the summer solstice, Nina returns to Quivira to fulfill her destiny as a vessel for her ancestor Katia. Desperate to find their mother, Ash and Rhys travel to the eerie cornfield to save their mother from what they consider to be a religious cult. However, unbeknownst to Rhys, Ash's lifelong visions of a hanging girl have increased in frequency and she soon realizes these images are memories of events that occurred centuries earlier. Upon arrival in Quiriva, these horrifying images take an ominous turn and Ash quickly becomes increasingly concerned for their safety.

Modern day Quivira clings to the traditions of the past and Ash figures heavily into their quest for immortality. She and Rhys are aided by Beth, a "seer" whose visions once foretold the future before a severe head injury quieted her gift. Ash is immediately enthralled by Dane, a charismatic young man whom she is forbidden to love due to his mixed bloodlines. The rest of the villagers seem mostly harmless but Ash quickly senses evil when she meets their current leader, Spencer Mendoza.

Ash is swiftly drawn into the rituals of Quivira and despite Rhys's pleas to leave, she is determined to rescue their mother. With her visions becoming more and more frequent, she realizes the hanging girl seems to be trying to tell her something. With Dane at her side to protect her, Ash eagerly allows the hallucinations free rein and she soon realizes the horrifying truth. But is it too late to stop the diabolical plan that Katia has unleashed?

Blood and Salt is a suspense-laden horror story that is full of unexpected twists and turns. The novel is fast-faced and quite riveting and Kim Liggett easily captures the reader's attention with the inventive storyline. Thundering to a dramatic and completely unexpected conclusion, this first installment in the Blood and Salt series will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next book in this ingenious series. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
I enjoyed the majority of this book. I didn't really get creeped out at all though. I really loved the cult stuff mixed with the witchcraft aspects. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing where it takes the characters. ( )
  pennma05 | Jan 29, 2018 |
This book was really weird.

Maybe I'm just not a fan of horror, but I recently read Stalking Jack the Ripper and liked it. This book just struck me in a weird way. Cultish backwater town in the middle of nowhere surrounded by man-eating corn. ok.

Add in Romeo and Juliet romance in the scary corn and you got yourself this book. I don't know what more to say.

I didn't really like the main girl, Ash, because of the insta-love she feels with Dane and the fact that she's always bringing up HIS DAMN DIMPLES. I get it you like em gurl but calm down.

I ran my hands down the sides of his body, his muscles tensed beneath my touch, and then he pulled away, smiling down at me with that sexy dimple that destroyed me.

My mind went completely blank. The world seemed to disintegrate around us. His smile, his mouth, that sexy dimple, consumed me.

Besides the romance, the man-eating corn plot and the sacrifices and everyone dying didn't really start to make sense until halfway through the book. The beginning was a lull of them getting there and meeting the cult and the middle was slightly better.

MAYBE if you're a bigger fan of horror/are into corn cults/Romeo and Juliet romance then I'll recommend this book. But didn't dig it. Pass.

2.5 stars

ALSO her brother Rhys. As a New Yorker, this scene made me laugh.

IN THE SUBWAY, I swiped my MetroCard and went through the turnstile, while my brother swiped his card over and over to no avail. People piled up behind him, grumbling and sighing.

"I told you we should have taken a cab," Rhys said.

He just pulled a Hillary Clinton. ( )
  raisinetta | Sep 25, 2017 |
I have to admit that this was a pretty uneven read for me. I was sucked in immediately--the atmosphere and mystery of the beginning was intoxicating, and I loved the characters. As things kept going, though, it was harder and harder to stay engaged.

While the author was clearly trying to keep a balance going between horror and romance, things were just too unbalanced. One chapter would be all about the horror and the mystery while the next was all about the romance, and so it felt like taking turns more than a natural unfolding of a story that happened to involve both. And the larger problem was, pretty simply, one of depth. I have faith that there was depth to the mythology involved, but it was so abstract that, plot-wise and progression-wise, it was hard to follow what was happening at every moment. That might have heightened the suspense, at times, but it was also a frustration, and a bit more depth in terms of explanation and time could have made a big difference. The same went for characters. None seemed unbelievable, but aside from the narrator, none of them seemed fully developed, either.

In short, as much as I was swept up by the beginning, I felt less and less involved as the book went on. Things sometimes moved so quickly that they were hard to follow, and more depth of explanation and character could have made a world of difference.

So, no, I'm afraid I won't be picking up the sequel, and I doubt I'd find reason to recommend the work, though I could see my way to picking up something else by the author and giving it a try (outside of this series). ( )
  whitewavedarling | Oct 1, 2016 |
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"Seventeen-year-old Ash Larkin finds out her family is involved in a centuries-old saga of love and murder, alchemy and immortality when she follows her mother to an isolated settlement in the cornfields of Kansas"--

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