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July 10, 2014

A Shot of YA: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Series: Fire & Flood 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA | Dystopia
Time is slipping away...

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?


FIRE & FLOOD is so awesome!!

Photo credit
*insert high-pitched fangirl scream*  


See I sort of promised myself that I'll read more YA this month because I need to diversify my genre and I'm in possession of quite a few good ones. FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott included. I should say that I regret not reading this sooner but I think this book deserves more enthusiasm than I could muster when I got it so better late than never. 

Now this book has been around for quite some time and have received mad gushing from lots of book bloggers so I'll do my best not to repeat what you've already read and/or heard. Let me say briefly that it does remind me of The Hunger Games because of the contest rules and fight to the death nature of the Brimstone Bleed. At the same time, Suzanne Collins dominated this genre with her trilogy, epitomized the essence of Dystopia, and inadvertently set the benchmark for future novels. So to be fair to VScott and her fantastic writing, I will instead focus on the things that stood out for me: 

  1. Tella Halloway is definitely no Katniss Everdeen, she complains a lot, can be self-centered and vain, is into fashion, and would rather play with make-up than be bothered by more important stuff. Talla isn't a leader either, she's more of a loyal and good follower than the person you look to for guidance or advice. However it's her propensity for great empathy that endeared her to me. And it's this same kind-heartedness that prevents her from being ruthless even when being a successful Contender calls for it.


  2. Aside from Jay Kristoff's The Lotus War series, I haven't read a YA book where some sort of an animal is a main character. The concept of Pandoras is delightful. They're man-made beasts hatched from an egg and as they are genetically engineered, each has a special ability that can be utilized by their Contender. Their emotional/mental connection is quite advantageous as these Pandoras have saved the lives of their respective Contenders on several occasions. Talla's Pandora, Madox, appears to be a harmless little fox but Madox is some sort of a Pandora doppelganger and would transform into whichever creature is best suited for the mission. They also remind me of Pokemons




  3. I'm not taken by Guy, Talla's love interest, and I also didn't connect with their budding romance. 


  4. I love the pace and the ruthlessness of the other Contenders. This isn't a group of purely teenagers some of them are kids, parents, daughters, cousins, etc. Basically every face and person that can be stricken with the burden of seeing someone you love die slowly in front of you because of some disease. 


  5. I love the backstory behind the Brimstone Bleed. It's not all encompassing like a government mandated competition. It's very elite and personal. 


  6. This didn't feel like Dystopia to me, more of like YA Fantasy. 

So these are my highlights and obviously I can't wait for the next one. 









35 comments:

  1. I'm glad that you liked this one SW. It was one of my favorites from last year that I read. I can't wait for the next one either. Glad you liked it.

    Grace
    Books of Love

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    1. I was expecting it to be good but I didn't expect that I'll be blown away!

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  2. I have this one too, but I'd been holding off on it, b/c I'm kind of over dystopians right now. BUT you say this doesn't feel like a dystopian, so maybe I need to reevaluate ;)

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    1. Yeah it's like this independent group running this and not government sanctioned so the rest of the world is normal and seemed oblivious to this.

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  3. I've actually read mixed reviews of this book but I'm so glad you ended up absolutely loving this Braine! Suped Up! Wow! I think the main complaint of the negative reviews I've read is Tella's preoccupation with fashion and makeup when she's there to save a brother's life. It's good to read your review though since I'm able to read a different take of her personality. And I do love the Pokemon idea! That's so cute! I will probably wait for book 2 or at least until the series is over but I do have the author's Dante Walker series so I think it's about time I try her out. Lovely review, Braine!

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    1. That's the thing that actually endeared her to me. She's a teen! No teen, regardless of the situation, is totally selfless. I was a teenager once too and no matter how dire the situation is, vanity gets in the way of things sometimes. That character flaw made her real to me.

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  4. This is yet another series I've been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to yet. Several of my friends love it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I hope you get to it soon and I hope you enjoy it :)

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  5. Yay! I really liked this one as well. Even though it had some similarities to a certain popular trilogy, I loved all the differences.

