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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.