ARC Review of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Regina | 11 Comments

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?

This isn’t the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. This is the Brimstone Bleed.

 

I want to start a garage band just so I can name it after this book. I”m still debating on whether to name my new baby kitty Pandora, Tella, or Guy. I want a shirt that says, ” I skied the Brimstone Bleed. When Hell freezes over, I’ll ski that too!” There is just so much YES in this book, I can hardly begin to reign in all the coolness of it for a review.

Possible Tella pre-Brimstone Bleed?
Possible Tella pre-Brimstone Bleed?

 

Tella and her family have been taking things easy since her older brother Cody came down with a terminal illness. Her family has tucked itself away in the wilderness of Montana, and despite Tella’s concern for her brother, she’s going stir-crazy. “If you’re hearing this message, you are invited to be a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed.” This is where the match is struck in Fire & Flood. Tella receives a mysterious message, and she knows she can’t share it with her family. She has to follow these instructions, and taker her chances. On her own. Her brother’s life depends on it.

Possible Tella, post-Brimstone Bleed?
Possible Tella, post-Brimstone Bleed?

 

Victoria Scott surprised me at every turn in this novel. In this first book of the series, we travel with Tella through two ecosystems. The jungle and the desert. The story Victoria has dreamt up about Pandora’s and their creation is truly EPIC. They are ninja-hybrid, Pokemon-type creatures that will win your heart, and defend you til the death. Tella’s pandora is named Maddox, and he is arguably one of the coolest characters in the book.  He was created for one purpose: to keep Tella alive as they make their way through the ecosystems, racing to win “the cure”.

Hey, Mads. What's up?
Hey, Mads. What’s up?

 

I loved Tella’s character. She was so real. She isn’t very different from you or me. Tella’s your average girl who delights in the every day things that teenage girls do. The trials and decisions she is faced with are relatable on the most basic levels. What would you do to save someone you love? What would you do to survive? Victoria found a way to take Tella’s character and this epic, fantastical adventure, and make it relevant to my emotions and today’s society.

Victoria's casting choice for Guy.
Victoria’s casting choice for Guy.

 

Guy Chambers, who famously looks like a ”serial killer”, is one bad-ass dude. The moment he was introduced in Fire & Flood, my heart fluttered. There’s more to Guy than meets the eye. His character is like raw power rippling under the surface. His quite and stone-wall demeanor create a mystery and magnetism that Tella can’t ignore.

“Why do you ask so many questions?”

“Because I’m curious,” I say.

“About everything, apparently.”

“No, just about you.” Though I feel relaxed and carefree, this last admission feels like one I may later regret. My eyes find his, but he’s not looking at my eyes. He’s looking at my mouth.

I know it’s no secret that Tella and Guy become close in Fire & Flood. I don’t feel like I’m giving too much away by stating that. But, gah….You don’t even know until you read the book. What develops between Tella and Guy is so solid, and real, and right. Victoria handled the development of trust and romantic feelings between them beautifully.

As trials and tribulations unfold during the Brimstone Bleed, Tella discovers information that quite possibly changes everything she has known about her life. Are her parents who she thinks they are? Was she destined for this race? Did Cody’s illness play into a bigger picture of corruption and revenge? Threads of secrets and details that are foreign to Tella begin to piece together layers of a story that goes back farther than she imagined. Fire & Flood pulled on my heart strings, and buzzed my emotions. I am scared as eff of jungles, and Victoria managed to strap me in for the entire ride. I’m reluctant to read stories that might have bugs (no joke, this book gave me nightmares), or snakes, or tropical climates involved, but I  was too absorbed in the hypnotic pull of the story to think about it. You will forget yourself with this book. You will become Tella and remember what it’s like to love someone. To lose someone. To be desperate, hurt, brave, and afraid. You will laugh, and you will cry. You will finish reading this book, and be surprised when you look up from the last page and realize you’re still sitting in your room. Victoria took me on an emotional and heart-pounding journey in Fire & Flood. She even managed to make me feel a little more grateful to be alive.

I want to share the awesome experience that was Fire & Flood with you, so ENTER TO WIN one pre-order of the hardcover edition of this book below, and it will be shipped to you on release day. And make sure to check out the awesome Fire & Flood website!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. There is one truly CREEPTASTIC, perfect scene and secret in this book that will give you chills. I can’t wait for you to read it. 🙂

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.

Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.
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11 responses to “ARC Review of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

  1. Lauren

    Amazing review! The book looks good! And I’m glad that this will not be a standalone.

    Do not want to compare, but the race is like the Hunger Games? 🙂

  2. One thing you say, I guess I’d choose a sword. So I can fight off any evils but then I don’t know how to fight so I don’t know if it’ll do more harm than good.
    Anyway thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Ann

    I would probably bring someone who is strong, competent, and has strong survival skills (including all the items we need).

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