Title: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Release Date: February 25th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed from Kai of Amaterasu Reads (Thanks again, Kai!)
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?Fire & Flood is one of those books that require patience in the part of the reader. It is easy to be put off by the main character, Tella, because of her attitude; she is vain and materialistic with a dash of selfish, although her joining the Brimstone Bleed for her brother probably cancels that out. But once the competition really begins, there simply is little to no time to nitpick her character.
As Tella raced with and against other Contenders and their Pandoras, I had a lot of questions in my mind regarding the Brimstone Bleed. Who started it, and why? Was it being televised a la The Hunger Games? There was a lot of mystery behind the competition but it's easy to assume that it couldn't be anything pretty. This aspect wasn't really dealt with until near the end, but that was fine with me because it wasn't as if Tella could do much about it whilst struggling to survive.
I sigh with relief. Adventure sounds a whole lot more enticing when it's safe inside my head.A lot of people have said that if this book were real life, Tella wouldn't survive, and I kind of agree. Like, instead of wishing for bottles of water to be in her pack of supplies, she wishes for Chanel makeup. Makeup in a desert? Good luck with that. But like I said, this impracticality of hers became easy to ignore. In fact, every little thing that could've worked in this book but didn't - Tella's determination to save her brother was questionable at times; her yearning to become friends with other Contenders when she knew they were all there to save a loved one; even the romance that moved faster that I'd have liked - just became easy to ignore, as proven by the way I flew through the pages. And I have to admit, Tella's vanity and over-the-top bursts of excitement - butt-shaking, seriously? - actually grew on me.
Something is definitely up.
That or my family is auditioning for a remake of The Shining.A crazy unpredictable and even funny adventure, Fire & Flood undoubtedly got better as the story progressed. Madox, Tella's Pandora, had me gasping because he is one sly fox, and I really hope they still get to be together after the race. I would be utterly upset if he meets a Hedwig-ish ending. Anyway, I didn't expect the book to end where it did so now I am eagerly waiting for the sequel - and I want my own Pandora!
MY FAVORITE PART is, hmm, maybe the ending because LIES & CONSPIRACIES!