Series: Fire & Flood #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Published by Scholastic on February 25, 2014
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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.NOTE: I received this as an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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?
The first thing that I disliked about Fire & Flood was Tella, but I'm pretty sure this was the case for nearly every person that read this book. She was irritating, and all she really thought about was herself. That's kind of sad considering she was racing to win the Cure for her brother who was sick and dying. The majority of the narration was "I," "I," "I." Honestly, I don't know how Guy put up with her.
Guy Chambers. Since this is only the first book, I'm sort of hoping that they change his name. After reading Jon's review over at Scott Reads It, I can't get it out of my mind that Guy Chambers sounds like the mens' restroom. Tella made this huge deal out of him like he was there to win for her. She always forgot that Guy was there for somebody too and was there to win the Cure for a loved one too. He wasn't going to give it up for a girl he just met. The same thing goes for all the supporting characters. They're all there to win the Cure, not to make friends. Tella knows this, and still she's so shocked when one of her "friends" betrays her to get win the game.
Plus, the romance between Guy and Tella is very basic and nothing new to the YA genre. It's not horrendous, but it's not something that I'm over here swooning over.
The supporting characters were slightly irritating and forgettable. If it weren't for the plot, I don't think I could've read on. Despite the similarities between The Hunger Games and Fire & Flood, the two were still pretty different in my opinion. I loved how there were separate legs in the Brimstone Bleed, and I liked how people didn't have to die in order to win. They just had to beat out the other Contenders.
The world-building a bit lacking, and I really didn't understand what was going on until about 75% through the book. It's never really confirmed what time period it is, and that bugs me. There's no advancement of technology (that's mentioned), and yet there are hybrid animals being hatched out of eggs? It's illogical and kind of made me want to rip my hair out.
I have to admit that the action was great, though. I thought that Scott really knew how to frame her novel and turn it into something adventurous. The things Guy knew about survival made sense and weren't stupid. They were perfectly logical. When Guy said to empty the packs, I was like, "Let's empty the packs!" Leaving the tents behind was sort of sketchy to me, but Guy knew that he had his Pandora to keep them warm at night.
Ah, Pandoras. I loved them. I loved them so much. They were so cute. Madox is the best Pandora in the world. I really liked Harper's Pandora, too, though. They were all great in their own way. I think the best thing about Fire & Flood was the Pandoras. (Titus's Pandora, AK-7, sounds like a gun.)
Well, and the action. But mostly the Pandoras.