That is the first book in a dilogy where I wasn´t at first too eager to read it at all. The cover of the German edition wasn´t really my thing - still isn´t – and I didn´t have it on my schedule for the year anyway. I got asked by the publisher if I wouldn´t be interested in reading the second book and since I try to avoid jumping into a series, dilogy, trilogy, etc. in the middle without knowing the books that were published before (it just gives you a better picture of the entire development of characters, the plot, etc) I went to my library to see if they had it – and what can I say? It was there and so I took it home. So I started reading and was, to my utter surprise, very haunted. And the old saying; never judge a book by its cover, kicked right in.

Fire & Flood
by Victoria Scott
Fire & Flood Dilogy #1
Publisher Scholastic Press on February 25, 2014
Genre Young Adult
Pages 320
Format Hardcover

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 the middle of nowhere 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 is a sixteen-year-old teenager who´s interested in fashion, the best style, and where to get the perfect matching scarf to her outfits. She loves to text with her girlfriends and to eat salad among other things. All that changes, when she has to move with her family from Boston to a very small town in Montana, where she´s kind of cut off from the internet, her friends, and every other technical progress that mankind has ever made. Her brother is very sick and for some reason, her mother believes that living in the countryside will make him get better. But when Tella finds a mysterious little package on her bed and hears a baffling message, and her father tries to destroy the item, her curiosity is ignited. Tella takes the old family car and starts the murderous Brimstone Bleed race that will change her life forever.

Victoria Scott´s language is wonderfully ironic, her sentences are short and to the point and she has a unique way to capture the reader´s eye. Her style is expressive as well as brutal and very fascinating. From Tella´s point of view, the reader gets thrown into a diversified story about a group of people who have all the same goal: To win this race to get the Cure for one of their loved ones. Okay, some passages were a bit boring and kind of uneventful but then from one second to the other the author changes that like nothing, and the story is the incredible opposite to what was before. Thank god those spots are not that often to find in this novel, so no real harm done here. The way how Tella handles every situation was most intriguing. She is completely inexperienced, yes, but her instincts kick in and no matter what happens, she never loses her way of thinking or one of her principles. Even if that means that she´ll lose the stage win of the second part through the desert. But friendship and the need of others – even the ones of the Pandora’s – mean more to her then giving up her humanity.

It is actually very stunning to see, how Tella acts and thinks. Her thoughts are full of great compare to things she knows from her daily life. And what she feels and has in her mind when it comes to Guy is no exception. She is driven to win this murderous race to get the Cure for her sick brother and he seems the only chance for her, to achieve that goal. He knows everything about how to survive the jungle or what to do in the desert. Sometimes I thought why is she depending so much on him? He is a competitor after all and her growing feelings for him are fantastic, but the timing isn´t good.

Fire & Flood is a novel with some surprising moments which you don´t expect at all. What I found most astonishing was the change that the protagonist went through. She kept her principles, is not willing to sacrifice the way she is, only because the people, who make the race, want her to. Her inner strength becomes stronger and stronger, and every step of the way she learns more about herself and why her parents, especially her mother, did what she did. So if you´re looking for a book that brings you action, love, the meaning of friendship, and what you can achieve with your own strength and will – then this is your book!

Happy reading
Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott ©Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is the author of The Collector, The Liberator, The Warrior, Fire & Flood, Salt & Stone, and the upcoming Titans. Her books have been bought and translated into eleven foreign markets, and she's represented by Sara Crowe. Victoria lives in Dallas and loves hearing from readers.


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