Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood 1)
Author:  Victoria Scott
Publisher:  Scholastic Press, 304 pages 
Publication Date:  February 25, 2014

From Goodreads:
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?


Review:
The best part of this book, what really sets it apart, is the main character, Tella.  She is pretty hilarious and I enjoyed reading her inner monologue.

"I'm discouraged to see my new threads aren't a wardrobe improvement.  I briefly consider making Madox my Toto and clicking my heels together.

There's no place like Nordstrom, there's no place like Nordstrom."

I also liked that Tella is just a regular girl.  Now don't get me wrong, I like my badass female main characters, but it does get a bit old reading about these girls who can kick ass.  Especially if they're also petite.  I mean, come on, really?  But here, Tella is not strong, she can't fight, she likes shopping and nail polish.  So I could definitely relate.  And the Pandoras.  What a cool, unique idea.  Madox...so cute.  There's another Pandora that ends up playing a big part near the end…love him!

I enjoyed the other characters as well.  We slowly get to know each of them, their reasons for being there, etc.  There are definitely a lot of good people, which makes sense given that they are all there, risking their lives to save someone. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the series continues because there can only be one winner. 

The romance…it grew on me.  I still don't feel like I know Guy very well, but he does reveal more about himself as the book goes on and his actions definitely speak volumes.  This may be one of those books where it would have worked better if we got his POV occasionally.  I think it's hard to write a strong, stoic, doesn't talk much guy and have the reader love him without getting into his head a least a little bit.

The whole time I was reading this book, I just wondered why.  If the people who started this race are so smart and can cure anyone's disease, why make people risk their lives for it?  What are they getting from it?  Who does this benefit?  This was really bugging me because it just didn't make sense, but in the very end we find out and it actually does so I was glad to see that.  And it makes me excited about reading the next one.  I really enjoyed it.


Posted by:  Pam

12 comments:

  1. I've seen this cover around, but hadn't read any reviews or the synopsis. I get a bit sick of the whole ass-kicking heroine, too. It's preferable to the whiny snowflake, but any trope gets old after awhile. This sounds pretty interesting and I love it when the main character is funny and entertaining. Great review!

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    1. Tella was a great character, she was definitely funny. ~Pam

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I really liked that Tella was just a regular girl, like you said I love my badass heroines but I like to read about ones that aren't all kickass in the terms of toughness too.

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    1. It was a nice change of pace, that's for sure. ~Pam

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  3. "There's no place like Nordstrom." This girl is my book sister or something. Seriously. After reading that quote, I totally need to read this.

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    1. I think you'll really like it, she's pretty hilarious and so relatable. ~Pam

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  4. Tella sounds like such a fun character to read! I've not heard of this book before but I'm adding it to my TBR list. I'm very character driven with reading. If I like the characters then the plot and everything else is secondary so it sounds like one that would appeal to me :)

    Kate @ Fictional Thoughts

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    1. Tella was just so entertaining, she made the book. ~Pam

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  5. I agree that Tella was an amusing MC and I loved Madox! I have mixed feelings about Guy, and I hate his name. But I agree that the romance got better as it went on. My major problem is the lack of world building. All the questions and holes really bothered me. But I'm going to read book 2 anyway! Great review

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    1. Regarding the world-building, I agree with you, it was making me crazy the entire novel, but when I thought about it, all of this was obviously such a secret that it made sense for Tella not to know about it. What was confusing was that she kept referencing regular stuff, like Nordstrom, so all of that felt contemporary, but then they're dumped into these different environments, with the pandoras, etc. so that just added to my feelings of what is going on? But yes, I'm definitely reading the next book. ~Pam

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  6. I love the look of this. I am happy to see that you enjoyed it so much. Now I can't wait to get my hand s on this. Thanks for the great review! :)

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  7. Tella cracked me up. A funny main character is one of my favorite things in a book. Although she was a little too naive for my tastes, I agree that it was nice to have just a regular girl.

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