Born in Salt

Fiction - Dystopia
299 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

T. C. Weber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. His latest novel, Born in Salt, is a character-oriented alternate history novel that explores life under authoritarian rule, the abuse of psychology, the power of the dead, the realities of drug addiction, and how everyday people can challenge impossible odds. His first published novel was a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press). The first book of a trilogy, it was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first speculative fiction novel. The sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also out. Mr. Weber is a member of Poets & Writers and the Maryland Writers Association.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

T. C. Weber’s Born in Salt does a good job of finding that sweet spot between a dystopian future and sociopolitical commentary. This is a tale in which Ben Adamson, a young farm boy from Illinois, becomes a strong opposition against an oppressive government. His life used to be simple and he only wanted to spend his time fishing and hunting. But this is an alternate world where the United States is allied with Nazi Germany, who won the war in this version of history. Ben’s life is about to take a drastic turn when his brother dies overseas after serving a fascist America. Together with his brother’s fiancée, Rachel, Ben is drawn to an underground revolutionary movement that seeks to topple the oppressive regime and bring back America to what it originally stood for. Ben and Rachel get arrested in the process and are offered the chance between freedom and betraying the movement. Ben is under extreme pressure to make a difficult moral choice, while the movement is bent on restoring democracy but poses not only a danger to the government but to one another as well.

Born in Salt reminds me of dystopian classics such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. What is remarkable about this novel is that despite its bleak outlook, it completely satisfies my feelings because of the way T.C. Weber handles the storyline. You can feel yourself inhabiting this oppressive world and at the same time feeling thankful that it is just a big what-if premise. Weber’s prose is both character and plot-driven. He is generous in exploring sensory details as well as consciousness. A novel that is dark and cautionary at the same time, it is a highly recommended read for the effectiveness of its storyline from start to finish. There is pulsating energy to it, something that will appeal to your senses as it drives you to think while you read.

Rabia Tanveer

Born in Salt by T. C. Weber is a dystopian novel where freedom comes at a price. Set in an alternate universe, the United States of America has allied with the Nazis, and this alliance has consequences for everyday Americans. Life for Ben is simple enough on the farm, but things change when his brother dies overseas while serving his country and leaves his fiancée Rachel behind. Devastated and skeptical about the cause of Jake’s death, Ben and Rachel join a group of rebels with questionable tactics and the right goal. However, before they know it, both of them are caught by Internal Security Service. Desperate, Ben is given the option to turn on the rebels and protect Rachel from a terrible fate, or he can let Rachel die as the rebels work hard to bring the government down. It is up to Ben as he decides whether to fight or run away from all his troubles.

Richly detailed and developed to perfection, Born in Salt is the kind of novel you recommend to your friends. From the opening scene until the end, the author does his best to give you an adrenaline rush with back-to-back action. The story follows the rise and fall of suspense and action. The pace is perfect (not too fast or too slow), allowing the story and characters to develop. Ben’s character is very realistic. He is simply overwhelmed in the beginning and understandably so. However, becoming a part of the revolution gives Ben a break from his cookie-cutter life. Granted, Ben has no idea who he can trust apart from Rachel, and keeping her safe becomes his priority very soon. T. C. Weber’s story is a little dark but so entertaining! A perfect, 5-star novel!

K.C. Finn

Born In Salt is a work of fiction in the dystopian sub-genre, penned by author T.C. Weber. It is best suited to the mature adult reading audience due to the presence of sex and violence throughout and the use of explicit language. Our story takes us to an alternative timeline of history in which U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was faced with a coup (historically known as The Business Plot), but in this version, Roosevelt is overthrown, and a dictatorship rules America. Fifty years on, farm boy Ben suffers the tragic loss of his brother, but the suspicious circumstances around his death lead this young man into a life-changing journey of conspiracy, domination, and rebellion.

Author T.C. Weber has crafted a compelling and exciting dystopian novel that takes alternative history and makes it feel eerily real. There is a keen sense of both the social and political in every chapter of this well-penned novel, making it a layered and complex read that gives great action on the page and delivers meaningful moments to ruminate on long into the night. I also felt that the dialogue was stellar, never misused or uneventful, and always helping to affirm the worldbuilding and plot. Ben and Rachel were three-dimensional lead characters with a lot of damage – no doubt a product of the dark dictatorship in which they were raised – but they also felt resonant and relatable in their struggles. Overall, I would highly recommend Born In Salt to fans of alternative American history, dystopia, and novels with sociopolitical themes.