Review: Salt by Danielle Ellison

Salt (Salt, #1) by Danielle Ellison
Published: January 7th 2014 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 266

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents - and stole her magic. Since then, she's been pretending to be something she's not, using her sister's magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she's finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister's help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He's cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret - but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope's impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter's not telling her everything, and it's starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda... and they're far too interested in her.
A boy leans against the brick wall, brown leather jacket, jeans that are too tight, bright-blue Converses and an amused smile. He can't be a Non; if he was he'd be screaming his head off by now. He must be something else, a witch, maybe?
"Oh, sorry" he says, pushing away from the wall and stepping toward me. "Keep dancing. Didn't mean to interrupt. Expelling a demon is a good reason to celebrate-even when it took you ten minutes."
Thank you Entangled Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

To be honest, I expected Salt to turn out like many books I've read: an interesting idea, but that's all. Thank God it doesn't fit in the category. Salt has one of my guilty pleasures as its subject: witches. I haven't read many books that have to do with it, so I'm very glad this one did.

Right from the start it catches your attention. It's so fast paced, when you put it down you'll realise you're already fifty pages in. Penelope's first impression was someone awkward who has a fear of failure, thus someone who wants to prove herself. It stayed that way throughout the entire novel, which I loved. She stayed in her character, yet made a development here and there. Her sense of humour was close to mine, which made me laugh a couple of times. I liked her, but the outstanding characters were Ric and Carter. Ric is the stereotypic gay best friend, I always enjoyed his presence. Carter was my #1. His amazing chemistry with Penelope was there from the very moment they met. I always love relationships that start with one teasing the other, and this was no exception. The romance between Penelope and Carter was build up slowly and made it believable.

To start with the plot, I'd like to point out how much I appreciated that certain things such as Enforcer, Pairing and Triad were quickly explained so you didn't have any trouble with finding out what they are.
Now, witches and demons. I would have never thought about the idea of ever combining the two. It's not something I've seen together, nor a witch who lost her powers. It worked out very well, marking Salt as original and unique. Other elements such as the examination, the pairing and Penelope's research for her demon were a nice addition to the story. But oh God, to the people who have read Salt, can we all agree on how intense the examination was? I knew she was going to pass all the stages, but it did not stop me from having a lump in my throat from fear. Each examination was build up to a climax and what happened in each of them was just, really well done. It kept the story interesting when we got to slower paced parts.

The reason I'm not giving Salt a full five stars, was because there were little things that annoyed me and they couldn't be ignored. For example, I really liked the writing, except for the few freakings and craps. They didn't appear much. When they did, it caught my attention. A few swears in a book makes it believable. Thirty, not so much. Although there being some amazing plot twists I did not see coming, other things in the book felt predictable, for example the fact that Penelope's able to pull magic from Carter. How it was possible, however, left me in shock.. Lastly, Salt reminded me of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare for several reasons: demons, a whole society of witches, glamour, and so on. I can understand if one doesn't agree with this last statement. Mostly because it's hard as a writer to create a low fantasy world when most ideas are already taken.

Despite the little issues I had with this book, Salt is a debut where there's always something going on. Wether it's research or action and you can't help but to keep reading until you're on the very last page. The romance was wonderfully put together and I can't wait to see how the story continues in the sequel.

Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.

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