by Victoria Scott
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Time is slipping away....
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?
Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.
Fire & Flood didn't really work out well for me unlike what I expected. I fell in love with this book the moment I saw the cover and more so when I read the summary. Hunger Games and Battle Royale, anyone? Some of you might already be shaking your heads at the sound of people battling each other out until the last man is left standing and I can't blame you. THG has set the trend and people are following it and I'm one of them. Ever since THG I only got even more addicted to the theme. It's just so bad that my love for Fire & Flood faded as quickly as it started.
In Fire & Flood, the readers are introduced to the Brimstone Bleed; a race wherein selected individuals compete to win a prize, the Cure, which is capable of healing any kinds of disease. The race is divided into four legs: jungle, desert, ocean and mountain but apart from that, the readers are kept hidden behind the secrets of the race like where it originated, what its connection with the Pandoras, how the participants are selected or what its purpose is, at least until the last chapter of the book. Before reading Fire & Flood, I was told that it was a standalone. It was only until the last chapter that I realized that it's supposed to have a sequel. Before that, I was so bummed because the plot was too slow and it didn't make so much sense to me at all, but when the realization set in, I only felt disappointment. That said, you can say that my expectations were domed to be unfulfilled from the start.
As for the characters, I didn't really feel much for them. I liked Tella at first. Her humor was something I thought I could get used to... until she stopped being funny. Guy, too, gave a remarkable first impression. He was this cool badass hottie with a gaze that can turn you into a pile of fangirl goo. And oh, he has the heart of gold too! But like Tella, his constant show of badassness got me tired of him pretty quickly. Both were off to a great start, but the story developed and their characters didn't. The secondary characters fell flat as well. I had this feeling as if they were 'purposely' made to be distinct, and they were distinct, too distinct that it felt forced. I always look for spontaneity and I'm sad to report that Fire & Flood didn't give me that. The romance is a huge disappointment too. I didn't feel the development at all and I just couldn't understand why Guy fell in love with Tella. Even Titus was so into her but I see nothing special about Tella except her Pandora. So is it only her Pandora's uniqueness that's bringing all the boys to yard? There might be a better explanation for this but I didn't see it.
However, in spite all that, I think Fire & Flood still has some good points. Fire & Flood has a unique concept for a promising story and it offers a different flavor of a favorite genre. Victoria played well with the idea and she brought us some impressive twists too. Normally, I like protagonists with animal companions but the kind of 'animals' Fire & Flood has is an alien concept to me. I know some of you will like it but this is just not the book for me. I still might check out the sequel though, Salt & Stone, which is coming out on 2015.