Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1)
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Fire & Flood: Book 1
February 25, 2014
Scholastic Press
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
(Contains: Violence, death)
Source: ARC from publisher for Honest review
Book Blurb:
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?
My Review:
In Fire & Flood, we meet Tella, an ordinary city girl living in the open air of Montana with her family, escaping the city life. But there's more going on than meets the eye, and Tella finds herself drawn into the Brimstone Bleed, a competition to win the "cure" for a family member. For her it's for her dying brother. But this is no ordinary competition, and the stakes are far greater than Tessa would have ever imagined.
I hate spoilers, so I won't give out any. But I will say that, though the pacing in the beginning was a bit slow for me, there was a steadily developing build-up, and by the second half the action level had really gained speed. Getting drawn into the story, wanting to discover things right along with Tessa, made the reading very intriguing and engaging. Discovering the whys, hows, whos, and whats of the competition was really well played, continually feeding the reader bits and pieces alongside Tessa. And by the end, I was completely hooked, eager to find out what would happen next.

I found Tessa a bit annoying in the beginning, perhaps because I'm so different from her, but watching her transformation and growth throughout the competition was great. Not only does she grow in her strength of character, but the compassion that is already inherit in her blooms even more. She was a great heroine to lead the story.

Beyond Tessa, there is a host of others that she teams up with for support on this journey. Her animal companion is simply amazing. The human contenders are a mix of mystery, with their own reasons for being there, and blend of trust and mistrust. And then there's Guy, who's just awesome; I loved his slow reveal. 
Fire & Flood is an entertaining, engaging young adult adventure. It's full of increasing action, a fascinating mystery development, and a wonderful range of characters. There's humor, romance, suspense, action, and so much more. I definitely enjoyed it and look forward to the sequel.

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