FIRE AND FLOOD (Fire and Flood #1) by Victoria Scott
YA Science Fiction
320 pages, hardcover
Available TODAY (February 2014)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review
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?
First Date: When I first started this, I got a bit of a Hunger Games vibe — girl chosen to participate in a game where the winner lives (well, in this case, gets life-saving medicine for a dying family member) but that quickly went away. FIRE AND FLOOD stands on its own, no comparison necessary. And, while Tella is a strong character, much like Katniss, she is more than able to stand on her own as well.
Second Date: Tella is brave enough to take on this challenge to help her brother, even though she doesn’t have very many skills (really, how many teens would be able to start fire without a lighter or would be able to survive if dropped into a jungle or desert with no training? As always, I’m pretty sure I’d be one of the ones to drop out early on. I just don’t know if I have the survival instinct. Tella does, though.). Even though she’s unprepared and her Pandora seems to be kind of a dud (a cute dud but, yeah. Not overly helpful…until it is.), Tella makes the best of her situation. She’s got some allies (reliable? Meh.), she’s got her Pandora and she’s got Guy (Mr. Silent but Deadly. He’s a bit of a cliche but he’s also pretty mysterious and has Plans. Plans and Plots.). We hope it will be enough.
Third Date: I like to see character growth in a story and Tella gives good growth. She moves from a superficial, indecisive, pretty incapable girl to someone who, while still superficial (hey, the girl likes pretty things. I can’t really blame her for that. It harms no one and she likes to look nice.), is a bit more secure in her abilities. It took her a while but she’s also secure enough to stand up to Titus, who’s been harassing her since the beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing how much more progress she makes in the next installments. I have a feeling she’s going to develop into a truly formidable young woman. Cheers to you, Tella. Get out there and kick some arse, girl.
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