Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on February 25, 2014
Buy on Amazon
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?
Tella (not sure how I feel about the name) is use to life in a bustling city. A walk to the nearest restaurant, movie complex, or other entertaining place kind of city. But that was then. Now, in some really small city, Montana, Tella feels like she is losing it. No more TV, internet, friends. All that she has is her parents and a sick brother. Until, one day, a strange box appears. One that her brother is swearing he gave her as a joke. A present that has her level-headed parents on edge. A present that will change Tella’s life forever.
Welcome to the Brimstone Bleed.
Fire & Flood is an engaging, dystopian almost unlike anything out there. The concept focuses on people of all ages competing in a race across different environments, all fighting for the chance to win the Cure. A mysterious prize that promises to cure one person completely of any disease. Early on, I was in love with this concept. Tella is complete oblivious to anything about Brimstone Bleed, and it was complete fun watching the events unfold.
Let’s start with Tella. Tella is a really unique character. From the beginning, I wasn’t too sure how I was going to feel about her. Sure, I liked her humor, sarcasm, and wit. However, she never really came across as the hero or “I am going to save so and so” type of person. Instead, she seemed like your basic teenage for lack of a better description. And there is nothing wrong with that. It just felt weird in a way. As Fire & Flood went on, Tella really grew on me. I am not sure if it was her starting to display her hidden kick-assness or something different, but the Tella is the beginning was long gone by about half way through Fire & Flood, and I, for one, could not have been happier.
The dystopian element. Fire & Flood is billed as a dystopian. At this point, I will agree to it, but it is a weak concept at best. The race, the romance, and the pandoras are the main focus here. There are some reveals that are very telling of what is to come. However, the dystopian element felt like it was an after thought more than the focus. Not a bad thing, but the presentation of it was a little off to me.
The romance. Almost as expected, the romance takes up a pretty good chunk of Fire & Flood. Personally, I liked it. But our love interest, Guy, has me on the fence. He is the hot / cold type. The you never really know where you stand with him type, but once you know… you know. It is not that I didn’t like Guy per se, it is just that I am not always in love with the hot / cold types. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Here, I feel like I need to see more of his true personality to really get a sense for his character. Plus, I feel like he knows a lot more than he is telling us, but it hasn’t come to that reveal yet. So, for now, I like the romance and Guy, but I need more.
Last but definitely not least.. the pandoras. I am not sure what it is, but a read with animals kicking butt will always be a winner. Ranging from elephants to raccoons and everything in between, the pandoras steal the show. While like most everything else about Fire & Flood, there is not too much revealed about these creatures. However, I am sure they will play a huge part in later installments.
Fire & Flood is a good start to what I hope will be a killer series. It isn’t perfect, but thankfully, most of the flaws are easily over looked.