Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

A pulse-pounding thrill ride, where a teen girl must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life--and her own.

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 the middle of...
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Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood Series #1)

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Overview

A pulse-pounding thrill ride, where a teen girl must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life--and her own.

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 the middle of nowhere 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?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Tella's family has moved from Boston to Montana, hoping the wide-open spaces will help her older brother Cody fight the wasting illness that has plagued him for the past year. Tella receives a mysterious package with a tiny listening device, which tells her that she has been selected as a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed-a three-month, four-ecosystem race in which the winner is guaranteed a cure for any illness. After a stop at an old museum, there is a mad dash among the Contenders to select Pandoras-eggs of various sizes that will assist them in the race. The Pandoras prove invaluable here: there's a fire-breathing lion, a cheetah that shoots out twin beams of red light, and an elephant with the ability to tunnel through sand to find water. Tella learns that her newly-hatched Pandora, a small black fox she calls Maddox, has the ability to mirror the other Pandoras. She and the others are transported to a remote rainforest, where they'll have two weeks to complete the first leg of the race. When the race begins, Tella attempts to follow fellow contestant Guy, but after losing him, she struggles through the rainforest on her own before stumbling onto a small group: gorgeous Harper, motherly Caroline, little Dink, and twins Levi and Ransom. Although Tella is determined to win the cure for Cody, she is easily distracted by Guy's rippling muscles. His pattern of saving her from various demises—just in the nick of time—undermines the author's efforts to convince readers that Tella is a strong and independent protagonist. Characters are two-dimensional, and some, especially Titus and his rogue Triggers, are downright cartoonish. In this trilogy opener, the backstory for the Brimstone Bleed's origins stretches credulity. Perhaps the sequels will provide a more solid foundation and a less clichéd story arc, but if the first installment is any indication, take a pass on this series.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
Tella Holloway’s older brother is dying, and if anyone knows why, they’re not saying. In the desperate hope that fresh air and quiet will help him, Tella’s parents have left Boston for an isolated Montana farmhouse: no neighbors, no school, no electronic devices. Suffice it to say, Tella is going nuts. The mysterious delivery of an earpiece—which her father tries and fails to destroy—offers Tella escape and hope. Its message is that if she can make it to a rendezvous point in Nebraska, she can compete for the chance to cure her brother. Scott (the Dante Walker trilogy) isn’t hiding her influences—this novel reads like a mashup of The Hunger Games and The Amazing Race. But Scott holds her own in attitude and taut action, and Tella’s voice is feminine, smart, and sassy. Importantly, although male-female chemistry is definitely present, the emotional drive of the novel doesn’t rely on romance. Family, camaraderie, and Tella’s bond with her furry Pandora companion matter just as much in getting her through the first part of her life-and-death race. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Jane Harper
Tella’s brother is dying, and she is desperate to save his life. Her opportunity comes when she is chosen by mysterious, unseen organizers to be a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed, a three-months-long contest that pits its participants against the elements in four different ecosystems: desert, sea, mountains, and jungle. There can be only one winner, and the prize is the cure for any illness, for any one person. Tella soon realizes that if she is going to save her brother’s life by winning the Cure, she is going to have to risk her own. Aside from the brutal natural elements, she must also survive her fellow Contenders and their Pandoras—human-engineered, animal-like creatures that are endowed with unique powers. Non-stop action and thrilling adventure will keep readers turning the pages. Suspense builds as, one by one, the Contenders quit, die, or are murdered. They form factions and make alliances, never truly knowing who they can trust. Tella, a girl who was once interested mostly in clothes and makeup, develops an inner toughness and emerges as a strong leader. Well-developed secondary characters and the unpredictable Pandoras add depth and interest. At the book’s end, it is clear that a sequel will follow. Tella still has a long way to go, and many questions to answer. Readers, particularly fans of dystopian survival stories, will be eager to join her on her journey. Reviewer: Jane Harper; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Heidi Culbertson
Stories like The Hunger Games have become cliché over the years, but with her less violent and more heart-wrenching approach, Scott captures the essence of what it means to sacrifice one’s self for a loved one. She does a magnificent job of developing each character and developing their backstories gradually, instead of all at once. This keeps the story interesting and virtually impossible to put down. Reviewer: Heidi Culbertson, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-04
The Hunger Games meets The Amazing Race. When a mysterious blue box arrives for Tella, a small audio device invites her to compete in the Brimstone Bleed. She has less than 48 hours to report to the competition, select a Pandora companion and enter in a three-month race across four separate ecosystems—first to the finish line gets a cure for any illness. Tella seizes the chance to save her deathly ill brother's life and is tossed into a ruthless survivalist competition. While the overall worldbuilding is light, the more immediate competition settings are ably exploited for dangers. The Pandoras are eggs that hatch genetically engineered, superpowered animals—not terribly realistic but so much fun that nobody will care. Everyone has a loved one to save so stakes are high, but survival necessitates teaming up, yielding hilarious dialogue. Of course, one of Tella's teammates is a handsome, broody, uber-competent love interest. The female supporting characters are less stock. Tella herself is awkward, doofy and self-consciously superficial—the combination makes her easy to root for. It's hard to believe how trusting and accepting Tella is regarding the lack of information about the race—aside from the occasional small hints, most background comes in a large expository passage late in the novel that will leave readers excited for the next installment. Great for readers needing a fix in between Hunger Games movie releases. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545537476
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Series: Fire & Flood Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 12,312
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Victoria Scott is the author of the Dante Walker series. She lives in Dallas with her husband, and is currently working on the second Fire & Flood novel. Victoria adores getting to know her readers. Visit her online at VictoriaScottYA.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Victoria Scott has done it again! She has started another great

