Salt for Air by M.C. Frank
Expected publication Date: October 23rd 2018
Read Date: October 16th 2018
Genre: Retelling / Urban Fantasy / Greek mythology
Greek mythology meets The Little Mermaid in this delicious fantasy novel about a quiet, nerdy girl who meets a mer prince in her bathroom. Perfect for fans of The Heroes of Olympus and the Lux series.
Seventeen-year-old Ellie dreams of mermen. She writes fanfiction about them and spends time in underwater kingdoms in her imagination, trying to escape the sad reality: she is an orphan. And not only that, but she’s bullied every day at school -she’s a nerd, she hates sports, she loves books and she used to be overweight. What’s not to bully?
One day, the bullies go too far. They try to drown her, but at the last minute an otherworldly creature shows up in the water. He keeps her breathing and tells her to live: “How will you be able to save anyone if you can’t even save yourself?”
She thinks it was a dream, but the emerald-eyed merman boy who rescued her appears in her school the next day. Is he really the exiled prince of an ancient kingdom that’s on the brink of utter destruction? And is he asking her to save him? Or is something far more sinister and deadly lurking in the water that surrounds her little Greek town?
When myth and reality collide, can love save their lives?
Salt for Air was mixture of urban fantasy, Greek mythology and Little Mermaid retelling that revolved around not-so-exciting Ellie’s real life and her exciting action packed fanfic world that drastically turned into real life fairy tale. The book features loss, sadness, surviving the world of bullies, betrayal, love, and finding your inner truer and stronger self.
“This is a story of sadness. Of death, of loss and of going slightly mad because of them. Also, of girls’ bathrooms. There’s going to be a lot of that. So be prepared.”
This lines from the book are epic and it tells exactly what you should expect from the book.
The narrator and protagonist of the book, Ellie, was orphan, Nerdy, blogger who wrote fanfiction stories. Her life has been tough. She was that girl whom no one would care about at school, no one will sit with or study with her, or even look at her without bulling and name calling. I was surprised there weren’t any good kids who try to stand up for her or even talk to her. Moreover she lost her dad to cancer, only person who cared about her. She was quite lonely and no one to help her or to share her life problems. But books saved her and gave something to live for. As author said in book ‘something we all can relate to’. Her life was sad and filled with fear but her voice was most powerful in the book. She had that self-respect, will and determination in her that I loved to see in book when I was least expecting it. Her development was slow but effective and I loved the way she turned out at the end.
Ky was the emerald eye toilet savior, a merman and exiled prince. I also liked to call him fish boy and there was something fishy about him. I didn’t buy his confession so early and his intentions were selfish. But as I read more about him, he kind of grew on me and I started to like his all faults and imperfection just as Ellie did. His development and emotions were gradual and beautifully narrated. It was freaking awesome to meet this swoon worthy fish boy. I loved those two fierce sidekicks- Ky’s sister, Lorelei, and Maia.
This is my fifth book by M.C. Frank. All her books are in different genre yet there was this familiar voice and style of author that I have come to love. Her creativity in designing meaningful and colorful covers and coming up with whole new world with each book is noteworthy. Even though the setting of the book was same as her ‘Lose Me’ contemporary novel, (which gave amazing description of Greece and Greek culture) author maintained the charisma of the setting in this book as well, with some more details and its beautiful beaches.
Book started with main character Ellie being bullied in girl’s bathroom and saved by emerald eye Ky resembling the character of her fanfic story. I was intrigued to know more about this gorgeous emerald eye boy and world of Ellie. Her unique voice was the first reason that tempted me to read this book.
Character descriptions were fun to read. It was catchy and grabbed the attention. It was mesmerizing to read characters’ story. Relationship between Ellie and Ky was hate/love kind but it was unpredictable because of Ky’s act. I loved to read growing friendship between female characters, it had that hopeful warm feeling but there was twist in that as well. Author played with emotions creatively in this book.
The world of merpeople was most fascinating part of the book. The explanation of travel between worlds, how they are different from mermaid stories and how it was related to Greek mythology was depicted nicely. Though the Greek myth in book was lesser than I expected, also less descriptive, I like the way author connected it with the world in the book.
What I loved most in the book, those chapters from Ellie’s blog on ‘Rule for surviving Bullies’. If I have to describe this book in one word I would call it emotive. It touched the heart with its deep message of fighting against bullies, what real bullies are, how to survive them and how the war against evil can be won and how you can find your own worth, your own space and world. It was inspiring and motivating to see Ellie and Ky growing in this book that can reach to the soul of all readers.
I enjoyed all twist and turns and suspense created by uncertainty of characters’ intentions and what Ellie would decide to do when the time comes. Climax was surprising and poignant. Both Ky and Ellie’s emotions were heart wrenching, it literally made me cry. Battle near the end was okay. End was good unlike what I have expected but I was happy to read it. It was not cliffhanger but there is certainty of next book in the series that I would love to read.
At some places it got little confusing. Things happening so suddenly and without any explanation readers are directed to the next scene and then revelation of that suddenness comes later in the book. It can put readers off the track and because of that pace was on and off. Second the last battle scene was bit rushed. I didn’t get what just happened, maybe explanation is saved for second book but I was like ‘How that can happen’!
Overall, it was captivating, emotional with wonderful narration and strong plot that retelling and fantasy lovers would love to read.
Preorder it here ⇒ amzn.to/2Ltd5T7
*** Note: Many thanks to author for providing me e-ARC, in exchange for an honest review. ***
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