Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott

Title: Fire & Flood
Series: Fire & Flood, #1
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


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?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.


Fire & Flood is all that the blurb promised and so much more. When she decides to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, Tella Holloway is completely taken out of her comfort zone and dumped into situations exactly opposite to what she is used to. During the race she meets the gorgeous Guy, the much nastier Titus, and several other characters who have a major impact on that part of her life.

This highly imaginative story captivated me from the beginning. Although this book is comfortably paced, I found it engaging with never a dull moment.

I absolutely loved Tella as a main character. She is self-confident and positive with a "hey, I can do this" kind of attitude. Although she would rather be giving herself facials and doing her hair, she copes remarkably well with the grimy circumstances of living in a rainforest and then in the desert. She survives traumas of being chased by chimps, bitten by a leech, and being attacked by ants. But, when fellow contestants are hurt or die, it almost destroys her.

Guy, the other main character, has a gift for leadership, a great deal of knowledge about survival in the wild, and maybe even a couple of ulterior motives. Other characters like Harper, the warrior, and gentle, humorous Jaxon, add to an unforgettable cast of characters.

My personal favorite, however, was little Madox. Unfortunately, saying more about that cute little fellow will give more spoilers than I want to.

In this book you will meet a fire-breathing lion, a cheetah whose eyes can provide light, a few animals with wonderful fighting and hunting skills, and the coolest shape-shifter you've ever heard of. The balance of good and evil is kept by a boy with a mean, split personality, a monster child, and several crazy pharmacists.

Always moving forward, full of suspense and self-sacrifice, I found Fire & Flood to be a thrilling and heartwarming read. (Ellen Fritz)

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Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She's the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Germany, Australia, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

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