Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 25, 2014
A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.
Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.
Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.
The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?
My Thoughts: Ever since I read the synopsis for Fire & Flood, it became one of the 2014 novels I couldn't wait to read. It sounded so good and unique! And I can't lie, I really wanted to meet this one character named Guy I kept hearing about. I was looking forward to knowing the main character Tella as well, but Guy...yeah. Needless to say, when I finally got my hands on a copy of this book, I was pumped!
The beginning of Fire & Flood introduced us to Tella Holloway and her family and gave insight into why they were living in the middle of nowhere Montana. Well, some insight. Tella assumed it was because of her sick brother, but she didn't quite know why it was necessary for them to move there from their nice life in Boston. I couldn't help but to wonder why too. In the meantime, getting to know Tella was great. Her personality definitely stood out to me. She was funny and honest and a bit of a girly girl. Her love for her family and her desire to help others, which became quite evident throughout the rest of the book, was admirable, even if it did lead to some impulsive decisions. I just found it easy to like her, and I wanted nothing more than for her to succeed in the Brimstone Bleed.
Speaking of the Brimstone Bleed, I had no idea what to expect from this mysterious race competition that claimed to have the cure for a sick loved one as the prize. All I knew was that it took place across four ecosystems in three months and that each competitor was given a creature called a Pandora to help them. I wasn't sure how difficult or dangerous it would be, but I soon found out. If there were no Pandoras, I think this would have been a much harder race to accomplish and much more competitors would have perished. Even though I liked Tella's determination, I honestly don't believe she would have made it as far as she did if she were alone with no Pandoras or allies.
As for how the Brimstone Bleed was even created, I only knew as much as Tella, so there were plenty of questions that needed answering. Tella gradually learned more and more about its history as the race went on. I was surprised by some of the revelations, most of which I never would have guessed, and I started to realize right along with Tella that there was more than just the cure at stake. That and the fact there are two ecosystems left to conquer makes me a bit nervous for what's to come in the sequel.
I can't end this review without mentioning the two most important characters for Tella during the race: Madox and Guy. Madox was actually her Pandora. He's a little, black fox with green eyes. He was so freaking cute and badass! I wanted to hug him and kiss him and swing him around! For some reason, I couldn't stop imagining him as a pomeranian, instead of a fox. It made him even more adorable though. Guy was a fellow competitor, and he ended up being as intriguing as I expected! He was the strong, silent type, and he had many secrets that were slowly revealed. I thought it was sweet how he protected Tella whenever he could, and I completely loved their growing relationship. I hope that whatever happens they are able to stick together, and I'm glad both Guy and Madox were there to look out for Tella.
Overall, Fire & Flood was a fun and fast-paced read. It had plenty of action and adventure and humor and just enough romance to satisfy my romance-craving self. Tella, Guy, Madox, and the rest of the characters were all great. I'm looking forward to finding out their fates and getting answers to the many lingering questions in book two!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I'm giving away my ARC of Fire & Flood to one lucky winner! Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends February 16. To enter, check out my Giveaway Policy and fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!
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