Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood
(Fire & Flood #1)
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Hardcover, 320 pages, Scholastic Press
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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 Review 

I wasn't too enthused about this book in its beginning. It seemed like it was just a voluntary Hunger Games with some minor twists. But, as the story went on, I felt like the plotline became more unique.

Tella was an odd character. At times she would be random and funny - which kind of reminded me of myself - but then she would be serious and depressing. I understand her need to have some emotional downs, however those ups were weird. At one point she just randomly starts doing a dance. To me it seemed like a crazy scene, almost like Scott just wanted Tella to be awkward in an epically strange way. Guy, the love interest, is pretty darned hott. I really enjoyed his character and I wish Scott would have written more on his background. What I didn't like though, was Tella and Guy's relationship. I just didn't get how Guy would be attracted to Tella. That sounds really bad... I just wasn't sold on their reasons for being together.

The side characters, Harper, Caroline and Ransom and Levi, were pretty cool. Harper was bada$$, and she scared me a little. Twins Ransom and Levi were funny and adorable, while Caroline was kind of interesting, and that's all I'm gonna say. The Pandora aspect was weird at first with the creepy eggs, once they hatched though, I just wanted one for myself. Gimme!

The reason the Brimstone Bleed is going on is another element that I wasn't sold on. I felt like Scott had to find a way to make all of this happen, so she just pulled a random what-if story out of nowhere. The Brimstone Bleed itself is strange, in a good way. There's four environments each contestant must race in, although we're only introduced to two in this book - jungle and desert. The jungle part reminded me too much of Catching Fire, but the desert habitat made everything better.  That's where things took a turn for the better and I started enjoying myself waaay more.

This book wasn't my favorite, but I did enjoy it. It just took some perseverance and an ability to separate book-to-book similarities.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Netgalley. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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