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    1. So true, it managed to stand on its own despite the HG comparisons.

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  6. Sulan by Camille Picott actually has an animal kind of like that, it was really cool!
    I've been wanting to read this one so I'm happy to see your awesome review!

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    1. Ooh I'll check that out! Thanks, Candace!

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  7. Oh wow this sounds good, I have it on my wishlist but was not in any hurry. I should probably bump it up. I like the sound of Tella.

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    1. I'm surprised you haven't read this! Get to it!

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  8. oh little pokemons. I heard great things about this one but I confess I haven't read it. Maybe I should it sounds awesome and I'm glad you had a good time with it.

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  9. No offense to Katniss, but I kind of love that Tella is so different. Not all teen girls are strong and stoic in the face of a match to the death (go figure!) and I like that she can be "regular" and still be awesome.
    Great review, Braine!

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    1. Well said! Yeah, some girls are forced to do stuff but to me it's more of she's doing it in spite of versus being like an athlete/warrior roaring at her competitors.

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  10. I'm not much of a YA reader, but your review just totally convinced me to give this book a try. I'm not big on Dystopia either, so I'm glad that the story felt more like Fantasy. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. You are welcome. This is definitely worth reading outside your comfort zone.

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  11. I think I did buy this one for Kindle, but is having second thoughts on starting it since I've seen so many mixed reviews. I'm glad this worked out for you, although Tella might annoy me because of the characteristics you mentioned. Also sucks that you didn't like her love interest...might just stay away for a bit. :)

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  12. I totally forgot what I was supposed to say..

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  13. bwhahaha love the ermahgawd pic. Yay pokemon!

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  14. I haven't read so many of the really good YA books out there including this one. I get your point about this one being good, but having it tough since it would naturally be compared to Hunger Games which actually didn't hold much appeal for me. Glad you enjoyed this one.

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  15. I've seen this around a lot and have been wondering whether to give it a try. I'm intrigued by the Pandoras- don't think I've read anything with that kind of concept. Your Pokémon image is awesome! I was SO addicted to the video games for a while! I am also guilty of watching the cartoon when it first started airing in the US, way back in the day, lol.

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  16. This is the first time I'm seeing this series. While I don't read too much in the YA/Dystopia genre I am intrigued by it. Your rave review has me wanting to add this to my list. I haven't read The Hunger Games (don't judge!) so I won't really see the similarities, even though I've watched the movie...LOL Thanks for sharing Braine!

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  17. I've had this sitting on my shelf since it released. You're making scratch my head over waiting so long to crack it open. Thanks, Braine! ;) I'm glad you're broadening your horizons. You're an inspiration. *grins*

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  18. I haven't had the chance to sit down and read this one yet, mainly because I am very wary of the main character, Tella. It feels like she would piss me a lot, but then again, you say she is very endearing and very different so perhaps I should read on with a more open mind-set that not everyone is going to be Katniss-like. Thanks for the review, doll!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  19. This one sounds intriguing... it goes to my TBR.

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  20. Oh, Fire and Flood sounds awesome! I've seen it around, but hadn't really paid that much attention to it....looks like that's going to be changing!

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  21. LOL - I cracked up at that first image. I love Victoria Scott, but I haven't read this yet. I've heard others my the Pokemon comparison too, which makes me even more curious.

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  22. Somehow I hadn't heard about this series at all. Sounds interesting, and I like that it's not as dystopian as a lot of what's out there.

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  23. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this book. I really liked it too and I liked that Tella was pretty realistic. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  24. Oooh... great review Braine! I love V. Scott's Dante series, but I haven't grabbed this one as yet. It sounds fantastic! I love the Hunger Games similarities, so I think I'd enjoy it!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  25. yay!! I think I have a hold of this one too. Must check. I saw it on NG , I think I got accepted.I am so glad you loved it and brilliant you are coming back into the YA world. There truly are some awesome books to read. I have a bit more of Dante Walker to read too. He's just a bit of fun.

    Wonderful review Matey!!

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