Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Salt Line” as Want to Read:
The Salt Line
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Salt Line

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  3,175 ratings  ·  622 reviews
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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Salt Line, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,175 ratings  ·  622 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Salt Line
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-from-work
it’s rare for me to have no idea how i feel about a book, but here we are.

this is a good book, it's occasionally a great book, and it kept me entertained and surprised throughout despite some bumps in my reading road.

if that’s all the review you need, god love ya. i’m gonna fill up the rest of this space with all sorts of of thinking-out-loud and reaction-processing and you're all invited to hang out if that's fun for you, OR you can just go read sh3lly’s review, which gave this book ALL THE S
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
In a dystopian future citizens live in fear in protected burned out areas beyond the salt line for protection from ticks that have begun to spread a disease that kills in mere seconds. Extreme thrill seekers can still venture out beyond the protection into the wild by paying a high sum to an adventure company. The company then trains the adventure seekers as to what to expect beyond the salt line and how to fend in the wild.

The latest group of adventure seekers have teamed up and trained to go
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a mid-term future a group of people from varied backgrounds depart on an adventure tour beyond the Salt Line, a barrier that keep most of humanity safe from horrific ticks and the fatal disease that they carry. Several of the people on the tour are actually there because of ulterior motives rather than tourism but everyone's plans go awry when the tour starts to go wrong.

Fantastic world-building with a post ecological collapse world, oppressive government and a thriving criminal element and a
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s a year for pleasant surprises, it seems. The Salt Line is a book that first caught my eye because of its thriller-dystopian premise, but it’s more than just that; author Holly Goddard Jones has created an exciting high-drama experience, the kind that would not go amiss in a Crichton novel, but her story also contains a high level of literary quality that challenges most genre labels.

Taking place in the not-so-distant
Cindy Burnett
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 – 4 stars

I absolutely loved the concept of this book and mostly enjoyed the implementation. The publisher’s description mentioned that The Salt Line would appeal to those who liked Station Eleven and for once I felt that suggestion was actually accurate. But even more than Station Eleven, the story reminded me of The Hunger Games but without the battle to the death component. In The Salt Line, an aggressive tick, which carries a deadly virus about 20% of the time, has invaded the United Stat
Mel (Epic Reading)
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
While The Salt Line starts out as typical dystopia, post-apocalyptic novel; it's main theme changes at the halfway point and then again just before the end.

This makes it a bit of a weird read.
The writing itself is very good and certainly the story moves forward quickly enough to keep the attention of the reader. However, if you want a badass dystopian story this is not for you. If you want a bleak depressing story this is also not the right story. It's somewhere between a bit of horror (ticks t
There really is a lot going on in here that can't really be done justice in a short review and some of it is quite good.

Dystopian Nightmare Ticks, yes, please.

And then there's the rest. Most of it is a good four-star read. A lot of focus is on regular human relationships and the larger developments like the drug that allows the bunkered enclaves of the "safe" humanity to live without fear of the ticks. The action often feels like a boardroom drama mixed with mafia dons against a dystopian surviv
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
Ticks - even our own version is a nightmare when you think about them. And in The Salt Line it goes so much further than that; so far that humanity (well, the bits most people care about) have retreated behind a wall and a solid no-man's-land of scorched earth. But humanity being what it is, tours are offered for those willing to risk their lives to catch a glimpse of an otherwise unreachable wasteland - yeah, I don't get it either. But our protagonists are a group of people willing to embark on ...more
For a book about "killer ticks" this sure was a slow read. :(

The Salt Line follows a group of people who have paid an exorbitant amount to travel to the other side of the salt line, a place where people no longer live and where the lands have been taken over by killer tics. But while along their journey to see the great scenery of the natural world, they are kidnapped by the native people living outside of the line and one of their own is killed.

