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Review: FIRE & FLOOD

Fire & Flood

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FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott will be released in the U.S. on February 25, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Scholastic Press, the print edition is 320 pages.

FIRE & FLOOD is the first book in a new series by Author Victoria Scott.

Note: This review is based on an eARC and printed ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

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Description…

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?

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Review

Victoria Scott’s FIRE & FLOOD is a wonderfully addictive and immensely entertaining first book in a series of the same name. It offers a unique twist on a theme that is hugely popular, making for a story that is both instantly appealing and incredibly exciting.

The author invites readers into a world filled with deadly threats, unknown enemies and hidden agendas. She builds tension, nail-biting suspense and excitement in this action-packed adventure with a ticking clock, a mystery, uncertain and uneasy alliances and an environment that at times proves to be the biggest challenge of all.

When Tella Holloway is given the opportunity to save her brother, even if it means putting herself at risk, she leaps at the chance. Being isolated, in the wilderness that is her new home, and powerless to do anything but watch him get sicker, she is more than ready to throw caution to the wind and do whatever she can to help him get better.

Even if it means following the instructions of the recorded voice on a device her parents clearly didn’t want her to listen to. Even if it means running away from home in the dead of night to meet their deadline. Even if it means entering a competition where everyone is hoping to win the same prize.

Even if there can be only one winner.

FIRE & FLOOD invites readers to follow along as Tella enters the competition known as the Brimstone Bleed. A competition that pits Contenders against one another for the smallest chance to save someone they love. A race that challenges them to not only survive the threats from each other, but from the elements and natural predators in each ecosystem they are made to endure. A contest that forces them to put their trust in others who may not be the allies they appear to be.

A game that puts each participant’s willingness to do whatever it takes to the test again and again for a reason that is undisclosed. Put together by individuals who are unidentified. For a virtually unattainable prize whose effectiveness is unproven.

Danger, thrills, adventure, secrets, heartbreak and loss, shocks and surprises await readers in this riveting first installment in a series that promises more of the same. It introduces a main character who is compassionate, caring and loyal, albeit a bit naïve, but who has moments of fearlessness and strength, and who continues to grow throughout the story. It delivers an intriguing male protagonist whose agenda and motives are a mystery. And it delights with the enormously likable Pandoras.

Captivating from beginning to end, FIRE & FLOOD is an utterly enchanting and unputdownable must read.

Reviewer gives this book…

5_purp

On a personal note…

I heard the buzz about FIRE & FLOOD long before I received a copy for review. I love the author’s writing so I knew that I’d end up reading this first book in her new series, but I wasn’t chomping at the bit to get a copy as I always try to steer clear of hyped books until the frenzy dies down.

But after I read the description I just knew I’d want to check this out early. Even with all the hype. Because I was curious to see how this particular author would deal with this type of story – a deadly contest, an incredible prize, contenders potentially battling it out to be the winner of said prize.

It’s a story that’s been done before and is kind of hot right now. So I was curious to see whether or not FIRE & FLOOD would come close to being as good as the story I compare all of these to – King’s The Long Walk.  I wondered if it would feel redundant or unoriginal or boring. I wanted to know if I would be captivated by it in spite of its similar theme.

And I fell in love with this story and its characters. It was a contest, there were tremendous risks, the Contenders did have to face deadly threats, they were forced to make decisions that put their lives and others’ lives on the line. But the way the author told the story, the main character she created to bring it to life, the elements she added that were all her own made this story riveting, exciting, memorable.

I probably should have guessed that I’d like this story solely based upon the name of the contest – the Brimstone Bleed. I think it’s one of the coolest titles ever. But I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like Tella, so I reserved judgment.

Tella wasn’t instantly likable. I don’t think the author meant for her to be. But over the course of the story some of the characteristics that made her likable began to shine through. And as the story progressed she grew as a character. By the story’s end I utterly adored her and am fully prepared to root for her in the sequel.

Before that connection, there was all sorts of stuff to keep me engaged – the mystery behind this contest, Tella’s fellow Contenders, the Pandoras, Guy Chambers. I fell in love with the Pandoras immediately, maybe even before I started to like Guy.

I would love to talk about what I found to be the most fascinating about this story, but as that is very much a spoiler, I can’t. Nor can I talk about what made it quite original – the Pandoras. And there’s no way I could talk about who made it swoon-worthy – Guy.

And while I was left with one question at the end of FIRE & FLOOD that I had hoped would get answered in that first book – I couldn’t figure out what drew Guy to Tella in the first place – reading a short scene from his POV that was outside of the story explained it perfectly.

FIRE & FLOOD is a super quick and totally addictive read – I devoured it in just a few short hours and immediately wanted the next book in the series to dive into. It’s incredibly exciting, with moments that are absolutely heartbreaking and those that are heart-stopping. It kept my interest from beginning to end and left me desperately wanting to remain in this world with these characters. To me that’s a win.

Favorite passage…

Choosing just one – and a semi-non-spoiler-y one at that – was so hard. Of course most of my favorite passages involve Guy Chambers. Though a few involve a certain Pandora.

And while the one I am revealing is a bit… revealing… I didn’t include the entire passage.

My eyes find his, but he’s not looking at my eyes. He’s looking at my mouth. Before I can protest, he raises a hand and runs his thumb over my lips. I close my eyes and shiver beneath his touch. I feel him shift beside me, and then his warm palms wrap around my face. I pull in a breath.

Note: This review is based on an eARC and printed ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

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