Liggett, Kim Blood and Salt, 341 pages. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015. $17.99. Language: R (7 swears, 1 “f”, 2 deity); Mature Content: R; Violence: R.
Family legend has it that 17-year-old Ashlyn Larkin and her twin brother, Rhys, are descendants from an ancient New World cult that began in the time of Coronado. 17 years ago, Ash’s mother escaped this spiritual commune of Quivira, Kansas, so it is a shock to discover one day on returning home from school that her mother has chosen to return so she can take part in a ceremony on the summer solstice. All her life, Ash has had visions of a bloodied dead girl, swinging by her ankles from an oddly-constructed rope. The visions might mean she is a “conduit”, a link between present and past, and Ash becomes convinced that she is the only one who can rescue her mother. The mystery only deepens when Ash and Rhys arrive in the endless cornfields of Quivira, welcomed home, almost, as respected members of the Larkin clan.
This book has a lot of blood and gore. Clothes are continually soaked in blood, bodies are slick with blood, blood pools on the ground. There are also a couple of sexual situations described, and there is no mistaking what it means when Ash “bonds” with her boyfriend under Heartbreak Tree. But overall, the book moves right along and it has some appealing phrasing and ideas. The supernatural elements and ancient rites are pretty muddy and the story doesn’t come together entirely, but it’s an OK read. Just be prepared for the gore.
NOT RECOMMENDED. Reviewer: JA