Salt

( 4 )

Overview

In a dangerous world, Deep Salt strikes terror into the hearts of everyone.

The Whips, as silent as hunting cats, surrounded Blood Burrow in the hour before sun-up and began their sweep as the morning dogs began to howl. Their gray tunics turned black in the downpour, their helmets shone like beetle wings and the sparks that jumped from their fingers as they herded their recruits fizzed and spat like sewer gas.

When his father Tarl is captured ...

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Overview

In a dangerous world, Deep Salt strikes terror into the hearts of everyone.

The Whips, as silent as hunting cats, surrounded Blood Burrow in the hour before sun-up and began their sweep as the morning dogs began to howl. Their gray tunics turned black in the downpour, their helmets shone like beetle wings and the sparks that jumped from their fingers as they herded their recruits fizzed and spat like sewer gas.

When his father Tarl is captured and enslaved to work in Deep Salt, Hari vows to rescue him. This is a forbidding task: no one returns from Deep Salt. But Hari was born and raised in Blood Burrow. He's tough and smart-and he has a secret gift: he can communicate with animals.
The beautiful Pearl, born into the privileged world of the ruling class known as Company, has learned forbidden things from her mysteriously gifted maid Tealeaf. Now her father has promised her in marriage to the powerful and ambitious Ottmar. But Pearl will never submit to a subordinate life, so she and Tealeaf must flee.
When their paths cross, Hari and Pearl realize that together they must discover the secrets of Deep Salt. Their long journey through the badlands becomes far more than a quest to save Tarl-their world is on the brink of unspeakable terror.

