Thursday, February 20, 2014

ARC Review: Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Summary: 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?

**I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Initial Thoughts: Um wow. I was excited and nervous to read this a bit at first. I mean it sounded really good but it also reminded me of The Hunger Games and The Amazing Race, so I was hoping it wouldn't turn out like that. And it wasn't really. I mean there were similarities like the whole going into a race to save a sibling kind of thing and knowing there's something bigger going on besides 122 people wanting to win a cure for their family, but the overall story was really good.

The Characters: Okay there are quite a lot of people you meet in the book. There's Tella, Guy, Carolina, Harper, Ransom, Levi, Dink, Titus and so many more but these are just to name a few. I didn't like Tella's character that much for literally the first four chapters. I know she's sixteen but do people seriously spend that much time thinking about their hair, and makeup, and nails, and clothes? Oh well, it doesn't last long that kind of thinking once she's in the race, except only occasionally which is understandable if you're in a jungle or a desert for instance. Tella definitely got better as the story goes on. And one thing I really liked about her was that she was really kind to the Pandora's (which I'll explain soon). Harper is another contender and I really liked her. She was a strong and nice character as well as likable. The last person I'll talk about is Guy. He too is a contender and I liked him from the start because he made a strong leader yet you know he isn't perfect but still a good guy. You also know that he knows stuff about the race but you don't find out until the end of the book! 

Okay now for Pandoras. Simply put - they are animals with awesome superpowers! And they are adorable too. Madox is Tella's Pandora and he's a fox but he acts like a puppy and was so adorable. They were created by the Creators of the race and their job is to protect whoever they have. Madox and Tella had such a cute relationship even if Madox is a fox with really cool abilities. All I have to say is that I want a Madox!

The Story: Tella receives a weird communication device that tells her if she wants the cure to save her brother, she can participate in the Brimstone Bleed which is a race across four different terrains. Now the thing about the race is that you don't have to kill anyone, just make it to the camp (end point) in each terrain before two weeks are up. It starts off with 122 people and just after the first leg of the race in the jungle there's only 70 some people left. So people die or drop out, but there's a lot of dying especially when there can only be one winner and everyone has someone to fight for. Basically there's a lot of survival but the book is just filled with action after action and kept the plot moving and continuing on to the next part, the next mystery, the next answer. The only down side I have to say about the story is that it ends half-way through the race - it makes perfect sense - the next book will be the second half and hopefully a nice big-bang ending because secrets do get revealed in the end of the book and I must find out how everything ends!

The Romance: I'm just going to touch on this a bit because Tella and Guy have something going on! but it isn't seen too much in the book because honestly - how much time is there to fall in love with someone in the middle of a race when there can only be one winner - the answer is not much time, but the author was still able to sneak the romance into the story! And I totally approve of Tella and Guy together!

End Thoughts: I'm really excited for the next book to see what happens and how everything will play out! This book comes out next week - Feb. 25 - so give it a try. 4.5 stars.

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