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?
Fire & Flood is the first book in the series of the same name by Victoria Scott. I knew when I started reading it that people would compare this (badly) to the Hunger Games. I understand the comparison, but I think there is enough good stuff in Fire & Flood to let it stand on its own as an enjoyable dystopian novel.
Firstly, there's the Pandoras. I admit I'm a sucker for animals, and I liked how they were used in the story for the most part. I didn't like the last requirement to get into the second base camp - which I won't mention because of spoilers. It was kind of harsh and I didn't quite see the point of it.
I liked seeing the Contenders group up for support and helping each other get through the challenges. This also brought some interesting tension as they know only one of them can win and they are all playing for loved ones. Those relationships were portrayed well, but I felt the potential romantic relationship between Tella and Guy was a little lacking. The ways Guy was stand-offish, then suddenly holding her while she slept seemed contrived.
The novel was an easy read, I finished it in one afternoon. Over all, I enjoyed it and will probably keep reading the series. It's marketed for Young Adult, but if YA is considered as 13-21, I would say this skews more to the younger end, and maybe into the older Childrens' level.
I give this book 3 Bookworms.