I guess my expectations were too high. After re
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
This book is a good dystopian thriller that was more character based than I expected. An infestation of disease-carrying ticks has disrupted the country. Most people now live in newly-designated geographical regions behind the Salt Line which is both a physical wall and a chemical barrier. A few people still live voluntarily on the wrong side of the line and a few thrill seekers take adventure trips beyond the Line. They will spend 3 weeks in boot camp, 3 beyond the Salt Line and 2 in quarantine ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
This is a gripping, near-future tale that makes use of excellent in-depth characterisation and exploration of socio-political themes, giving it a literary fiction feel. The pacing was such that that I felt compelled to finish it in rather short order. The result is a pretty satisfying read, if a rather dire vision of the future.
They were thrill seekers, using their wealth to buy an adventure of a lifetime, to feel invincible, to go beyond the boundaries their world has dictated. What would drive a person to risk their life to go beyond THE SALT LINE, the barrier that protects humanity from the dangers that now exist in nature?

What the latest group of thrill seekers will find will defy all they have been told as they become pawns in a deadly game of power, survival and greed. They will learn who they can trust, who to f
The Captain
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! This book was described as being in the spirit of station eleven but with ticks. Being as I love me some dystopian fiction I gave this one a shot.

So in this version of Earth, ticks have become a menace that is so bad that most humans live in zones beyond controlled wastelands (the salt line) and walls that keep them sequestered and safe from the natural world. The difference in this book is that a lot of the outside world is still beautiful. So there are very rich adventure
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this dystopian tale, residents of the United States live in regional zones protected by a wall that is surrounded by more than 4 miles of chemically burnt landscape, debris, and garbage. The wall is known as the Salt Line, referring to native folklore about punishment for disrespecting the land. The Salt Line protects those who live within the zones from miner ticks, ticks that can burrow inside people causing extreme pain, disease, and death.

As with most death defying acts, there are adrena
Viv JM
I thought The Salt Line was an excellent and fast paced post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller. The characters were well written and 3 dimensional with very few obvious good guys/bad guys. There were plenty of twists and turns and unexpected events to keep me reading. I did find the ending a little unresolved, like maybe a sequel would be in order.

I listened to the audibook version narrated by Hillary Huber who I thought did an excellent job of the narration.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review from Tenacious Reader:

4.5/5 stars

I’ll cut straight to it: The Salt Line is one of my favorites for the year. The entire concept of killer ticks sounds like it could be campy or over the top. That is not at all the case. The ticks are described in such a realistic and terrifying way that it truly becomes plausible. Or at least feels plausible. The author is able to use enough facts grounded in science to create this terrifying epidemic. This book d
MissBecka Gee
Killer ticks drive society into hiding. Really? That's your plot? Can this actually be any good?
The answer to that my friends is... FUCK YA IT CAN!!!

I started reading this book and a little more than a 100 pages deep I had to stop. The book became all consuming for me to the point where adulting in general seemed like menial tasks meant to derail my reading with no other real goals or benefits. Do I really need a job anyway?
Apparently I do. Soooooooooo.....
I decided to put it on hold till things
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
I spent the whole book muttering "holy shit..." ...more
Karen’s Library
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up. Every once in a while you find that one book that is so unique and surprising and you get a massive book hangover. The Salt Line was that book for me. It’s being compared to Station Eleven.

Marta, the wife of a crime boss; Wes, the super rich techie; and Edie, girlfriend to a pop star, all have their reasons for crossing the salt line, a wall surrounding their safe zone from the deadly monsters - Ticks. Yup, ticks...! This world of the possible near future is infested with d
Sonja Arlow
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3 ½ stars

Well now this was a nice surprise.

When you find a book that perfectly matches what you were in the mood for it feels like a lucky strike.

The book description may make you think that there will be a lot of run-chase scenarios (as with most books in this genre) but there was very little scary tick action but rather the construction of characters with strong enough back stories to make them feel real.

We have a waitress, a semi-famous popstar, a seemingly innocent housewife, a tech-savan
Jessica Woodbury
3.5 stars. The book you start definitely isn't the one you finish. I hesitate to say much about the plot at all, I hesitate even to say there are plot twists because not expecting them is part of the pleasure. But I definitely want to bring THE SALT LINE to the attention of lovers of speculative fiction. It walks a nice line between character development and plot plot plot plot plot, and feels like a version of the future I haven't seen before.

