Title: The Salt Line
Author: Holly Goddard Jones
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Library love; Popsugar - “Salt”; Dancing with Fantasy and Science Fiction - Utopia
In an unspecified future, the United States' borders have receded behind a salt line—a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what's left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.
Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks—and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.
I picked this one up one the recommendation of the Reading Glasses podcast and loved it. There’s a great utopian society and a spare possibly. And then we get to dig beneath the surface and see what is beyond the wall. I loved the world-building and background information to explain how exactly the characters find themselves in the situation they are in. Once the story moves beyond the wall, the plot picks up the pace and things start to devolve. I immediately felt an attachment to Marta and her backstory. I loved the sections from her point of view. The plot moved fast with the twists and turns. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, but overall I really enjoyed the book.
Next up on the TBR pile: