Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Salt Line - Holly Goddard Jones

I ran across a mention of Holly Goddard Jones' new book The Salt Line in a newsletter. The publisher's description intrigued me..."In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump 'the Salt Line'."

The Salt Line defines the area of 'safe' and 'unsafe'. Civilization and the wilds. The are outside of the Line has become a tourist destination for those wealthy enough to pay for an excursion - and what's needed to survive the deadly ticks that populate the land outside the Line. But ticks aren't the only danger....there are people living on the other side of the border as well.

Goddard Jones gives us an ensemble cast with numerous strong personalities and leads. They are all flawed to a degree, with some eliciting sympathy and others fueling anger. Her world building is imaginative and believable. The ticks are darn right scary - and take inspiration from the illness that ticks cause in our present day. I am always fascinated by the imagining of a populace that survives outside of a 'protected' zone. The plotting that ties the outside and the tourists back to their world is inventive and well thought out. But Goddard Jones takes a further step and spends as much time on the relationships of the characters, their thoughts, actions and interactions.

I'm so very glad I stumbled across The Salt Line. I loved it - and am hoping that there might be another book in the works. There's a nice little scene at the end - some unfinished business that perhaps promises more. Read an excerpt of The Salt Line.

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