I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Fire and Flood #1
Published by Scholastic Press on February 25, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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?
For me, Fire & Flood is actually 3.5 stars and I rounded it up to 4 stars. I liked Fire & Flood, but I am not in love with this book. I don’t want to shout from the rooftops or start buying copies for all my friends yet. I think the book has potential. The best way I can describe how I feel about Fire & Flood is for me it was like a bland date with a guy you thought would knock your socks off. In the end, you like the guy, might even go on another date, but a part of you was just slightly disappointed there was not enough of that spark.
I really liked Victoria Scott’s The Collector, and I love her writing style. She definitely has a way of writing with self deprecating main leads the also seem shallow but have lots of heart. That is why I liked Tella. In the beginning she comes off as a girl more obsessed with designer jeans then changing the world, but by the time the book ends she is ready to take on an evil pharmaceutical company.
Fire & Flood is like the Amazing Race meets Hunger Games. Tella’s brother is dying and one day she gets an invitation to race in a game that spans across the world and puts her in several different ecosystems. Why does she compete? The prize is a drug that will save her brother’s life. Not knowing anything more than that she takes off to compete in this underground race.
I liked the book itself, it was full of action. I love the show The Amazing Race so the plot really intrigued me. I thought the scenes in the race were done really well. I really felt like I was in a rain forest or out on the desert. Like I said, I like the change Tella goes through and that by the end she was able to take down the bad guy without the help of the big tough hero.
The things I didn’t like about Fire & Flood that kept it from knocking my socks off was the same complaints I know I had seen other people have. While I thought the world building in the race was good, the world outside of the race is confusing. The book never explains if the events take place in the modern world, an alternate world, or sometime in the future. I didn’t think Tella started asking enough questions until the end of the book. Everything was like: go do this, grab this, latch on to this guy for support. Tella would do all of it, follow the rules unquestioningly if it meant winning the race. I don’t know, I guess that is partly believable in the aspect of how far would you go to save someone you love. It is also kind of unbelievable too. I know I would need more answers. It is not until the very end when Tella starts getting those answers. That is where I think this book has potential because I am very curious to find out what happens next. While Fire & Flood was good in some aspects and had problems in others, the story itself is really decent and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Book releases February 25, 2014.