Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)
"The plot is tightly organized and has good dramatic tension as he children make their way to the city. The characters are interesting and believable. This is a good transitional book. Readers will look forward to the final installment."
The Sunday Herald
"This sequel to the fantasy novel Salt is a biological and psychological horror story, and is even scarier than its predecessor...Gee's imagination is as fierce as ever."
The Toronto Star
"Gee's quick, forceful prose makes this read almost as an extended poem of action and dialogue…[with] plenty of momentum. Salt and Gool make good choices for kids who want danger, adventure and a quick pace."
"Gee plays with the ideas of myth and truth…These are sophisticated and violent novels. The fact that they are thought-provoking and reflect some of the grittier truths about the nature of survival and society is a bonus. Gool will appeal to boys and girls alike…Recommended."
The Horn Book Magazine
"Gee's quick, forceful prose retains all its drive in this installment, which reads almost as an extended poem of action and dialogue; the silent speech natural to the characters makes for a fast, back-and-forth bounce that further heightens momentum. Gee's imagery is pungent and vivid…[and] Gee's imagined land and the sturdy independence of his characters are fresh and engaging."
New Zealand Herald
"In Gool, the looming apocalypse has taken an almost mythical form...Gee is a master storyteller."
"A well-written and interesting fantasy and adventure story for teens. While Gee tackles some complex themes and deeper issues in this trilogy, he does not let these get in the way of a fast-paced, gripping story…An essential purchase."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"Gee's writing style and storytelling ability are really impressive...Each [volume] has a folktale quality that is timeless and would appeal to many audiences...There is something wildly wonderful about this series that lets it stand out from so many other currently available titles. When you read a book like Harry Potter it seems like every reader will see the same thing but when you read The Salt Trilogy what each reader sees is different; it's truly amazing."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"This book would be a fantastic addition to any high school or public library collection."
VOYA - Kristin Anderson
In this sequel to Salt (Orca, 2009/VOYA October 2009), Hari and Pearl are now grown and have children of their own. Their two eldest children, teens Xantee and Lo, venture from the family farm with a friend, Duro, on a quest of their own. An evil and unnatural creature, the Gool, has invaded the world, slowly growing and consuming the fabric of reality. A tentacle of the Gool has wound itself around Hari's neck and will not let go; Hari barely clings to life. All that the teens know about the creature is that it has been in the world before and slain, but they only have a mythical story to guide them on their quest. Hari's father, now called the Dog King, helps guide the children to the city so they can save their father and their world. With vivid yet spare prose, Gee has created a worthy installment to this planned trilogy. It does veer away somewhat from the dystopian roots of the series; Gool feels more like straight fantasy. Because Pearl and Hari are so central to what makes Salt work, readers will not only enjoy finding out what happened to them but will also enjoy getting to know their children. Though very well executed, Gool is a less flashy read than some of the other current dystopian series titles and may suffer in popularity because of this. While it doesn't end with a cliff-hanger, a final installment is planned. This is a good purchase where Salt has been popular. Reviewer: Kristin Anderson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Gee begins the action immediately with Hari, the hero of Salt (Orca, 2009), being attacked by a creature from beyond this world. While he and the children with him escape, a part of the thing remains attached to his throat, slowly killing him despite everyone's efforts to remove it. Xantee and Lo, Hari's children, learn that this thing is a "gool" and that only if its mother is killed will the rest of it die. The only clue to annihilating it is an ancient story that told of a red star and a white star that must be destroyed first. Xantee, Lo, and Duro travel to the city that once was Belong in order to search for a book that might give the story in full and thus tell them what they must do. To get there, they rely on the help of "the people with no name" who dwell, unseen, in the jungles and on the Dog King, Hari's father. While Gool is nominally the second book in the trilogy and includes many characters from that story, it stands on its own nicely. Gee has done a terrific job of describing his world, giving life to his heroines and heroes while making their foes truly frightening. This is fine speculative fiction, accessible to readers of horror, fantasy, or science fiction and worth a look by anyone who enjoys adventure that doesn't trod the usual paths.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
A generation after the events of Salt (2009), Hari and Pearl have raised their children (both biological and adopted) in freedom far from the nightmarish city of their own birth. Xantee, Pearl and Hari's oldest child, is the strongest mind-to-mind speaker of them all. Xantee needs all her strength when Hari is mortally wounded fighting an unnatural monster in the jungle. The beast—a gool, in the language of the mysterious "people with no name"—holds Hari at the brink of death. While Pearl keeps him barely alive, Xantee and her siblings begin a dangerous quest to the city of Hari's birth, in search of clues to the gools' weakness. Their journey takes them through injury, violence and death as these young people from an idyllic rural childhood must confront the wretched hatred of the city. Xantee's developing romance carries little emotional resonance, and most of the secondary characters lack depth. Nonetheless, the unexpected twists of this original fantasy adventure keep the pages turning. The fascinating buildup leads to a thrilling climax, followed by a bizarrely flat conclusion—perhaps preparing readers for the next volume. (Fantasy. 13-15)
Read an Excerpt
Beyond the Inland Sea, beyond the jungle and mountains, the world was in turmoil. He thought of it as a hissing cauldron, with a thousand unknown things, alive and tormented, throwing the steam and stench of hatred high into the air.