Rating: 4 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: From the very beginning of this book, my mind kept wandering back to The Walking Dead (the TV show, not the comic book series). They are both dystopian, so there is that commonality. It’s set in the South (US), maybe even Georgia itself (it’s been a few weeks, forgive me), so they have that in common as well. And there is an element of people who have found a way to survive in the danger zone, to build a community that has become like family. And, as is always the case in dystopian stories, there is a bad contingent of people. But.
There is minimal violence, and it isn’t particularly graphic. The world went to hell in a handbasket because of disease-carrying ticks (not zombies), and the only solution the government could come up with was to burn away a border from tick-infested areas and create some safe zones that were made tick-proof. A generation or two have grown up without ever having experienced nature. However, there are still people who go out to do work in tick-infested areas, including a company that takes adventure seekers out to experience nature and all it has to offer. It is during one of these excursions that the participants learn more than they ever wanted to about what is really going on, the truth about the tick-infestation, and some hard truths about themselves and those they love.
Ultimately, I think my association with The Walking Dead has to do with the tone. It’s direct and offers no false reassurance. While TheWalking Dead is a bit more pessimistic (and therefore a great deal more violent), The Salt Line doesn’t gloss things over the same way some dystopian novels do. And there isn’t really a singular hero or leader. It didn’t feel fantastical, it felt realistic. And the storyline is actually a lot more complex than I would have expected. In many ways, it’s almost a dystopian mystery.
Really enjoyed it. While I’m a sucker for dystopian of any flavor, The Salt Line was unique and refreshing.