Fire and Flood & Salt and Stone
UK PUBLISHER: Chicken House
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 complete 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…
It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a story so much. FIRE AND FLOOD gripped me from the first chapter and I devoured the whole thing in less than a day. I couldn't wait to see what happened next, and immediately sort out the sequel, which I found to be equally thrilling. However I’m gutted there is no third book (why publishers? WHY!) because I still feel this story has so much more to offer … and I want to see the heroes take out the bad guys once and for all!
However lack of book three aside, Victoria Scott created an action packed, page turning read that fans of the Hunger Games will definitely love. Think an every-man-for-himself , long distance race but with super-animal companions and evil scientists.
The story is about Tella, whose brother is slowly dying from a mysterious sickness. But as the doctors tell the family to prepare for the worst, Tella receives a strange message: An invitation to participate in the Brimstone Bleed. A three month race, trekked across four eco systems with one ultimate prize: the cure for any illness.
It is a race that could save her brother’s life… or end Tella’s.
I can’t gush enough over how much I enjoyed this book - even cliche riddled as it was. True, if this had been real life and not fiction, Tella probably would have died several times over, but the story was just SO GOOD! Full of adventure, drama, high stakes and romance, the story packs a real punch.
Admittedly though the modern setting confused me at first - I wasn't quite sure what sort of book I was reading. Once the race begins though, the pace really picks up and the world and its backstory are nicely explained.
Tella too is a surprising character. I actually found her a little annoying at first, but once you accept she’s just a normal girl, trying to make light of a scary situation, you soon connect with thoughts and humour.
My favourite parts of the books though were the scenes that involved the Pandoras (the animal like companions given to each contender) because lets face it, if a human character dies, its fairly easy to shrug off. If something happens to a cute and fuzzy animal though - oh boy!
Not only is each Pandora fantastically unique but they also created so much tension/heartache/humour. They helped make up the soul of the book and I was super invested in the outcome of each creature. No spoilers, but reading the second book, SALT AND STONE was particularly brutal where the pandoras were concerned, but I couldn't stop turning the pages.
Another thing I loved were the backstories of the secondary characters. They are given in hints and dribbles throughout both books and I adored how so many seemingly unrelated subplots were eventually tied together.
The ending of each book was also nicely done - however I still desperately want a third book! I can only hope with enough attention and clamouring fans, Book 3 will one day appear! With that in mind, I urge all you lovely people to go buy these books. They have been some of my favourite reads this year!
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Have any of you read these books? If so I would love to know your thoughts in the comments!