I received this book for free from Chicken House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott
Series: Fire and Flood #1
Published by Chicken House on 6th March 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Chicken House
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's brother is dying. He's got cancer, and Tella is helpless to save him. Or so she thought. When an invitation arrives for Tella to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a deadly competition that will lead her through treacherous jungle and scorching desert, she doesn't think twice. Because the prize is a cure to any illness. But Tella will be facing more than just the elements.
Review: One of my favourite things about being a book blogger is the way it has challenged my perceptions and preconceptions of certain books. When Fire and Flood dropped through my letterbox I was intrigued due to the great write-up and press release Chicken House had supplied me with but at the same time felt it would be another dystopia and I was pretty tired of them.
I decided on a whim to start Fire and Flood shortly after receiving it, especially as I was curious about Victoria Scott’s previous Dante Walker books, and very quickly was ensconced in the book. One of the most refreshing things is although aspects of it are very dystopian, it doesn’t feel like that when you read it. It begins in our ordinary world and we’re rapidly pulled into something strange and new. In a way, this is also frustrating though. What world are we in? If science has advanced to the degree indicated in the novel, then surely Tela’s outside world would show this. It reminded me a little of Fringe in that sense and I wondered if it was supposed to be that same underbelly to the world we know. Either way, Fire and Flood was a thrilling and oh so compellingly addictive read.
Tela was a great character. Flawed, human, unashamedly girly and not Katniss. There’s nothing wrong with Katniss by the way, I think she’s awesome, but not every girl is or can be Katniss, or should be as Katniss is a product of her dystopian society. Tela felt more real though; concerned about her appearance, passive to a degree and at times frustrating, but she’s driven by a deep love for her brother and motivated. The fact this situation is not Tela’s forte just heightens her sense of sacrifice and love for her family. I did however find Tela’s reliance on Guy, her romantic interest, a little annoying at times, and her scenes with Titus incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable to read.
Then there are the Pandoras. The animals, guys! This book has animals that have magical powers and protect their owners! The concept is very engaging and intriguing. It also offers further character development as Tela is the only competitor who treats hers as a companion than a tool, offering her own water and even naming him Madox.
The only part that for me felt a little weak was the twist at the ending. Without spoiling it, for me it was too predictable and I believe that it might have been stronger if it hadn’t gone that way. View Spoiler » As a punishment, the stakes are lower to me. Had this been an anonymous competition and the organisers not had these stakes, the cruelty and horror would have been so much more pronounced. The deliberate infection of one person as well just really didn’t sit well for me. « Hide Spoiler That said, I am definitely keen, very keen, to read the next book and I think this series has a lot of potential.
Fire and Flood is an engaging and really fun read, filled with action, good characterisation and high stakes. A definite recommendation from me!
I received a free copy from Chicken House for reviewing purposes. My review is honest and its tone and content unaffected by the means in which I received the book.