Sunday, February 23, 2014

ARC Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood

Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release Date: February 25, 2014


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?


When I saw that Scott is writing a new series, I was super excited. When I got approved for the ARC it was exhilarating. Then a few of my reading buddies wrote reviews, and they were rather a mixed bunch. Some really didn't like it, others loved it. So I felt rather cautious by the time I started reading.
My first reaction when I started the book: OH no! not another Hunger Game, please!
After finishing Fire and Flood...
My first reaction: wait! I wanna know what happens next... *goes to check release date of next book*  couldn't find it *grumbles*
Second reaction: wait! How many more books are there going to be?... *goes and checks GR* no mentioning there either! *le sigh*
Then I had a flurry of emotions, my brain went into plot more mode, I am wondering: if I actually like Guy or maybe not? do I mind the similarities to the Hunger Games? My brain is in overdrive.
All I know is I need more!

I am quite taken aback by this. So what started to me as another one of those Hunger Game books, had me squirming, anticipating and smirking all the way. AND left me wanting more!

The best part of this is definitely Scott's writing.  Scott proved, she is beyond witty with her novel The Collector.  And her wit shone throughout Fire & Flood. She is definitely one of my favorite YA Fantasy authors - and the great prose in Fire&Flood has cemented this.

It's a scene right out of a friggin' Disney movie. Minus the green slime.

Every day now, Guy hikes behind me. It makes me super paranoid. Mostly, I thing about the size of my butt and its general flatness versus roundness.

Then he crack his fingers - all but his thumgs. I picture racing over and cracking those blasted thumbs for him.

When the sun begins to set, we do exactly as we did the night before. Caroline fusses over Dink. Jaxon ogles Harper. The boys gather desert carnage for our beds. Guy watches me undress. I imagine our wedding.

Maybe he really is a machine. I;d like to cute him. Just a little bit. Just to see if he bleeds. Then I'd like to kiss the spot to make the hurt go away.

That means we have nine left. Piece of cake. Oh my God. CAKE.

The world building, well, what ever there was- was interesting. It has huge potential. But frankly there wasn't much. I am not sure if this is a contemporary or it's set in the future. There were very few questions answered, most of them right at the end of the book. But I was left with loads of them. No that's not quite right, I was left with most of them. So if we look at the world building, this is a bit meh.

The plot has many aspects from Hunger Games thrown in. So I thought I wouldn't like this, but I actually got all caught up in the action and the romance. So for some reason it ended up not bothering me.
In fact this is way more character and plot driven. The race, being more a side kick to the romance. The world building rather non-existent. Scott took me on a roller coaster ride- and managed to shock me several times as the story twisted and turned. I literally felt breathless at the end and I enjoyed myself thoroughly .

The character building was well done. This is written from Tella's POV. So we get to know her pretty well. And when the book started I honestly wasn't a fan of her. She packed Chanel makeup to race for heavens  sake!! Can you say vain much?!
But as the race goes on, she learns, she gets better not only at racing. But one discovers that she is strong, compassionate, loyal and generous.
Her friends she makes on the during the race, are in many ways the same, one gets to know them slowly. Though frankly they could be better fleshed out.
The nemesis was a tad bit to much for me at the beginning but I loved to hate him by the end. Though he was the total cliche.
And Guy, oooh Guy. I liked him from the beginning, but he's on and off behavior really annoyed me in the end. He better opens up and races with Tella in the next book!! Then again, he is tall and handsome- intriguing and his moody-gruffiness is actually strangely attractive.  So hot ;) Still not sure how I do feel about him, hotness deluxe for sure, but do I actually like him? .. hmmm...

So the bottom line: I am surprised that I like it this much. I do credit this to Scott's writing, as I said she is one of my favorites, and somehow going in not expecting the deepest most profound novel, meant I just enjoyed the fun.
I know there will be people who might find the Hunger Game connection to close. So if you are a die-hard Hunger Games fan, you might wanna give this a skip. If you expect something seriously deep, maybe skip it as well.
What this is, is a few hours of incredible action, good dose of romance and lots of good wit. Oh and  a wee bit of gore as well. Actually On some weird level it also reminded me of Lost. Don't aks me why but it did. I really think someone should make this into a movie! Because it would be the kind of movie I would love.
I am the first to admit, it has it's flaws. Quite a few of them actually. But sometimes, for whatever reason, I simply don't care. And that's what happened with Fire & Flood, I enjoyed myself thorougly. I know there are knitbits that are not great, but I couldn't care less, I am not even bothered to go and examine them. Nope I just enjoy the fact that this was a great read. Scott carved out her own category: fluffy and badass. Apparently I don't only enjoy cute and fluffy.
My rating is totally based on that.

A surprising 4 Stars!

Last: I am desperately waiting for the next novel! Could someone at least spare me the pain of indefinite waiting and tell me when the next novel is going to be published?! PLEASE?


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