The Salt Line

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"Great, near-future sci-fi...A propulsive, character-driven thriller...I really love this book."—Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble and Magic for Beginners 

In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump “the Salt Line.”


How far will they go for their freedom—once they decide what freedom really means?

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.
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About the author

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Next Time You See Me and Girl Trouble (stories). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers' Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.
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3.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Sep 5, 2017
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780735214323
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A mesmerizing novel of unfolding dystopia amid the effects of climate change in a world very like our own, for readers of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood.

In this prequel to Eric Barnes's acclaimed cli-fi novel The City Where We Once Lived, six sets of characters move through a landscape and a country just beginning to show the signs of cataclysmic change. A father and his young children fleeing a tsunami after a massive earthquake in the Gulf. A woman and her husband punishing themselves without relent for the loss of both their sons to addiction, while wildfires slowly burn closer to their family home. A brilliant investor, assessing opportunity in the risk to crops, homes, cities, industries, and infrastructure, working in the silent comfort of her office sixty floors up in the scorching air. A doctor and his wife stuck in a refugee camp for immigrants somewhere in a southern desert. Two young men working the rides for a roadside carnival, one escaping a brutal past, the other a racist present. The manager of a chain of nondescript fast-food restaurants in a city ravaged by the relentless wind..

While every night the news alternates images of tsunami destruction with the baseball scores, the characters converge on a city where the forces of change have already broken—a city half abandoned, with one part left to be scavenged as the levee system protecting it slowly fails—until, in their vehicles on the highway that runs through it, they witness the approach of what looks to be just one more violent storm.
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, ELLE CASEY, brings readers Book 1 of 4 in the YA Dystopian APOCALYPSIS Series, suitable for older teens and adults. With over 900 5-star ratings on Goodreads for Book 1, readers love the Apocalypsis Series!

KAHAYATLE. My name is Bryn Mathis. I'm seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I’m here alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I'm almost out of food, and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day. It's time for me to leave and find another place to live ... a place where I can find food and shelter ... a place where they won't be able to find me. Alone, it might have been possible, but now I've got company. I'm worried that I don't have what it takes to get from here to my final destination, and I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

Content Warning: Mild violence and some foul language within. Meant for older Young Adult readers (age 15+). This book is in the Dark Science Fiction / Horror / Post-Apocalyptic genres, featuring teen characters only.

APOCALYPSIS SERIES READING ORDER
Apocalypsis: Book 1 (Kahayatle)
Apocalypsis: Book 2 (Warpaint)
Apocalypsis: Book 3 (Exodus)
Apocalypsis: Book 4 (Haven)

This series is dedicated to the amazing, wonderful Native Americans who populate our nation, continuing their traditions and reminding the rest of us that sometimes, progress isn’t always the best thing for our people. I invite you to learn more about the Miccosukee tribe, their history, culture, and lifestyle by visiting this website: http://www.miccosukee.com/indian-village/

HERE’S WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT APOCALYPSIS: BOOK 1 (KAHAYATLE):

“The storytelling was absolutely first class.” ~Trevor Morris, reviewer

"Elle Casey has done it again. Created a world that drags you in and won't let you go.  I think I am a little bit in love with her brain ... at least the imagination part of it.  I love books that make me root for the characters, and this one has you rooting from the very first page..." ~ Cynthia Shepp book reviews

"What took me so flipping long to read this book?! Apocalypsis: Kahayatle was so very different than what I expected - but just that much better because of it. Elle Casey creates a world ridden with violence and horror and injects the perfect amount of belly-laughing sarcasm, wit, and romance. Her characterization is phenomenal and honest through a setting that is disturbingly realistic..." BetweentheBind.blogspot.com ~ Jenna, Book Blogger

“I read A TON of dystopians and post-apocalyptic novels. They all run together, but not this one. This is the kind of dystopian that I want to read.  I love the world Elle Casey has created. It’s a tamed-down, less-depressing, good-humoured The Road meets a more-aggressive, less sophisticated The Silence of the Lambs. Read this! It’s bloody brilliant.” ~ Lucas Deal, Goodreads Reviewer

“If you don’t enjoy reading books that tend to be addictive and take over your life until you have finished reading it, stay away from Apocalypsis. It was nearly impossible to put down. It is also funny - I spent most of the book chuckling or full out laughing.” ~ Tiffany Loves Books, Blogger and Goodreads reviewer

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VULTURE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Against the Country is a gift for fans of Southern Gothic and metafiction alike. Set in the Virginia pines, and overrun with failed parents, racist sex offenders, cast-off priests, and suicidal chickens, this novel challenges literary convention even as it attacks our national myth—that the rural naturally engenders good, while the urban breeds an inevitable sin.

In a voice both perfectly American and utterly new, Ben Metcalf introduces the reader to Goochland County, Virginia—a land of stubborn soil, voracious insects, lackluster farms, and horrifying trees—and details one family’s pitiful struggle to survive there. Eventually it becomes clear that Goochland is not merely the author’s setting; it is a growing, throbbing menace that warps and scars every one of his characters’ lives.

Equal parts fiery criticism and icy farce, Against the Country is the most hilarious sermon one is likely to hear on the subject of our native soil, and the starkest celebration of the language our land produced. The result is a literary tour de force that raises the question: Was there ever a narrator, in all our literature, so precise, so far-reaching, so eloquently misanthropic, as the one encountered here?

Praise for Against the Country

“Iconoclastic . . . Against the Country has obvious affinities to Southern Gothic, both in its voice and in the delight it takes in rural ignorance and grotesqueries. . . . [A] country cousin of David Foster Wallace.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exceptional in its verbal brilliance and conscientiousness, Against the Country involves us in a family’s anguished and hilarious struggle against the strange dooms that seem peculiar to white rural America. This is a savage and gladdening novel.”—Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog

“Metcalf’s unnamed narrator dazzles with his Puritan deadpan and capacious intellect, not to mention his double-barreled blasts of dark humor and wicked satire. . . . There are so many brilliant turns of phrase in Against the Country that it’s hard to choose favorites, but Metcalf is at his sharpest and most seductive when his antihero does more than blast and blame, when he steps outside his sermons to say something real. . . . Every note in every solo is sounded with exquisite perfection.”—Slate

“Faulknerian . . . eccentric, magnificent Southern Gothic metafiction.”—Vanity Fair

“Ben Metcalf is a brilliant writer, and Against the Country is an ingenious and hilarious novel, a glittering, bitter celebration of how the lousiness of life can be redeemed in the hands (and mouth) of a top-shelf teller of life’s stories.”—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and The Fun Parts

“A daring conglomeration of every trick, swindle and gimmick possible using only ink and paper, a pulpwood imagination machine so finely and expertly wrought that it can take on Jefferson, Thoreau, the church, patriotism, race relations, sexual identity, J. D. Salinger, the myth of America and a thousand other targets . . . [Against the Country] is absolutely and completely worth all investment of time and effort, because it is an undeniably beautiful object, sharp as a new razor.”—NPR

“One of the more necessary—and most eloquent—expressions of a distinctly American, provincial rage in some years.”—Flavorwire
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