Salt

Hannah Moskowitz. Chronicle, $17.99 (268p) ISBN 978-1-4521-3151-1
In this thoughtful fantasy, 16-year-old Indi and his three siblings (Beleza, 19, Oscar, 12, and Zulu, 6) track and eliminate the vicious sea monsters that threaten “lubs” (landlubbers) and sailors who are ignorant of the monsters’ existence. In the months since their parents’ disappearance, Indi has dutifully played the roles of caretaker, teacher, and ship’s doctor, but his longing for a normal teenage life on land is becoming increasingly difficult to quell. As Beleza’s hunger to discover the truth of their parents’ disappearance pushes them into increasingly dangerous situations, Indi must decide whether to continue fighting monsters or to leave the sea—and his siblings—behind. Like Indi, the pacing here is measured and introspective, except for sea battles, when the motley four-person crew scrambles to defeat unimaginable monsters, including the “nine-tentacled... three-meter-toothed” Morde d’eau. Moskowitz (A History of Glitter and Blood) succeeds at creating a world that feels outside of time; the internet and other contemporary technologies exist outside the siblings’ worn sailboat as they traverse the Mediterranean. Indi’s relationships with his siblings, imperfect and complicated, and his dream that they be able to choose their own paths, will stay with readers long after the final battle. Ages 14–up. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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