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Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (Review)

Title: Fire & Flood
Author(s): Victoria Scott
Edition: ARC, 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Source: Received from publisher for review
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - Inkwood Books

The Summary

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 Opinion

This book is hands down one of my favorite in 2014.  Full of mystery, danger, death, and heartbreak, Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott chews you up on page 1 and spits you out on page 320.  I have never read a book so fast; you can't help but dive headfirst into the story of the mysterious Brimstone Bleed with Tella and the rest of the Contenders.

First things first, let's talk about plot.  This world is set in our reality, well a version of our reality.  All the Contenders that Tella, the protagonist, meets has a loved one who is sick and dying, just like she does.  This is the motivation for them all to go on this race with little to no information besides the fact that the winner of the race will receive a cure for their loved one.  And this race, think of it as a mix between The Amazing Race and Man vs Wild, is filled with so many different dangers that regular people don't think about.  But the Contenders do have an advantage; Victoria has created things she calls Pandoras to pair with the Contenders.  Each Pandora has a unique skill that will help the Contenders along their journey.  These can range from being able to breath fire, to shooting barbs out of their skin.  So these seemingly ordinary people are thrust into this extraordinary circumstance, and out of all of them Tella is one of the Contenders you least expect to survive.

But survive she does.  Tella is a quintessential girl.  She's into shopping, makeup and boys.  But that doesn't mean she's weak as many people assume.  She is time and time again faced with overwhelming conditions, but she finds ways of surviving.  Of course she complains, and cries, and wishes she was anywhere but in the middle of the race, but she reaches inside and finds her strength.  And maybe that strength is to allow herself to be whiney and miserable for a little while.  But the point is that Tella is a girl and she is strong.  In the words of Victoria herself, "...femininity and strength are not mutually exclusive.  You can like nail polish AND conquer the world" (3 February 2014, 3:25 p.m. Tweet).

Besides being pulled along this crazy race, you get to learn about the people behind the Brimstone Bleed the further you read.  But in great mystery style, you just get more and more questions popping up.  I'm not going to divulge more information than that the people behind everything clearly have more motives than you think.  And what's special about this plot line is that it creeps up on you unexpectedly just like it does Tella, as both you and her start to realize her own personal connection to the race.

Heart-stopping, inventive, and action-packed, Fire & Flood needs to be on your Must Read List for 2014!  Victoria Scott has produced a winner, and I for one am going to be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next book (which based on this YouTube video may be called Salt & Stone, which makes sense because we still have ocean and mountain to get through!)  Grab your own copy of the book, which is out TODAY in bookstores across the country.  You won't be disappointed!


Check out the first 4 chapters of Fire & Flood and some background on the research Victoria Scott did over at Wattpad!

Also check out her other series, The Dante Walker Trilogy
Here's the book trailer for the first book, The Collector:

Final Rating

Book Cover: 3/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 46/50: A-

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