Saltblood by T.C.Parker
A remote island. A group of prisoners. And an evil as old as time.
Robin didn’t mean to break the law. Didn’t know at first what law she’d broken. And now she’s on her way to Salt Rock — a new-model prison for a new kind of criminal, way out in the remote Northern Isles of Scotland.
On Salt Rock, she'll meet other prisoners like her — men and women from all over the world, spirited away from the lives they knew for crimes they didn’t know they were committing.
She'll uncover the complex web of conspiracy that connects them all, confronting some of the darkness of her own past in the process.
And she'll come face to face, finally, with an evil as old as the land itself.
It’s hell in those waters.
I'm not sure how to start with this review, other than I loved reading this book. There is a lot of different genres packed in along with suspense and intrigue, which took my breath away. This is horror but nothing like I have ever read before.
There's some real 1984 Orwellian vibes in here but with a 21century take. The concept behind Saltblood is terrifying to me. That anyone can be judge and condemned by the media without a trial. Techno witch hunts for the 21st century.
Modern media is something that also really scares me, how much it controls us. Its in a constant state of evolving too rapidly for us to really understand how it all works. Who really controls it, our fellow social media users or some shadowy figure behind the screen? Most people don't realise that we are the product being sold but who is buying our information, and for what purpose?
The setting of Salt Island was really cool, I immediately felt the tension of being marooned on an inhospitable tiny island surrounded by rough seas. Covering the island is a huge cage which keeps out the outside world further by blocking all electromagnetic fields, no phone calls or internet. Eek!
I really felt for the characters in this book, the injustices they have faced. This book examines what happens to people who cause outrage online after the world has moved on to the next source. There is also the terror of isolation too, social media scares me but also equally terrifying is not having access to the outside world via internet and phones. This book does a really good job of highlighting that conundrum.
It also argues who are we to judge people, especially online where we don't have access to all the facts just maybe a screen shot or an unfortunate photo?
The tale follows Robin, a young woman sent to the island for three months. It's a time for self reflection but she never really gets the chance when trouble starts. On the surface the other islanders seem ok, but nothing is really what it seems. Robin soon learns there is no one she can trust, yet is desperate for a real human connection.
Danger comes from every corner and shadow, even though Robin only has to spend a few months on Salt Island, her chances of survival diminish with each day. There is another danger surrounding the island, even the modern age with all its technologies and intelligence can never control.