March 18, 2014

Review of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

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?

Originally I had no idea that Fire & Flood actually existed until a few weeks before it was released, this was thanks to the online launch party Jessica Brody and Victoria Scott had together. When I saw the cover of the book during the party I was like "That cover looks really good, I have to read it." So of course I bought it and I had my copy in my hands, two days after it was released. 

When I read the description of the book I became slightly wary of it since it sounded a lot like The Hunger Games. After reading it I can say that even though it is similar to The Hunger Games it is unique and different enough to not feel like it was copied off of THG. If you're worried about that issue than stop worrying, you might notice that some small parts are similar but overall it is nothing major.

Fire & Flood was the first book I read by Victoria Scott and I was just swept away by how amazing her writing was. The characters, world-building, and almost everything was captivating and really good. I feel like maybe a bit more background information could have been given but that did not take away at all from how much I enjoyed this book. Victoria has some other books published as well that I believe are in the NA genre so if you enjoy her writing you may want to check those out.

The two main characters of this book were Tella and Guy, both are competitors in the Brimstone Bleed and they eventually get together as a team and as a couple. Tella has some weaknesses in the beginning but those fade and are replaced by a fierce and determined person who is willing to do whatever it takes to save her sick brother. Early on in the competition she cuts her hair once it is exploited by another competitor and she realizes it is one of her weaknesses. Most people would not be willing to do that but Tella does just because she believes that she can save her brother. In fact, I would say that she was my favorite character in the book even though some other characters come in close. Guy starts off the book and the competition by acting mean to Tella and even ignoring her. However, as the book progresses you can see that he is a strong fighter who is not willing to give up. He has a air of mystery surrounding him that left me curious and wondering why he wasn't willing to talk much about his past. After some time passes in the competition Tella and Guy team up together along with several other people. Slowly they start to trust each other and eventually become friends of a sort. That same friendship leads to a relationship between them that grows more solid but at the same time is questioned by Tella. The book felt more realistic because of Tella's doubts and I'm glad that it was incorporated into the book. Victoria has also added a lot of secondary characters that contribute to the story even though you don't get to meet most of them. The one's you do meet are Tella's teammates (Harper, Caroline, Dink, Titus) and you also experience as the group gets betrayed and how they work together in the competition. Victoria did an amazing job with the characters and their relationships and it contributed greatly to the book.

The best part about Fire & Flood? THE PANDORAS! Basically, the Pandoras are animals with enhanced powers (shapeshifting, fire) that help the competitors during the Brimstone Bleed. Each person who is fast enough to grab an egg before they run out gets a Pandora and are greatly helped by it. But here's the thing, the Pandoras are the cutest things ever and it broke my heart when they were killed. They help the characters a LOT and move the story along. After reading this book I wanted a Pandora really bad, it would be awesome if Victoria gets/makes some and gives them away as book swag. Without the Pandoras the book wouldn't have been as enjoyable or as good as it was.

I'm not sure I can wait a whole year for the second book to come out, it feels like torture after all the information we receive in the final pages and the way the book ends. I NEED it now but it's not even written yet, after reading this amazing book I'm sure the sequel will be just as good if not better. Hopefully I will be able to make it through these LONG months before the sequel is released.

Anyone who liked The Hunger Games, Pokemon, animals, or an amazing YA book needs to read Fire & Flood. You will definitely not regret it and I'm certain it will become one of your favorite books of all time and maybe even your favorite series once the rest of the books are released.

4.5/5 - Amazing book

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