Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
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?
"If you're looking for a fast paced, intense, non-put-down-able book, this is it."
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from Scholastic. This has not affected my review or thoughts in any way.
I have to admit that when I first started reading this, it reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games. A WAY better version of The Hunger Games, but The Hunger Games nonetheless. But as I continued reading, I stopped comparing the two, although it did lean in Fire & Flood's direction either way. On second glance, this book is unique and stands on its own. It's imaginative, new, and extremely well written.
I almost always start with the characters when reviewing a book, and this one is no different because my gosh, the characters are amazing! They all bring something new to the table, and they're all incredibly complex. I was pretty invested in so many of the characters. It was a bit hard to get used to Tella at first, but I've come to really love her. One of the characters I never thought I'd like as much as I did was Harper. But all the characters have such diverse backgrounds, and it's amazing to see how different people act and react in similar situations.
The one thing I have to admit is that I'm not a big fan of Guy Chambers. Yeah, sorry not sorry. And I know I'm the odd one out on this, but I don't see the appeal of Guy! (PS. If you were wondering, I kind of have preference for Ransom. Someone tell me I'm not the only one...*cricket chirp, cricket chirp*)
I also think the character relationships, varying from romantic to friends to siblings to enemies, is what shines through. If there's one thing you should focus on, it's that. It's amazing to think of what people would do for the ones they love, but also what they would do to help one another. I think this brings to light a view on humanity in a different way than many books do. Perhaps this isn't the central, most important aspect, but it really stuck with me, thinking about how selfless the characters could be when they would be expected to be selfish.
And of course, there's also the plot. Again, this is where it runs similar to The Hunger Games. It's hard not to compare their plots, but after a while, the similarities end for the most part. The entire premise is so intriguing and generally new and fresh. I like how it's pretty fast-paced, with two of the four environments being contained in this one book, but I'm guessing more will occur after the Brimstone Bleed is over. I don't want to elaborate too much on the plot because I don't want to spoil anything.
And I just HAVE to add a little something about the Pandoras. I love the idea of them, and I definitely wish I could have one of my own, though obviously not in those circumstances! Somebody make this happen! ;)
I couldn't put this book down, and I just wanted to stay up late just to continue or finish reading the book. There's an almost thriller affect to it, partially because of its pace. I didn't want the book to end, and I'm already eagerly awaiting the second book. SO amazing! I just wanted to know what would happen next. If you're looking for a fast paced, intense, non-put-down-able book, this is it.
My one tiny complaint is that we didn't learn much about the Brimstone Bleed. BUT I get why we didn't. We're learning as Tella learns, and she hasn't had the chance to really learn about the Brimstone Bleed. I'm really interested to see where the story goes and how the plot will develop. I'm hoping the sequels will be just as thrilling and well-written as Fire & Flood. I haven't read any of Scott's other works, but I'm thinking that it's about time.