Sisters of Blood and Spirit #2
Paranormal Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Lark Noble is finally happy. She’s trying to move on and put the events of the past behind her: the people who avoided her because she talked to the ghost of her dead twin sister, the parents who couldn’t be around her anymore and even the attempt she made on her own life. She finally has friends—people who know her secrets and still care about her—and she has Ben, the cute guy she never saw coming.
Wren Noble is lonely. Unable to interact with the living, she wants to be happy for her sister’s newfound happiness, but she feels like she’s losing her. It doesn’t help that Kevin, the very not-dead guy she was starting to fall for, seems to be moving on.
Then Wren meets Noah, the spirit of a young man who died a century ago. Noah is cute, he’s charming and he makes Wren feel something she’s never felt before. But Noah has a dark influence on Wren, and Lark’s distrust of him drives the sisters apart for the first time in their lives. As Halloween approaches and the veil between the worlds thins, bringing the dead closer to the world of the living, Lark must find a way to stop whatever deadly act Noah is planning, even if it means going through her sister to do so.
The setup for Sisters of Salt and Iron is a common one (especially for second books in a series) that can be tricky, wherein a new character enters the picture and effectively drives a wedge between a previously established relationship. In this particular case that relationship exists between twin sisters Lark and Wren, but the same kind of anxiety exists as we're able to do nothing but watch helplessly as said character delivers one resounding thwack to that wedge after another, driving us closer to the moment the crack created between sisters becomes a full break.
What makes this familiar trope successful in Sisters of Salt and Iron is not only the fact that Wren and Lark are sisters and we therefore don't have to deal with an interloper threatening any kind of romantic relationship, but also that Ms. Cross keeps the drama between the girls to a minimum as Noah whispers his dark untruths in Wren's ear. Wren does fall for him quickly and grow distrustful of her sister's motives at every turn, but the moment things come to a head is relatively low key (in a good way), and the bond between sisters quickly proves to be far stronger than the charms of a ghostly boy.
A truly fascinating aspect of this second installment is the way Ms. Cross continues to highlight Wren's otherness, giving us small reminders here and there that she's not simply a young woman who just happens to be a ghost, but rather that she's in no way human given she's never lived. Born dead, Wren doesn't experience human emotion in the same way as her sister, and every now and then as we spend time with her (the narrative alternates between both sisters) we're smacked in the face with unexpected proof that Wren is delightfully and gruesomely different from us "breathers".
Overall, Sisters of Salt and Iron is a quick read that ensures we consider sleeping with the lights on for a night or two after we close the back cover just in case one of the residents of Haven Crest decides to pay us a visit.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.