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Editorial Reviews

examiner.com
"The iconic-style cover grabbed my eye from across a crowded BEA aisle and demanded I pick up the book...The best part: The characters are wild, fierce, and competent....The worst part: That I don't already have the sequel in my hands...Plot: Strong. Unique. Action-packed. What's not to love about an epic struggle for power and peace in a dystopian setting?...Solid writing. Solid action. Solid characters. Total win."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"Well written, the narrative pulls the reader through the book in a true page turner. Readers will be anxious for the next installment of the trilogy."
What If? Magazine
"Gee manages to create a vivid world filled with danger...The well-developed narrators also have interesting backgrounds and subplots, which keeps the suspense high. I strongly recommend Salt to anyone looking for an engaging story."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
Gee's dramatic prose and keen eye for detail create a chilling portrayal of a world destroyed by greed and lust for power...This dystopian adventure provides plenty of fodder for discussion, and interested readers will look forward to the promised sequel.
Editor's Choice Library Media Connection
"The author's voice and Hari's silent dialogue are enthralling."
www.examiner.com
"The iconic-style cover grabbed my eye from across a crowded BEA aisle and demanded I pick up the book...The best part: The characters are wild, fierce, and competent....The worst part: That I don't already have the sequel in my hands...Plot: Strong. Unique. Action-packed. What's not to love about an epic struggle for power and peace in a dystopian setting?...Solid writing. Solid action. Solid characters. Total win."
Library Media Connection
"Complete with an underground world, colossal statues of tyrants, and wise mentors, comparisons to Lord of the Rings are inevitable, and for this reviewer deservedly so. I was completely enthralled...With equal parts of violence and poignancy, Salt will keep readers in suspense. Recommended."
Resource Links
"[The] complex issue of human nature and human existence is addressed here in a way that is never strident and never naive. In the end, it is up to the reader to decide."
Tucson Unified School District
"A non-stop ride with thrills around every bend and as a reader, I did not want to get off…The substance found in Deep Salt reminded me of pure and lethal uranium, and the descriptions of the animals in this book were ghastly. I very much enjoyed this fantasy of worlds of privilege and want collide. Highly recommended."
The ALAN Review
"A fantastical tale filled with magical abilities, a corrupt regime, and unspeakable terror hidden in a deadly cave...A warning to all: once you enter Gee's magical world, there is no turning back until the trilogy is complete."
Highlands Regional Book Evaluation
"This dystopian novel unflinchingly examines issues of class and race in a page-turner that does not sacrifice character development for plot points. Give this one to Suzanne Collins fans awaiting Mockingjay or fans of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Gee's dramatic prose and keen eye for detail create a chilling portrayal of a world destroyed by greed and lust for power...This dystopian adventure provides plenty of fodder for discussion, and interested readers will look forward to the promised sequel."
Sunday Age
“It only takes the first half a dozen pages for [Gee] to create a fully realised world wherein he draws his readers with gusto...A genuinely exciting story with meaty characters and a storyline that never falters, even as Gee tests the very limits of his young protagonist.”
Viewpoint Magazine
"The theme of building a new world from the old informs the narrative, and there is necessary sacrifice and bloodshed along the way...The novel moves at a good pace and the ending is both satisfying in itself, and a lead in to the second novel in the trilogy."
The Horn Book Magazine
[Starred Review] "Gee has mastered the art of creating a fantasy world without cumbersome description: character and dialogue, as much as situation, give this story its compelling momentum and considerable interest...Gee's environmental themes are embedded in his plot but also in the very notions of identity and maturity his fantasy proposes; imagery and idea thus mesh admirably...Hari and Pearl are evolving, engaging heroes, and their many suspenseful adventures are conveyed in vivid, economical prose."
Magpies Magazine
"A skilfully told story, taught and fast-moving, but with a rich mixture of dark reality to it."
Weekend Herald
"A superbly written and realised fantasy for those who demand a thought-provoking read."
Canadian Teacher
"[Gee] creates a world that is both mysterious and entirely familiar…Will appeal for its storytelling skill but also warrants thoughtful reflection on the use of force and the abuse of power and on how good can triumph over evil, even when evil cannot be entirely eliminated."
Booklist
"In spare yet vivid prose, Gee creates a world of oppressive caste systems and endless violence in which our heroes work to save people from their own dark nature. This is a suspenseful, somber fantasy that combines exciting action with a subtle spiritual element."
CD Syndicated
"Salt is more fantastical than the Twilight books and darker than the Harry Potter ones... Salt creates a wholly unique and timeless universe of weapons like fizzing rings and fingertip bolts while keeping character motivations firmly grounded in that's-what-I'd-do territory. It's certainly an adventure of a read."
Herald Sun (Melbourne)
"Gee is imaginative and masterful with his descriptions in this first of a trilogy."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"A great read…with adventure, young lovers and wonderful fantasy."
Publishers Weekly
Celebrated New Zealand writer Gee (The Fire Raiser) returns to YA fantasy with this gritty, dystopian tale, the first volume in the Salt Trilogy. Hari lives in Blood Burrow, a hellacious, rat-infested slum. Long ago his dark-skinned people were conquered by Company (a fair-skinned, corporate society from across the ocean) and gradually forced into slavery (“Who joins Company joins history. Your time begins,” drones a clerk as new workers are branded with acid). Pearl is a pampered daughter of Company, her only purpose in life to be married off to cement one of her father's political alliances. When both young people, who share rare psychic gifts, revolt against their fates, they find themselves on a desperate journey across a hostile landscape, with the forces of Company at their heels. Later, as Company teeters on the brink of civil war, they must overcome their mutual distrust to save Hari's father from a horrific fate and destroy their enemy's deadly secret weapon. A compelling tale of anger and moral development that also powerfully explores the evils of colonialism and racism. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Hari's life changes forever the day the Whips come to gather slaves out of Blood Burrow. With his father, Tarl, taken and destined for Deep Salt, Hari, alone, is left to rescue him. Using his astonishing ability to speak to animals and some humans with his mind, Hari resolves to leave the only world he has ever known—the mazelike tunnels of the burrows surrounding the walled city of Company—and set off across the unknown to save his father from certain death. Only Hari is not alone. Leaving Company at the same time are two women, Tealeaf, a Dweller with mysterious abilities of her own, and Pearl, a pampered, rich girl whose life of privilege has not prepared her for the rigors of life outside Company's walls. Hers is a life which she chooses to leave rather than face marriage to a man twice her age, one whom she does not love. As these three travelers make their way through scrub, snow, and jungle, they learn their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to trust one another. This carefully plotted fantasy novel grabs readers by the throat from the first line and does not let up on the tension. Gee creates a detailed, beautifully crafted world filled with danger and greed, balanced by wisdom and compassion. Colonialism, racism, and environmental concerns are woven into the narrative without taking away from the fast-paced adventure tale, which stands on its own as a complete novel, yet leaves the door open to the next book in the planned trilogy. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
