Official Review: The Maid of Salerno by Vi Zetterwall

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Official Review: The Maid of Salerno by Vi Zetterwall

Post by ALynnPowers » 07 Jan 2017, 22:12

[Following is the official review of "The Maid of Salerno" by Vi Zetterwall.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Maid of Salerno is the first volume of a new dystopian series by author Vi Zetterwall. Three more volumes are expected for this series, which stars Cassie Serrell, who earns the nickname “the Maid of Salerno” thanks to her dedication to working around her small town of Salerno. What begins as an insult forms into an honorable title as Cassie proves her worth, not just to Salerno, but to the entire country.

Years after The Darkening, the technological disaster that left the United States without electricity, political leadership, government, and a working economy, the country is in ruins, especially for those in poor towns like Salerno that have been cut off from the rest of the world. Work and money are hard to come by, and Cassie works non-stop to provide for herself and her Nana Rose. Though they barely have enough food to eat each day, Cassie keeps working hard and studying throughout her teenage years, with dreams to somehow improve the quality of life for her family and the rest of her town. Meanwhile, a group of wealthy business-people are sent on a mission to find a woman who will be the key to reforming the country. It’s only a matter of time before Cassie meets up with this wealthy group, but there are so many obstacles standing in her way, starting with the magistrate who is declaring war on Salerno.

This book would be great for readers like me who enjoy young adult dystopian novels with just a touch of paranormal woven into the text. I found those tidbits of the paranormal to be the most interesting parts of the story; they were subtle enough to be believable while leaving me anxious to read more. So many other subtle elements are woven into the story as well, which further increased my enjoyment of this book. The dialect of the characters is realistic and fun to read. Poverty and social inequality are common themes throughout the book, and many young readers would benefit from awareness of such issues.

Following Cassie over a few years of her life was much more enjoyable to me than reading about the wealthy people, and I had fully planned on complaining about it in this review. However, the author threw in that touch of paranormal that snapped my interest back into place. By the last third of the book, as the two plot-lines began to merge together into one cohesive story, I couldn’t put it down. In the end, I can’t complain about anything in the story, aside from a couple of formatting inconsistencies that are easy to overlook.

I give The Maid of Salerno a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy a gripping dystopian story, as this one contains a lot of believable elements that might have readers questioning their dependency on technology and the consequences of a life without such conveniences. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

The Maid of Salerno
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Post by kandscreeley » 30 Jan 2017, 08:41

I do enjoy a good dystopian read. This sounds very interesting. I'll have to look into this. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Zohaib Ahmed » 04 Feb 2017, 06:12

This seems like my type of read. :) Great Review by the way

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Post by Katelyn Scott » 19 Feb 2017, 23:46

Sounds like an interesting take on the dystopian genre. Don't see many these days that don't go pretty sci-fi on you.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 03 Mar 2017, 09:54

Sounds like a great read with admirable character. I love dystopian and paranormal novels and I think I'm going to like this one. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Vi Zetterwall on such an obviously well written book.

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Post by Acwoolet » 09 Mar 2017, 18:21

It's not my usual go-to genre, but you made it sounds very interesting! Great review!

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Post by CarrieMe » 12 Mar 2017, 01:15

This sounds like something I'd enjoy! Thanks for the review!

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Post by jamesabr » 25 Mar 2017, 06:57

Cassie's story as the Maid of Salerno appears promising. I haven't sampled it yet, but I look forward to reading about such a strong female character!

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Post by hsimone » 25 Mar 2017, 07:00

Great review! A gripping young adult dystopian with a bit of paranormal? Sounds very exciting! I really like the subtle paranormal aspects that are almost believable here. It makes me curious about the read. Congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review!
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Post by gali » 25 Mar 2017, 07:02

Dystopian, coming-of-age, and paranormal? Sounds interesting. I like it when the dialect of the characters is realistic, so will check it out. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Celticlady » 25 Mar 2017, 09:13

This book sounds like it could happen any day in out political world right now. Nice review! I look forward to reading the book!

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Post by Amagine » 25 Mar 2017, 10:09

This book sounds really interesting. I especially like the fact that it covers serious issues like poverty and class discrimination. These are issues that we have faced in Americas for centuries, so I appreciate the touch of realism. I also like that there is some paranormal in the story as well. This just serves to make the book more appealing to a broad range of people.
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Post by tarafarah7 » 25 Mar 2017, 11:01

For a book not in my preferred genre, it sure does sound good! Your review was really helpful...thank you! I like the themes that the book explores as well as the idea of life without technology, which many individuals in the YA age range might take for granted today, since it is all they have ever known. I can't wait to find out if Cassie is the one who leads the people back to what they once were! Congrats to the author!

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Post by mindyg123 » 25 Mar 2017, 11:56

Great review. A dystopian novel with a touch of the paranormal is exactly what I enjoy. This sounds like a book right up my alley. Congrats on being BOTD.

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Post by Shreyoshi Sen » 25 Mar 2017, 12:03

The review is very nice and The Maid of Salerno sounds quiet promising. Thanks for the review.

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