    Victoria Scott has done it again! She has started another great series starter with really good ideas, characters, and themes.

    DESPERATION

    What I love about Scott's work is that I can both have fun and find good themes/focuses as I'm reading. In The Collector, I saw a big focus on beauty that I really loved, but in Fire & Flood, I saw desperation. The book demonstrated how desperation can strip away sympathy and consideration for those around us—both human and animal. A lot of people were desperate to win the Brimstone Bleed, to come out first and win that cure, that they did things that they probably would never have considered in the past. Whenever I can pinpoint a theme or focus like this while I'm reading a book, I just enjoy that book more.

    TELLA & CO.

    Tella was NORMAL. Completely and totally normal, which made the book all the more enjoyable. She wasn't extra special and she didn't have a "one of a kind" ability. She was portrayed to be more kind and sympathetic than others, but that still didn't make her seem abnormal (like a lot of heroines are).

    As for the other characters, there were a variety of them. There were a lot of side characters, but they seemed easily distinguishable from one another. Also, quite a few of them surprised me—I didn't fully expect some of their actions.

    Guy was mysterious. Very mysterious. I really, really liked him, and I'm definitely looking forward to more of him in the sequel.

    CONCEPTS

    Pandoras are awesome. That is all.

    Actually, no. I do have a couple more things to add. I loved the Brimstone Bleed. It was something different. There was a good background to it—the author did a great job setting it up and giving it history as to why the race was being held. I loved the pieces that went with the race: the pandoras, the cure, the twists, the settings. I also loved the the events and surprises that occurred during the race.

    One more thing: Max was awesomely adorable. You may want one of him after reading this book.

    OVERALL

    GREAT BOOK. The author did a really good job with this one. It was an entertaining read with cool and interesting concepts and ideas, as well as great characters and super awesome pandoras. I definitely recommend picking this one up!

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars

    Source: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    I would give this book minus one star if I could.  Also, I only

    I would give this book minus one star if I could.  Also, I only got eleven pages in before I couldn't take it any more and wanted to murder this book!  




    Uh, Cody (Tella's brother) is sick so he asked her (for some weird reason) to tease him.  But Tella goes way beyond that and is vicious and mean to him.  




    By the sixth page she's already putting herself down!?!  I can't even remember what she was blaming herself for, it was that stupid and obscure.   
    I don't normally quote, but this pretty much sums up the book, 




    "I close my hand around the lid and pull it off.  Inside is a tiny pillow.  I imagine all sorts of miniature animals using it in their miniature beds.  But that's dumb, because how would they ever find a pillow case to fit?"  




    Yep, I'm pretty sure that sums it up (*massaging temples*).  Has she never seen a "tiny pillow" before?  They're only in every single jewelry box in the world!  




    That was around page nine, so I thought, "It's still early in the book.  I'll keep reading, it can't get any worse."  (sign) I was so wrong.




    She's holding a blinking, black device and says, "I like blinking lights."   What is she, three!  But I still had hope, however naive of me.




