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Iron and Salt – 3.5 Star Book Review

Welcome to one of the January 24th stops on the blog tour for The Bloodstone Quadrilogy by Calinda B., specifically part three of the tour for book three, Iron and Salt. This tour was organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, audio excerpts, character interviews, guest posts, author and narrator interviews, and reviews! And come back here on January 29th for my review of the fourth and final book! (Previous reviews: Book One, Book Two, Book Four)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

Iron and Salt
The Bloodstone Quadrilogy Book Three
by Calinda B.

Print/eBook
Published 29 January 2019
Page Count: 229

Audiobook
Published 1 October 2020
Narrated by Alex Black
Length: 6 hours 24 minutes

Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

From New York Times Bestselling author, Calinda B, comes another supernatural thriller with a humorous spin.

There are certain things Paul Riordan will never have: memories of his murdered father, the love of a novice who is determined to give her heart to God, and some bloody order in his classroom.

Still, he knows it could always be worse, especially since he lives in a village with sea monsters, banshees, and Dearg-due (and worse meaning anyone finding out about the sea monsters, banshees, and Dearg-due).

These supernatural secrets threaten to unravel as a string of very real murders by a very real killer called ‘Bluebeard’ draws suspicion too close to home.

With some in Ballynagaul willing to die to protect these secrets and others willing to kill to expose them, can Paul catch this vicious killer before his survival becomes just one more thing he will never have?

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My Review

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.

Story/Overall: 3 – 3.5
Narrator Performance: 5

I was granted complimentary access to the complete Bloodstone Quadrilogy audiobook set to review for a tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved for this opportunity! This has not swayed my opinion; my thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Iron and Salt jumps roughly two decades into the future from where Heart’s Blood left off, Paul and Lassie’s twins are now young adults, Lassie’s twins are dealing with being young leviathans (possibly, the daughter hasn’t managed to transform yet as we begin the story.) When a string of murders comes to Ballynagaul (which feels like run of the mill for this town now, don’t you think?) it’s the new generation, and young Paul in particular, who will find themselves cracking the case.

I really love the Ward twins. They’re much less annoyingly passive and b*tchy than their mother, and much less likely to abuse the term “tummy.” (A complaint from my previous reviews- an OB nurse using the blanket term “tummy” for the stomach, general lower abdomen, AND pregnant belly region really rubbed me the wrong way.) The twins have such a fun dynamic, and I love the element of questioning and exploring leviathan heritage. I do wish there had been time and room for more of that in the book.

I was also going to praise these younger characters for not ALL saying “cuppa” every single time someone has a cup of tea, but there’s a scene near the end where everyone is drinking tea, and I swear the book’s entire quota for the term “cuppa” was crammed into a few paragraphs. (Again, a complaint from my previous reviews. I refuse to believe every single person in this town speaks exactly the same way.) At this point, I’m not sure if I would be happy or disappointed to actually get through one of these books without the overuse of the term, because it’s starting to feel like part of the writing style. We’ve also dipped into YA trope territory now and some characters are releasing breaths they didn’t know they were holding, which made me giggle.

This book also had fewer unecessarily graphic sex scenes that made me jump ahead to get on with it. I’m locked into reviewing the entire quadrilogy, and I am trying to do so with as open a mind as possible, but none of the information I was given ahead of time between the official synopses and the other promo materials lead me to believe there would be quite so much sex in this paranormal mystery series. With that said, this leads me into my one big (very big) complaint about this book that also leaves me very surprised to see so many 5 stars: Young Ward twin Marie is in a sexual relationship with her godfather, a man roughly twice her age. Yes, I know, plenty of people end up in romantic relationships with much older/younger partners. A lifelong friend of mine is married to a man 14 years her senior and they met at work when she was 22. It happens. But this man is nearly 20 years older than her, she’s only about 20 herself, and he has been her GODFATHER her entire life. Her spiritual role model and secondary guardian. Presumably the person who would have become her parent if she had been orphaned. This feels like some weird teen hormone fantasy she should have dreamed about and gotten over 6+ years ago, and which he never should have entertained or reciprocated.

This mystery element in this book was the best yet for the series. The younger characters are a huge improvement on their parents. The main focus relationship has left me feeling slightly disturbed.

As usual, Alex Black’s narration is a joy to listen to! If I can’t fall asleep listening to Neil Gaiman reading whatever he wants, then I want to fall asleep listening to Alex Black reading for Irish characters. It’s so soothing! Don’t be mistaken, though, I am not saying he puts me to sleep. I was very much able to chose to stay alert and enjoy this book, and listening to Alex read these books has been a major highlight of this review journey.

About the Author

A New York Times, USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling, award-winning author, Calinda B writes kick-ass heroines who don’t know their own strength. When she’s not writing, she’s been known to fall off ice cliffs; fire walk with Eastern Europe fire officials; or wake up from a six weeks coma, wondering how she got there in the first place. She’s been stuck in currents at Deception Pass in her kayak, and loves to swim with sharks. She greets every day with gratitude and an openness to what might be around the next corner.

She’s also an EMT serving her local community as a volunteer. Her tagline is, “Let’s go save some lives!”

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

About the Narrator

Alex Black is an articulate, engaging, and versatile narrator based in Cambridge, Vermont. He’s worked in theatre, film, audio production, and appeared on radio. As an accomplished audiobook producer with over 90 titles, he’s worked closely with independent authors and publishers.

He’s received more than 500 5 star reviews and specializes in Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Mystery & Thriller, LGBTQ+, and Memoirs.

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More Great Content

Follow the rest of the tour for more great features!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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