Release Date: February 25, 2014
Format: ARC, 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
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?
Victoria Scott's Dante Walker books are some of my favorites. Goodness knows Dante's my boy. So after reading the first two Dante books, I kind of figured that Victoria Scott's next book would be fantastic. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, since Fire & Flood seemed so different--and it totally IS. But still, I was excited. So excited.
And goodness gracious, y'all. Now that I've read it, I can say that this book is not only fantastic, it is fan-FREAKING-tastic and I love it so much.
It was my favorite book of 2013, even though it doesn't come out until this February. It's now on my all-time favorites shelf on Goodreads. I have so many happy feelings for this book, I'm not even sure where to begin explaining it.
Oh, wait. I do. TELLA. I swear, I've loved that girl since she pointed at her reflection and said "I hate your face." Tella is awesome. She's outgoing and kind and funny and I adored being in her head throughout this story. She is definitely not the type of person anyone would ever expect to be in a race such as the Brimstone Bleed, and I admire her for entering the race anyway. She loves her brother that much, and I get that. I like that a lot. And as the race goes on, she gets better. Stronger. She's still herself, but she does what she has to do. All of that leaves me with all kinds of happy feelings for our MC.
And then there's Guy Chambers. Who is someone to side-eye for a bit of the beginning of the book, but then we get to know him and OH GOODNESS. He is hot on a stick. And he's so flipping cool. He smart and strong and pretty darn mysterious, but not in an annoying way. It's just the way he is. He's quiet and more focused. Kind of stern. But as we get to know him better, those things endeared him to me even more to the point where he's one of my favorite book boys. Ever.
The Pandoras are some of my favorite things. I want so bad for them to be real, so I can have one. Or three. It was so cool to wonder what Tella's Pandora would be, and then he turned out to be such a sweetheart. I'm quite fond of adorable little Madox. I am also a fan of M-4 and AK-7. Some kickass Pandoras right there. (All the Pandoras are actually awesome. But I can't help but have favorites ;))
As a whole, the story flowed well. Around the beginning, there were small parts where I'd get bored, but then something would happen to dissipate that pretty quick. Victoria Scott's writing does a darn good job of keeping me in the story, even when I shouldn't be. You know, like when I should be sleeping or something... This book was so worth the loss of that sleep, though.
The romance between Tella and Guy wasn't a huge focus in this book, but it was THERE. And it was THERE enough that I feel all kinds of happy about it. They had moments. Their own little moments to be them and get closer and grow fond of one another. They don't rush into anything by any means, and they are cute as all get out as a couple. I love the contrast of Tella being all talkative and bubbly and Guy being all quiet and serious. They're such opposites yet so perfect.
Overall, Fire and Flood is one of my absolute favorite books. Victoria Scott has written a fantastic, compelling story with a main character I admire, a love interest I love, and a premise that completely drew me in. Contenders racing to save someone they love? Heck yeah, I'm reading that. Now where is book 2? ;)