    She then proceeds to say that her mom is on crack because she was tell Tella what school she needed to do the next day.  I'm not kidding.  That's where I lost all hope for the book, and stopped.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    When Tellas brother got sick, she had to give up her life in the

    When Tellas brother got sick, she had to give up her life in the big city and move to the back of beyond. No telly, no internet and miles from no where. When she walks into her bed room and sees a little blue box on her bed with some sort of gadget inside she is ecstatic. Her first taste of technology in a long time. Just when she puts it into her ear her father storms in and grabs it from her. He is furious and she has no idea why. 




    When she sees her father out late one night she follows him. He starts a fire and throws the device into it. When he leaves she sneaks over to see the remains but is astonished to see the device unharmed. She gets it out of the embers and listens to it. It is an invitation to the Brimstone Bleed with the grand prize being a cure for any illness!! She knows she will do anything to cure her brother so has to go. What she doesn't realise is whats involved but will she find out too late? 




    Wow!! This is my first Victoria Scott book and it definitely wont be my last. I absolutely loved this. 




    Tella at the start came across as self centered but you can see how much she cares about her family. When she hears about the race, even though she had so many questions, she knows straight away she will have to take part. She thinks its a hoax at first but when she gets to the Pandora pick she knows its not. At the Pandora pick she is jostled and has her hair pulled and is sickened to see that there are no more eggs left. She is terrified that she failed right at the start but when she looks up she sees this man looking down at her, he glances to the side and following his gaze she sees an egg under the shelves. With her Pandora in hand she listens to her device for the next set of instructions.




    I loved the idea of the Pandoras. They are designed to help the competitors during the race and only show their powers when needed. Maddox, Tellas Pandora, was amazing!! He is a small fox with BIG powers. At first after Tella sees the other Pandoras, she wonders how her fox can compete against the likes of lions, elephants, eagles and even bears, but he shows her he can do that and more!! 




    Now onto Guy!! The mysterious stranger who helped Tella find her Pandora. Be still my heart!!! He was mysterious, strong, tough and woe anyone who got in his way. At the start he keeps his distance but after certain events, ends up helping Tella and the group she joined. Very slowly he comes out of his shell and I loved getting to know his character. He is very complex and the way the author slowly drew out his story was awesome. 




    The romance was not a main point but I did love seeing it develop between certain characters. I was rooting for them from the start. There is a whole slew of secondary characters in Fire & Flood and I loved every one of them. Each added their own bit to the book and overall made the book better. The plot was faced paced and intense. I finished the book within 2 days and with 4 kids thats saying something! Any time I had a spare minute I found myself picking it up and diving back into the story. 




    So yes, overall I loved Fire & Flood. It was an intense, breathtaking, thrilling, rollercoaster of a book. It captivated me from the start and I flew through it. With twists and turns at every corner, you are left wondering and waiting to see what could possibly happen next. From the rain forest to the desert, its a story of not only survival but strength. Who can survive the harsh landscapes and win? I can not wait for book 2 and highly recommend this!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Good start

    I liked this book. Very cool concept. It very much reminds me of the show Survivor, not the books Hunger Games. These group of people, people of all ages too, compete in the Brimstone Bleed. The end goal is to help someone in their family that is sick and they get help from Pandoras to aid them. These Pandoras are pretty wicked cool animals that help them on their journey. Personally I wish I had one right now. Especially little Madox.

    There was a lot of characters in the book but it mainly focuses on Tella. To me she was somewhat useless, but that didn't make like the book any less. She had a big heart and the things she thought brought some comic relief. Near the end, she had to learn how to do things on her own.

    Guy, the heartthrob of the story took upon himself to look after her. I can't wait to see where their relationship goes because he's kinda standoff-ish.

    I like that it also divulges us some insight of why they have the races. Glad I'm not waiting until the next book to find out. So far I think it's a great start to a series.

    *I received this book from NetGalley*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    During the entire first part of the story, I had no idea what wa

    During the entire first part of the story, I had no idea what was going on. There was little action going on at first but things sure got interesting real fast. Although I had this voice screaming in my head saying it was so much like The Hunger Games, I think I liked this better because the hybrid animals made the plot seem much more interesting. 




    Any book with similarities to The Hunger Games was of course a turn-off, but I was not the biggest Hunger Games fan, preferring Divergent instead so I don't know if a comparison would seem fair. 




