I received this book for free from Scholastic Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Scholastic on February 25th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Scholastic Canada
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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?
Does it bother you to think about being covered in bugs, bugs that eat your flesh and blood? Then prepare yourself because this book is nightmare-inducing! I’m not sure what it says about me to know that this is part of why I enjoyed it so much. I guess a book that can prompt such horrific images in my head to the point of making me shudder is up there with the awesome. Or maybe I should be on medication. That’s up for debate.
Fire & Flood surprised me in many ways. At first it had a lot of similarities with The Hunger Games, which for me is a complete turn-off, so it’s with pleasure that I can say these parallels fade early on, leaving us with an original, creative, and exciting novel. Ultimately we’ve got a survivalist story with dashes of fantastical and Sci-Fi elements. There are a lot of extreme conditions that we see Tella fight through, while making us wonder how we would do in her place. With cinematic details, each setting is brought to life from an endless yet claustrophobic jungle, to a dry, barren, and unbearably hot desert. It’s all incredibly vivid. Which is both an applaud and a warning: I honestly felt those ants on me. For hours. Yes, it all comes back to the bugs. *shudders*
We meet a lot of characters throughout this story. With a large cast like this it’s hard to connect to each character on an emotional level. This is not a huge problem seeing as this book is very plot driven. However it did leave a lot of room for me to analyze every single aspect of this story, to put what seemed like trivial details together, and eventually figuring out most of the many twists this book had up its sleeve. Still, some of them are clever, others creative, all leading to a very enjoyable read regardless of if you see them coming or not. The plot itself is full of secrets and conspiracies, giving us an interesting history behind this mysterious Brimstone Bleed – a race with a prize many would – and do – kill for. It involves some science fiction explanations that, I’m thinking, might be a hit or miss for some, but it brings about some really cool accessories (for lack of a better word and avoid spoiling) to help the contenders in the race. Actually one of my favorite parts was finding out what the Pandoras could do!
With uncomfortable conditions, hunger, anxiety, and fear throughout – oh, and ALL OF THE BUGS!! – Fire & Flood will keep you in suspense from beginning to end!
I will leave you with this – ON YOUR FACE WHILE YOU SLEEP:
4 Hot Espressos