VOYA - Megan Lynn Isaac
Gee follows in the footsteps of many fantasy novelists in plotting and populating his world in this opening book of The Salt Trilogy. After his father is enslaved and sent to the mysterious Deep Salt mines, Hari sets out on a hopeless rescue mission. Although accustomed to living by his wits, his knowledge of the world is small and his emotional range is even smaller. An unexpected alliance with Pearl, the daughter of an oppressive overlord fleeing an unwanted marriage, forces Hari to explore new ideas. The relationship between the two wary young adults is guided by Tealeaf, one of the quiet but powerful Dwellers who can speak telepathically and control others through force of will alone. In addition to nurturing their friendship, Tealeaf guides Hari and Pearl in developing their mental skills. To Hari's surprise, the greatest dangers he faces come not through rescuing his father but in choosing what to do with the knowledge and weapons he acquires after he has learned the secrets of Deep Salt. Gee demonstrates his originality by spinning the adventure around ideas of colonialism and radioactive weaponry. These ethically compelling issues are refreshing in a fantasy novel, but the moral tone is sometimes heavy handed. The simplistic solutions to the thematic problems are also uninspiring—the dilemmas raised by radioactive weapons are resolved by suppressing knowledge; the consequences of colonialism are escaped by moving to new and conveniently uninhabited territory. Gee's work is ambitious and highly readable, but its reach exceeds its grasp. Reviewer: Megan Lynn Isaac
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In this dystopian fantasy, the people of the burrows are little more than slaves to Company. When his father is taken by the Whips and sent to work in Deep Salt, Hari vows to rescue him. He meets Pearl, the daughter of a Company official, who is fleeing an unwanted marriage, and Tealeaf, Pearl's teacher and companion. They are traveling to Tealeaf's village so that Pearl can develop her gift of mindspeaking. When Tealeaf discovers that Hari is able to speak with animals, she invites him to join them. Hari and Pearl soon discover that the substance being mined drains the workers and leaves them empty husks—and that Company is attempting to form it into a weapon to take over the world. Salt succeeds in being not only plot driven and fast paced, but also character oriented. Readers will appreciate the growing friendship between dark-skinned, aggressive Hari and lily-white, pampered Pearl as they discover that they are not as dissimilar as they believed. Gee presents a well-realized future New Zealand, and even those unfamiliar with the landscape will be able to picture the cities, forests, and coasts. A map allows readers to follow the path of the three adventurers, and the spare language makes this first novel in a trilogy accessible to reluctant readers. The dominant themes of prejudice and governmental oppression are subtly presented and do not overpower the action-filled plot. Salt will delight lovers of dystopic fantasies and leave them anxious for the second installment.—Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
In a fantasy world populated by evil colonizers, two children make a fresh start. Hari is a Burrows rat, a member of the brown-skinned underclass, who eat rats to survive. Radiant Pearl of the Deep Blue Sea is a pale-skinned daughter of the colonizing aristocracy on the run from an arranged marriage; if captured she'll be forced into slavery. Both children have the lost ability to speak without words, an ability that is recognized and encouraged by Pearl's nonhuman servant. Pearl joins Hari on his quest to rescue his father from Deep Salt, where troublemakers from the city are sent to toil and die. This dark world has a dim view of human nature: Victims are apt to become oppressors given half a chance. The most Pearl and Hari can hope for is saving themselves and preventing a few deaths. A fantasy without destined heroes redeeming the entire world from the forces of ultimate evil is refreshing-though this is book one in a trilogy, so there's still time. Admirable characters confronting human realities make for compelling reading. (Fantasy. 11-13)
TriState YA Book Review
"Compelling storytelling...The author employs sharp imagery, believably creating another world."
CM Magazine
*no details*
Kimberly Coyle
Hari's only goal is to rescue his father from the depths of Deep Salt, a terrible place from which no one returns. The beautiful Pearl hopes to escape her privileged world and her loveless, arranged marriage. In their separate worlds, Pearl and Hari are enemies, but when these two characters' lives collide, a whirlwind of an adventure unfolds. Salt, the first in Maurice Gee's Salt Trilogy is a fantastical tale filled with magical abilities, a corrupt regime, and unspeakable terror hidden in a deadly cave. Pearl and Hari's whimsical quest begins in this exciting adventure that gives the reader a hunger for more. A warning to all: once you enter Gee's magical world, there is no turning back until the journey is complete. Reviewer: Kimberly Coyle
Kim Coyle
Hari's only goal is to rescue his father from the depths of Deep Salt, a terrible place from which no one returns. The beautiful Pearl hopes to escape her privileged world and her loveless arranged marriage. In their separate worlds, Pearl and Hari are enemies, but when these two characters' lives collide, a whirlwind of an adventure unfolds. Salt, the first in Maurice Gee's Salt Trilogy, is a fantastical tale filled with magical abilities, a corrupt regime, and unspeakable terror hidden in a deadly cave. Pearl and Hari's whimsical quest begins in this exciting adventure that keeps the reader hungering for more. A warning to all: once you enter Gee's magical world, there is no turning back until the trilogy is complete. Reviewer: Kim Coyle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554693696
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,212,922
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Maurice Gee is one of New Zealand's finest writers, with nearly fifty books for adults and young adults and a number of prestigious awards to his credit. A former teacher, Maurice was first inspired to write after reading Charles Dickens as a teenager. However, it was not until he reached his mid-40s that he became a full-time writer. Gee, who was named an
Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artist as one of the ten greatest living artists in New Zealand, came out of retirement to write the Salt Trilogy. He lives in Nelson, on New Zealand's South Island.
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Read an Excerpt

