Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

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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.

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria ScottFire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Scholastic on February 25th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Scholastic Canada
Buy on Amazon

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 dyingβ€”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

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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40 Responses to “Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott”

  1. Aimee

    I love books that creep me out. So yes, I would love to meet these blood-sucking bugs! And I’m glad that this one actually has a plot to follow. I didn’t enjoy Scott’s other novel as much as I wanted to, but all the talk of gore in this one is making me excited to read it! Great review, Giselle! πŸ™‚

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Eww. Bugs.
    I tried reading this book, Giselle, but within the first couple of pages, I was annoyed by the main character. I got to the page where she gets the invitation before I had to close the book. I need to go back to it and view it as a plot driven story instead and maybe I’ll enjoy it.
    I’m glad you had fun with this despite not being able to form any connection with the characters.
    Lovely review!

    • Giselle

      Yeah the MC is not my favorite, but fortunately it’s more plot oriented so I had fun with it, still. Hope you like it if you do give it another try. Seems like the reviews are all over the place with this one.

  3. Siiri

    Lols! I already read and loved your review on Goodreads, but I still can’t get over the fact that you put this… *points her finger to the screen* thing *shudders and makes a face* in your review. Yuck! I think that sometimes figuring the plot twists beforehand is great while at times if they’re not that orginal or “ohh hells yeah” kind, they can really break a book. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

  4. Shayna

    I really enjoyed this book and I haven’t read The Hunger Games so no problems there. I had issues with reading The Hunger Games actually didn’t make it through the first two chapters. I plan on reading it soon though.

    I was surprised by Fire & Flood and I really liked the Pandoras. I was taken in by the horrific things that happened as well, it kept me reading anxiously and I can’t wait for book 2.

  5. Candace

    I’ve been excited about this book for a very long time but have been worried that it wouldn’t be unique. It sounds like I should worry more about being freaked out though! I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of this!

  6. Amanda

    Oh my God, that ant at the end literally made me shiver. Not sure if this is the book for me, but I did really enjoy the review, Giselle!

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    Oh gosh, Giselle! Now I’m going to be itchy. Ugh…bugs. lol I’m glad that you really liked this one though. It sounds interesting and I’m so curious about these pandoras I’ve heard about!

  8. Henrietta

    Oh Giselle, you surely know how to creep me out with bugs and blood and rotten flesh! Now I’ll have to find a way to delete all these horrific images *shudder*

  9. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    NOOO GISELLE yesterday when I was half asleep I had to go to the bathroom and when I stood up I saw a HUGE spider on the wall and couldn’t get my dad to kill it because my entire freaking family was asleep so I had to kill it myself and I feel like I need a therapist to deal with my traumatizing experience. Ugh my life sucks!

    But I’m glad that this book was a hit for you! Even if it was hard to connect to all of the characters, it’s great that the setting was super vivid (even down to the really creepy bugs that have scared me for life.) I’ve heard fantastic things about how great the plot is, and I’m really excited to start it. I actually got accepted for it today (a week before the release date) so I’m most likely not going to be reviewing it on time, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading it soon! Fantastic review, Giselle! <33

      • Sophia

        e_e I shall reconsider reading maybe. MAYBE. Because one person’s word isn’t always the best to listen to unless it’s more that that. In my humble opinion. :3

    • Giselle

      I didn’t hate her but yeah I agree she was not particularly likeable either. Since it was more plot oriented it so was easy for me to just concentrate on the plot and have fun with it, regardless. The pandoras were a blast!

  10. Jess@Fairday's Blog

    Bugs don’t freak me out, but I don’t know that I want them on my face! I am glad this book turns out to be more unique than it first appears. Definitely sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Christy

    Any book that can induce that type of reaction is good to me. πŸ˜€ I like character drive stories the most, but am all for a plot driven story if it’s done well. Sounds like this one is. Great review, I’ll have to grab this one.

  12. Melliane

    wow I didn’t expect that but it sounds really intense. Bugs? Lol I think I won’t see them in the same way now. It could be interesting to read something a little different. thanks for the review!

    • Giselle

      That was me after reading this I felt like I had ants on me! >.< This is not technically about bugs, but they're in the forest and there are a few memorable scenes with bugs involved O_O

  13. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    So um…I guess I’m relieved you didn’t end the review with some big hairy spider lol. I am no fan of bugs and or any creepy crawly things just *shivers* but I might still read this because the rest of your review was plenty convincing.

    Fab review, Giselle! <33

  14. Nara

    *cuts back on the dramatics*
    Now I’m really unsure as to whether I want to read this book! I’ve seen a lot of both good and bad reviews, so I guess it’s kind of one you have to try for yourself. I did read a couple of reviews where they said the MC was really annoying though, so don’t know how I’ll go with that lol

  15. Rashika

    I have a fear for all things insects.. so I don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight (more time to read! yay!)
    I think yours is the first positive review I’ve seen for this book, all my friends dislike it with a passion πŸ™

    I am glad you enjoyed it though!

    Great Review, Giselle!

  16. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    Yeah! So glad you liked this one as much as I did Giselle – especially after seeing so many other reviewers not exactly enjoying it very much! But, yes…I agree! The whole plot overall is a TAD reminiscent of The Hunger Games (surprise, surprise, right?), but I felt that in some ways it was entirely different as well; and the medical thriller added a great extra layer to the story, which was great! And the characters were simply pheonominal, weren’t they? I was impressed that Victoria could have such a large cast, but manage to give adequate characterization to each and every character! (Hmm…what other book does that remind me of?) Anyway, I’m definitely going to continue the series and I hope you are too!

    And eewww…the bugs! *Shudders*

    As always, brilliant review Giselle! I’m just so glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Lauren

    I’m glad this veers off from the Hunger Games parallels pretty quickly. You mentioning nightmarish scenarios should have me running for the hills but instead it makes me want to read it more! Though I could do without the bugs. *shivers* Lovely review!

  18. Nitzan Schwarz

    I think you should be on medication! πŸ˜€
    *shudder* I HATE bugs. I used to have nightmares of them eating me WITHOUT reading books that create that response…
    I probably won’t read this, even though it sounds good. I’m not very good with books that scare the crap out of me, or books that make me feel anxious the entire read.
    But, you’ve definitely put this book in my head now, so who knows what will happen lol

    Great review and thanks for sharing your thoughts (but not the ants) on this book! πŸ™‚