Speed Date with Tella: FIRE AND FLOOD by Victoria Scott

Posted 24 February, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 16 Comments

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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16 Responses to “Speed Date with Tella: FIRE AND FLOOD by Victoria Scott”

  1. I’ve read some so-so reviews for this one, so it’s nice to see that you enjoyed this! I had sort of mixed feelings about her first novel, but I did like the narrative voice, so I may have to give this one a try sometime. Character growth is always a good thing, especially when you see it in the first book in a series.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  2. Glad to hear Tella is a strong heroine! And I’m glad the book isn’t too much like THG. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this one because of the world-building, but I can always set that aside for awesome characters. Great post, Mary 🙂

  3. Glad the dates went well. I am still up in the air on this, but love some of the elements. Yes for character growth as I love to see that. Thanks for sharing Mary!

  4. Yes! I love how much Tella grew as a character in this book! I really didn’t think she was going to make it in the beginning of the book, but she totally proved me wrong. And I love Madox, he was definitely the best pandora in the book. I really can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

  5. “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.’

    Haha, same Mary! So I think what this says about is that should we find ourselves in a survival situation, you and I should NOT pair up as we’d just die that much faster:) I loved that Tella knew nothing about survival, it made her feel more real to me that she wasn’t dumped in the jungle and then instantly new how to keep herself alive. I agree with you on her growth, and I can’t wait to see where she goes in book two!

  6. I have seen so many reviews where they mention how strong Tella is, I am always a fan of a strong heroine so I think I might really like this one. Great review!

  7. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this, and that it distinguished itself enough from the Hunger Games. I definitely get that vibe from the synopsis. The Pandoras sound really interesting, and I can’t wait to meet Tella. I always love a character who moves and grows, rather than showing up badass and predictably kicking ass. Not as much fun! 🙂 Fantastic review!

  8. Hey I can handle a girl who is a bit shallow as long as she learns to kick ass and that she grows. I am hearing some outstanding things about this book and I just got my grubby mitts on it, but I think I will save it for Apocalypse! this summer!

  9. Yay! I’m glad you liked this one as well, Mary. I agree with you totally that it was nice seeing some growth from Tella early on, and I hope this perfectly, imperfectly-heroine continues to grow and kick some booty! It definitely distinguished itself from the hunger games, and breathed some new life into this genre. Lovely review 🙂

  10. I would so annoy Tella! I would be dependent on her for my survival. I know I would be a liability. LOL I really like the sound of the character and you have me wanting to go exploring with her, just as long as she has to survive and I can sit in the comfort of my own home reading about her experiences. 😀

  11. I was kind of sold at “where a teen girl and her animal” lol

    I’m also glad it isn’t another THG. Even though I loved that book, I don’t want to read it again.

  12. I’m glad you enjoyed this novel by the end, Mary! I don’t know if Scott’s style is necessarily for me, so I’ll be waiting to see how this series unfolds before picking it up. Wonderful review! 🙂

  13. I think you nailed her perfectly and that is also why I liked her so much. She was pretty honest and no, she wasn’t completely cut for this race. But she makes the best out of it and I loved her for this!

  14. I’ve definitely been anxious to give this one a read. I have liked the authors writing so far and people have been saying that it definitely stands on it’s own and isn’t just another THG copy cat book.