    Tella, the protagonist, wants to save her brother, who had a mysterious illness. And the only way is to get the Cure, by participating in the Brimstone Bleed. Sounds familar to you? I mean, the Brimstone Bleed definitely is not the fanciest of names (in my opinion), but I want to know what it is all about. The plot isn't set in the future, and it felt like it's happening in the present, so we get to see Tella whine and complain like any girl her age would. Let's all be real here for a second, because if it were me, I would not want to sleep on a bed of leaves, having ants crawling all over me, knowing that I might not make it out alive, or being a prisoner to a psychotic Titus. I would rather be at home just like Tella wished she was. 




    I also gotta admit that Guy isn't the most interesting of male characters I have read about, and his name is not one of my favorites. But being the guy who saves Tella from all that crazy she has encountered surely makes him a better character. And with his knowledge of what the Brimstone Bleed was, I guess he would be there to help save the day. 




    I had expected a little more action, maybe with weapons involved, but the Pandoras were cool. I probably just had my expectations higher and would love to see more development in the second book. Even with all that said, I actually am looking forward to reading Salt & Stone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2014

    WOW

    I wish I could rate this so much higher, because it deserves so many more. This book was amazing, inspiring and quite frankly edge of your seat kinda of book. I am disappointed that the sequel will not be out until NEXT YEAR ugh... anyways, love this book. Already read it MULTIPLE times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Great!

    This book was fun to read. A little hard to get into but now i cant wait for the next book!

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  • Posted June 26, 2014

    This book grabbed me from the first page.  Couldn't put it down.

    This book grabbed me from the first page.  Couldn't put it down.  Had me thinking what would I do for someone I loved.
     Also thinking about drug companies, do we really know what they are doing??????? What is the government doing to
    keep tabs on these companies.  What is going on in the basements of these big companies, the men with all the money
    at their fingertips.  Victoria Scott has a way with words that grabs a reader from the first sentence to the last word.
    A must read if you like a little romance a little para-normal mixed with a little futuristic thrown in for good measure.

    Victoria Scott   The Collector was off the Wall awesome  and now this new series   I can't wait for the next book.

    If you like a good read with all the emotion's   love, hate, fear, desperation for both human and animal then this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Willow

    ePe bye

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Silver to willow

    I wont be on for this week so ttyl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2014

    Fire & Flood is all that the blurb promised and so much more

    Fire & Flood is all that the blurb promised and so much more. When she decides to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, Tella Holloway is completely taken out of her comfort zone and dumped into situations exactly opposite to what she is used to. During the race she meets the gorgeous Guy, the much nastier Titus, and several other characters who have a major impact on that part of her life. 

    This highly imaginative story captivated me from the beginning. Although this book is comfortably paced, I found it engaging with never a dull moment. 

    I absolutely loved Tella as a main character. She is self-confident and positive with a "hey, I can do this" kind of attitude. Although she would rather be giving herself facials and doing her hair, she copes remarkably well with the grimy circumstances of living in a rainforest and then in the desert. She survives traumas of being chased by chimps, bitten by a leech, and being attacked by ants. But, when fellow contestants are hurt or die, it almost destroys her. 

    Guy, the other main character, has a gift for leadership, a great deal of knowledge about survival in the wild, and maybe even a couple of ulterior motives. Other characters like Harper, the warrior, and gentle, humorous Jaxon, add to an unforgettable cast of characters. 

    My personal favorite, however, was little Madox. Unfortunately, saying more about that cute little fellow will give more spoilers than I want to. 

    In this book you will meet a fire-breathing lion, a cheetah whose eyes can provide light, a few animals with wonderful fighting and hunting skills, and the coolest shape-shifter you've ever heard of. The balance of good and evil is kept by a boy with a mean, split personality, a monster child, and several crazy pharmacists.

    Always moving forward, full of suspense and self-sacrifice, I found Fire & Flood to be a thrilling and heartwarming read. (Ellen Fritz)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    I can't even!

    This was such a delightfully refreshing read. Tella is a very funny and interesting narrator and the excitement literally never lets up. Five ginormous stars. Highly recomend.

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  • Posted May 11, 2014

    I really enjoyed this novel! From the beginning, I was HOOKED. I

    I really enjoyed this novel! From the beginning, I was HOOKED. It's such a fast-paced novel that it didn't take me long to finish it. 

