Salt (The Last Flotilla Book 1) - Colin F. Barnes

If the 2012 movie had a baby with, I don't know, Hugh Howey's Wool, the kid might look something like Salt, combining iffy science and shaky world-building with a small community pretty much trapped in one place and reliant on each other for survival.


A few years before the story starts, solar storms caused earthquakes which released water from the Earth's crust, which in turn melted the polar icecaps and turned the planet into the set of Waterworld, and it happened so fast that only the people who just happened to be out in boats that day survived. Somehow. The book doesn't really get into the hows. And after an incalculable volume of water was released from the crust, the planet didn't implode because reasons. Would the planet implode? I have no idea. It's just another of the many world-building, character-developing questions this book doesn't bother to answer. But since a character was named Mike Nelson, I took the advice of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song and said to myself it's just a show (er, book) and I should really just relax.


Once I managed to do that, I found the story entertaining, even though I guessed the murderer early on. I was still kept guessing as I had no idea what the motive might be, and there was a decent twist at the end that I failed to see coming. All in all, I was entertained enough that I'd be willing to read the sequel.


For my fellow pedants, there were a number of typos involving punctuation (missing quotation marks, inconsistent apostrophe usage), the pacing felt a bit uneven and choppy in places, the dialogue sometimes felt unnatural, there's a whole bunch of repetition, and there's at least one instance of an Idaho-bred Baltimore transplant doing some swotting, which is apparently a British euphemism for studying.