Occasionally the writing wasn't clear, instead of "A
Jason Pettus
I read a whole lot of post-apocalyptic thrillers in my life, so believe me when I say that it takes quite a bit from one to impress me anymore, like was the case with Holly Goddard Jones' The Salt Line. In this case, what made me like it so much wasn't really a matter of some magical alchemy, but rather a series of very sensible, workmanlike decisions about story construction, starting with extremely rich world-building; we're looking at an America that an entire century ago went through its apo ...more
Stacey Camp
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**5++ Goodreads Stars**

Readers are thrust into a dystopian world divided by disease, borders, and fear in Holly Goddard Jones' masterfully written The Salt Line. In the not too distant future, the world has been infested with ticks. The majority of these ticks cause Shreve's disease, which kills those it infects. In response, the entire world has been cordoned off into quarantined enclosed zones. Those quarantined, also known as "Zoners," have been told that the exterior world was obliterated, d
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this book 4 stars and although that's a pretty good rating I'm so disappointed and sad I can't give it 5 stars.

Here's why--


This could so easily have been an absolutely great book. I'm so disappointed that my enjoyment was hurt because of some glaring inconsistencies. Honestly, I cannot understand how these things slip through the cracks. Does nobody really proofread a manuscript nowadays? How is it possible an author cannot remember their own story enough to not make obvious mi
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded)
This is an original review from Booked & Loaded (Original rating 1.5 stars)

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones is a dystopian thriller – with mutant ticks. I picked up this books based on this tag line: “Jones brings strong diverse female protagonists who dominate the plot line, controlling their own stories instead of furthering those of male leads.” This is where a lot of my confusion and frustration is based.

There is honestly NO good way to write this review without it being 100% spoiler fre
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, sci-fi
Pretty solid world building of a dystopian world that has been overrun by incredibly damaging ticks. A few things are a little odd:the chapters jump around a little unevenly between characters. You're always glad for the information, but one strange side effect of this is that you don't really know whom to root for. But then I got to thinking: that's a pretty unusual strategy. It didn't bother me, necessarily, but it IS a little weird. (2.5 stars. Come on, good reads. Just do half stars already. ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because it was compared to a novel I enjoyed - Station Eleven. Other than that I wasn't totally sure what to expect going in.

Then novel started out okay. It kept my attention although the backstory of some of the characters didn't really matter to me. Normally it should be used to get to know the characters, but I found it made me dislike them, and I never really recovered from that. In a book with a great number of characters I didn't find a single one I cared about.

Mostly bec
Mitch Karunaratne
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
The premise of this was so interesting - a near future world where people live behind the Salt Line - for fear of being infected by a deadly insect. Beyond the line is nature - vast sky, mountains, the opportunity to hike, camp, be back in tune with the earth. Tours of this "wilderness" take place for the very rich. I love the idea of people needing, so much, to be back in the wilds that they will pay and risk everything. However - the story never really materialised. There are lots of flashback ...more
VERDICT: 3.1 stars.

IN SHORT: Survivor-like... in a deadly place... with adventurers who PAID to be there. And then the situation becomes even deadlier...

Hey-- is that a tick crawling up your leg? You're screwed!

Good premise, but the characters did A Really Stupid Big Thing (voluntarily, mostly)... then they did more stupid things. It's sort of fun to guess who'll still be kicking at the end of such books.

Marta & Edie were good characters; Wes was okay. The rest I hoped would fall into a pile o
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The End of the World Running Club (The End of the World Running Club, #1)
  • California
  • After Everyone Died (The Survivor Journals, #1)
  • January Fifteenth
  • The Last Dog on Earth
  • The Shell Collector
  • No One's Time
  • Day Zero (Sea of Rust, #0)
  • The Women Could Fly
  • The Wanderers
  • How High We Go in the Dark
  • Aurora
  • Last Ones Left Alive
  • Devil House
  • Sea of Tranquility
  • The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans
  • False Hope (False #2)
  • The Wrong Stars (Axiom, #1)
See similar books…
Holly Goddard Jones's newest novel, THE SALT LINE, will be published by Putnam in September 2017. ...more

Related Articles

Celeste Ng’s new novel, Our Missing Hearts, depicts a disturbing version of the United States, set in the vaguely distant future, rife with...
0 likes · 0 comments
“Fear sells better than hope. In business and in politics.” 3 likes
“to have drunkenly misspelled your suicide note. If only you could die of embarrassment,” 2 likes
More quotes…