    Fire & Flood is told in 1st person narrative, which is actually what I preferred for this type of novel (like THG, too). I really enjoyed Tella's voice. She's actually a very superficial person, especially in the beginning. She cares more about appearances and Boston than how sick her brother is. Or so it seems. But she surprised me so much throughout this novel; her strength, her determination, her love for her brother, Cody. By the end, I really liked her character. She was such a fantastic heroine. One who is realistic without it being forced, funny in tense situations, and determined to save her brother. 

    I really liked the secondary characters, as well! Because Tella leaves so early for the race, we don't have very many scenes with her and her family. But throughout the novel, she gets homesick many times, and I feel like I know them well enough. I just wish she'd asked her mom questions before leaving (I'd been suspicious that her mom had competed in the Brimstone Bleed before). The misfit group of characters that help Tella were all wonderfully fleshed out. They each had their own personalities and strengths and weaknesses. There was also this wonderful mystery surrounding them all: why were they there and who were they trying to save? And you can't, of course, forget that you might not be able to trust them! Also, I have to mention how awesome the Pandoras are! Ooh, I'd love to have a foxy Pandora like Madox. :)

    There is a little bit of romance in this novel, but it doesn't overshadow the plot. It's a slow and sweet development that fits in perfectly with this race. It's also a little heartbreaking, for how can you potentially fall in love with someone in a race like this? I really liked Guy's character, and he's still a complete mystery to me. I can't wait to see more relationship development between them. 

    Okay, so I was hooked from the beginning. And because I was so engrossed in the story, I didn't pay much attention to the how the plot was laid out. I loved how detailed the different ecosystems were, and I could see them clearly in my mind. And the plot was very fast-paced, with many action scenes throughout. But I would have, if any other book, been really annoyed if the mystery wasn't being revealed fast enough. The mystery was not revealed until the very end, almost as if the author was like: Now you guys have to read the sequel to find out more! It was almost placed there just to make you excited about the sequel. Not that I wasn't already, but still. You get little bits and pieces of the mystery behind the Brimstone Bleed throughout the novel, like carrots being dangled in front of horses to make them walk. You get a clue, want to find out more, so you keep reading. I just wanted more background than what we got. But it makes me excited to continue. :)

    Fire & Flood was like a mix of The Hunger Games (but was still totally different), The Amazing Race, and Survivor. As Tella navigates the jungle and the desert, you're pulled along on her journey to saving her brother's life. It was very good, with well-rounded characters, a juicy mystery, and an intense and terrifying race to win the Cure.

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  • Posted May 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    An emotional joyride the whole way through to the very end!! I

    An emotional joyride the whole way through to the very end!!

    I received this book for a blog review from the publisher.

    Okay so first things first! I loved the storyline, wow! It kept me glued and anytime I had light to read by and time I was reading quite obsessively! This was such a great book and I am so looking forward to the next one! (Perhaps even a little impatiently.)

    The plot, epic! The characters, love them, all of them! And the Pandoras, OMG! That is a cool concept and disturbing at the same time! The villain in this book was really villainy lol he did his part well.

    Everything is described and put out there so amazingly well that you are transported into The Brimstone Bleed and along for the entire ride!

    It is an emotional joyride the whole way through to the very end! I was so scared for Tella the outspoken and courageous leading lady who was just scared and unsure enough to be real. I absolutely loved the brooding Guy yeah, TEAM GUY!

    The range of personalities is great in both the people and the Pandoras.

    All in all this is a great Teen Thriller and I was shocked more than once and terrified more than once as well. I laughed alot and got crazy stares from my family but I cried at one point as well.

    The Pandoras were amazing and a really important part of the mix. Every character coaxed an emotion from you and caused you to develop a relationship with them whether that be love, hate or friendship. I absolutely loved the twists and turns it was very unpredictable!

    I would go quote crazy because it has great lines but I won't do that at least not yet!

    Yeah I totally NEED book 2 like yesterday!!

    Fire & Flood exceeded my expectations times a hundred and I am convinced that I need to read whatever Victoria is putting out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    Good book

    The only bad thing I have to say about this book is the bad language which is bad the F word came up a lot and that is why I can not give it 5 stars the book would have been better without it. But other than that it was a awesome book love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Good book. It does have some themes you get from Hunger Games, m

    Good book. It does have some themes you get from Hunger Games, main girl trying to win this contest for her family. I didnt think of the tv reality show Survivor until I saw some of the reviews here but when I think about it, it makes sense except in this book, people do die but not too much (not in hunger games/battle royale style) and they get to decide to leave the contest. There is also a  touch of the rebeling theme at the end, which makes the story a bit more interesting to find out  more in next book. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Enjoyable

    Entertaining.

