Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Scholastic Press on February 25th 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?
I have been desperate to read Fire & Flood for what feels like ages, so when my pre-ordered copy finally landed in my mailbox there was a serious amount of ‘happy-dancing’ and ‘squealing’ involved. It actually arrived a few days early! *the Book Gods must have felt I was about to spontaneously combust if I didn’t get to read this book!* I threw everything else aside and took a plunge into the awesomeness that was Fire & Flood. Needless to say, it was every bit as awesome as I’d expected it to be!
“If my hair gets any frizzier, I’ll shave it to the scalp.” Talk about a great sentence to open a book with! I took an instant liking to our main character: Tella. While maybe a bit self-conscious and spoiled at first, she develops a great deal throughout the story and all that really matters to her is to find a way to cure her dying brother.
“Now he’s down to this: pretending. Prentending to be the brother who swung a right hook in my honor. Pretending to be the son who danced a jig in the end zone that his dad taught him. He’s still the guy who isn’t afraid to write more than his name in a greeting card. Still the guy who loves redbrick buildings and cars that growl and Cheez Whiz sprayed straight from the can into his open mouth.
He is still my brother.
He is not my brother at all.”
Tella intrigued me. She has a unique and entertaining voice that had me interested right away. She’s extrovert, spunky, and nothing short of determined and courageous. I loved how protective she was over her Pandora. It was very endearing how careful and protective -even when it seemed something was wrong with it- she was over the Pandora egg, how she sang to the egg and how she gave it the name Maddox even before it hatched. Other contenders would probably have given up on the egg, because it came across as defective, but I loved how Tella cared about the egg and loved it despite its deceiving -seemingly defect- appearance.
The secondary characters -as well as the awesome Pandoras- are just as intriguing as Tella. They are varied and diverse, and every single one of them packs a story, they all have their own reason to be where they are. Guy and Harper were my favourite secondary characters, though Jaxon defensively peeked my interest as well! I loved how the supporting characters and their Pandoras were expertly used to infuse moments of laughter and lightness into a story where the main character is trapped in a environment that poses a constant threat to her life.
Fire & Flood is a book full of action, a certain amount of humor that will have you giggling in no time, and a perfect amount of romance that will land you wit yet another favorite fictional crush! There’s laughter, giggling, swooning and blushing. Lone tears will be wiped from your cheeks and you’ll want to punch some people for their horrible choices and actions.
I am eagerly awaiting the sequel! I can’t wait to find out more about the Brimstone Bleed and it’s origin.
Also, I am now very much hoping for my own Pandora egg!