Series: Fire & Flood (bk. 1)
Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Thriller
Subjects: survival, rainforests, deserts, animals, races, contests, adventure
Setting: Montana, and then the rainforest and then desert
POV/Tense: 1st person POV present tense: Tella Holloway
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 305 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Summary/ product description: “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?”
My Review: Fire & Flood is a unique take on a competition. It’s nothing like the Hunger Games beside the survival stuff. It’s not set in the future. Fire & Flood is set in the present, but it has sci-fi elements and action. I enjoyed the narrator. Tella is hilarious and says and thinks the funniest thing. She’s very realistic and not at all boring. She’s nothing like Katniss. She complains about being in the rainforest and the desert in head and has an inner commentary on her situation. She’s quirky, like makeup and massages and hates her curly hair and freckles .
Fire & Flood also had something I haven’t had enough of in YA books: Animal companions. Every contender in the Brimstone Bleed gets a Pandora Companion. A genetically altered animal that hatches from a egg and has special abilities that will help their Contenders survive. I really liked Maddox, Tella fox companion. He seemed really adorable and had a few tricks up his sleeve.
I also liked Guy. He has such and odd name. Tella didn’t like him at all at first. She said he had serial killer eyes, but he turned out to be really kind and helpful. Tella joins a group of contender and pandoras to help each other out. They have to make it to the base camp. Guy has a lion, Harper has and eagle and twin brothers Ransom and Levi have a raccoon and ram. It’s so cool seeing what these creatures can do. There’s a bit of romances. There’s also this character name Titus who’s not a nice guy.
There were a few crazy twists along the way. There’s action and thrills. I also thought it was cool that the first half of the book is set in a rainforest and the second half is in a desert. I have no clue if this is a trilogy or a duology, but I’m sure they’ll make it to Ocean and Mountains in the next book. Maybe even over throw the people who run the game. Who knows?
I do of course recommend this to fans of the Hunger Games trilogy, especially Catching Fire. Also, The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse, Origin by Jessica Khoury and other sci-fi books.
Cover Art Review: I like the cover. The typography is pretty cool with the water puddling like on glass. I like the burning feather.