With her Fire & Flood dilogy, Victoria Scott brings the reader into a world where nothing is as expected. Very different people fight for very different reasons to be the one who will win the race for the cure. But sometimes life isn´t fair or nice and so it happens that death comes without warning and way too soon and gives some of the participants a really hard time. Again Victoria Scott created a novel in which you won´t miss anything. Action, bloody scenes, and cruelty in which life provides the best lessons that can be learned. This second novel of the Fire & Flood dilogy is a great read. But don´t expect a lot of answers in the end. Instead, you will find out that some things don´t need to be answered.

Salt & Stone*
by Victoria Scott
Fire & Flood #2
Publisher Scholastic Press on February 24, 2015
Genre Young Adult
Pages 320
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and a terrifying march across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can´t stop - and in Salt & Stone, Tella will have to face the unseen dangers of the ocean, the breathless cold of a mountain, and twisted new rules in the race. But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone´s keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you´d relied on most suddenly isn´t there for support? How do you weigh one life against another? The race is coming to an end, and Telly is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the beginning of the race, there were one hundred-twenty-two contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the fourth and final part of the race, just forty-one are left ... and only one can win.
Tella is more determined than ever to win this murderous race to bring the cure to her brother and save him or at least, keep him alive a little while longer. But the rules of the race are now even harder and she has to learn that at some point she´ll have to make a decision. A decision she isn´t ready for and she doesn´t want to make. And when she finally sees the truth behind all this and stands at the point where it´s either her or the cure – she discovers something about herself.

Victoria Scott´s writing style is unique and great to read. The author uses a very pictographic language formed in short but wonderful expressive sentences. A lot of action happens, the story is in some ways brutal, there are scenes where it gets very emotional and the change Tella goes through is great to watch. She is way more thoughtful, builds great pictures about what Guy means to her and how she sees him. I only say the cover model of GQ magazine. She still has her dreams, does what her guts tell her and she´s not willing to let the organizers kill some of the Pandora´s who were left behind by their human owner. And that is, what makes her so special. Though I have to admit, that in the end, I was a bit confused. There were many questions answered, yes, but many new ones brought up as well and those left the author hanging in the air.

From Tella´s point of view, Victoria Scott lets the reader participate in this murderous race where it soon becomes quite clear that some of the candidates and their Pandora´s are no longer only functioning parts of the race. That one scene at the Arena shows that in a remarkable way and is one of my favorite scenes. Tella understands that they can only survive and win this thing when they not only stick together but also act as one union. The scene where they all cuddle up with that Alligator (!) shows that in a totally emotional way. I mean come on, that is an animal you wouldn’t dare in real life to come any closer as you would come watching it in a zoo!

Tella has changed quite a bit. It was a hard and terrifying way from the styled and only in-where-to-get-the-next-best-fashion-sale interested teenager to the leader of a small group of people, who have all one thing in common: To win the race and get the Cure.
But being a leader doesn´t mean that you know everything, that you make always the right decision. Something Tella has to learn the hard way.

And the distance Guy has built between both of them isn´t helping either. For him, Tella is still a helpless and inexperienced young girl who can´t survive a day without him. So it hits him with total surprise when he has to learn that Tella makes know her own decisions and that she´s no longer willing to take his orders without any question.

Salt & Stone is one heck of a great adventure that I enjoyed very much and in many ways the perfect ending for this dilogy. It couldn´t have become any better than that.

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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