The Whips, as silent as hunting cats, surrounded Blood Burrow in the hour before sun-up and began their sweep as the morning dogs began to howl. Their gray tunics turned black in the downpour, their helmets shone like beetle wings and the sparks that jumped from their fingers as they herded their recruits fizzed and spat like sewer gas.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 18, 2012

    In a barbaric land, Hari must rescue his father from certain dea

    In a barbaric land, Hari must rescue his father from certain death. Hari's father Tarl, has been sent to deep salt to mine "salt" a radioactive substance that kill people over time. Hari must travel across the country to save his father. Along the way he comes across many challenges.
    I like this book as a whole. At some times the writing style is hard to understand. I like all the action in this book but I don't like how long it takes to get to the action. I would rate it a above average book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes action.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by McKenzie Tritt for TeensReadToo.com

    Hari's father, Tarl, has been captured and is sent to work in the mines of Deep Salt. No one ever returns from Deep Salt, and those that are found have died from a terrible sickness, alone in the vast caverns. Nobody knows what they harvest in those caves.

    Hari vows to rescue his father and sets out across the vast land. Though just a young boy from the poor area, Hari has a special weapon. He can talk to others silently and control their thoughts and actions.

    Pearl, daughter of a wealthy family, is fleeing with her maid, Tealeaf, from an arranged marriage that she does not want. Pearl, like Hari, has the gift of silent speaking. Pearl has learned this talent from Tealeaf, a mysterious woman who knows many things.

    Along the journey, Pearl and Hari meet. They set off together to find Tarl and to discover the terrible secrets of Deep Salt. What is being harvested there? What happens to the miners in Deep Salt? They must answer these questions before their world is destroyed by those who are hungry for power and willing to use Deep Salt's secrets for the worst.

    SALT is unlike any book I've ever read. It is filled with such a deep darkness, one that can only be described as twisted. Hari and Pearl were interesting characters, each with their own motives. Their journey was enthralling and terrifying. Tealeaf was a wonderful secondary character who had what seemed to be an unlimited amount of knowledge about unusual things.

    The writing style was rather odd and took some getting used to. I enjoyed the general idea of the book, but the writing made it hard to get into at times.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

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