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  • Posted March 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Well, there's no other way than to just tell it like it is. Hone

    Well, there's no other way than to just tell it like it is. Honestly, I was a little leery of this novel because I did not enjoy the Dante Walker series. I know, shoot me now, but I just couldn't connect to any of the characters. But HELLO Fire & Flood! I'm not sure what sub-genre this young adult book falls into, because it's really not dystopian, but that's the closest way to describe it, I think.

    I'm not going to give any big spoilers, so describing exactly why this race takes place will be impossible, because there's much more to it than a race for a cure. One hundred and seventy-two contestants begin the race, which will take them through four ecosystems, and the person who wins the entire race wins a cure for someone in their family who is chronically ill. For Tella, it's her brother.

    I admired Tella. She walks into her room and finds a tiny, electronic ear piece laying on her bed. When she pops it in her ear, instructions flood her brain and she thinks her brother is trying to pull a prank, so she confronts him and her parents, who go a tad bit insane when they see the device. Her dad tries to burn it, but Tella manages to save it, and finishes listening to the instructions, which she follows to save her brother.

    Anyway, Tella makes it to the starting line with everything she's allowed, and nothing she brought. Victoria inserted so many interesting and unique concepts into the story, it kept me guessing what would happen next. I loved the Pandoras. Foxes, lions, rams, and so many other critters that had the powers of superheroes. Some could burrow in the sand and shoot spurs out into various parts of intruders bodies, others could breathe fire though they weren't dragons, and another could imitate all others. The single thing the pandoras had in common, is they existed to protect their competitor. Tella realized this from the beginning and showed her companion compassion and friendship. She won other pandoras loyalties by showing them the same kindness.

    As the competitors make their way across a rain forest, then a desert, the obstacles and challenges became greater and riskier. Friends and enemies are picked off with increasing speed and ease. However, after each ecosystem, the winner scores anything from money to secure their loved ones the best medical care, to a small dose of the "cure" to extend the life of their family member a few years longer. They are also given the option of going home or continuing on for the ultimate reward. Dropping out of the Brimstone Bleed becomes a forethought in many people's minds, but their loyalty to their family keeps them going.

    One of Tella's cohorts, and possibly a potential boyfriend, knows more about the Brimstone Bleed than the others. Guy is willing to share bits of the truth with Tella, and perhaps there is so much more to the story than a race for a cure. I am excited to read Salt and Stone. Why so long, Victoria? Why?

    I recommend Fire & Flood to those who enjoy dystopian type books. This is a YA book but does contain some violence.

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  • Posted March 24, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Fire & Flood is the first book in the series of the same na

    Fire & Flood is the first book in the series of the same name by Victoria Scott. I knew when I started reading it that people would compare this (badly) to the Hunger Games. I understand the comparison, but I think there is enough good stuff in Fire & Flood to let it stand on its own as an enjoyable dystopian novel.

    Firstly, there's the Pandoras. I admit I'm a sucker for animals, and I liked how they were used in the story for the most part. I didn't like the last requirement to get into the second base camp - which I won't mention because of spoilers. It was kind of harsh and I didn't quite see the point of it.

    I liked seeing the Contenders group up for support and helping each other get through the challenges. This also brought some interesting tension as they know only one of them can win and they are all playing for loved ones. Those relationships were portrayed well, but I felt the potential romantic relationship between Tella and Guy was a little lacking. The ways Guy was stand-offish, then suddenly holding her while she slept seemed contrived.

    The novel was an easy read, I finished it in one afternoon. Over all, I enjoyed it and will probably keep reading the series. It's marketed for Young Adult, but if YA is considered as 13-21, I would say this skews more to the younger end, and maybe into the older Childrens' level.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a MUST READ!

    I love love love this book! I expect nothing but the best from Ms. Victoria Scott and she delivered yet another awesome book! This is really different from her Dante Walker series but it still has action and of course that one hot guy...names Guy ♥¿♥ This book is amazing and if you live The Hunger Games you will live this book!

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