Source: eARC (Netgalley)
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
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?REVIEW:
I was so ridiculously excited when I saw this book and it's description on Netgalley, and even more excited when I was approved for it. After reading the synopsis, I couldn't help but feel the need to read this book immediately. Unlike most people, seeing it described as "Hunger Games-esque" made me want to read it more. Usually descriptions like that are mostly wrong, which I'm okay with. I actually did think that were a few similarities to the Hunger Games until the race took off, then Fire & Flood really developed into it's own.
With that being said, I think this book started off a little too quickly. If the book as a whole had been a little longer, a little more drawn out, the way it all happened would've been a little easier for me to believe. As it stands, I had a hard time believing that Tella, the MC, would just up and join the Brimstone Bleed the way she did - a 16-year-old-girl, a little bit spoiled, never worked a day in her life. It was just too hard to believe. However, once things got to the actual race, though, the pacing was much better and I kind of stopped caring how she got there in the first place.
Tella is... a very unique character. I really loved how different she is from every other YA female MC out there. She was quirky, funny, silly, and seriously, downright weird at times. Her stream of consciousness had me cracking up at times... and yes, maybe sometimes rolling my eyes or wondering if the girl was on crack. But mostly laughing.
I loved all of the supporting characters, especially Madox because he's the f---ing coolest Pandora out there (though that elephant was a close second)! The love interest was great, I loved watching Tella and Guy slowly begin to form a relationship. I especially liked Guy because, even though he was dark and brooding (like every other YA male love interest), he had reasons. Real reasons, and I can tolerate dark and brooding when there's a reason to be that way.
I was a little disappointed with the ending in that it seemed kind of abrupt. Maybe I'm just being a brat because I really just wanted more of the story! I just couldn't get enough of reading about this mysterious race through the eyes of a totally relatable, sometimes weird, possibly annoying, completely irrational, but absolutely brave and smart teenager who is unlike any MC I've ever read.
RATING: ★★★★ 1/2
I really, really loved Fire & Flood and this is one of the few eARCs I think I am going to have to go out and buy an actual copy of, and possibly read again because I'm going to be miserable waiting until God knows when for the second installment.
On a side note - did anyone else have issues with their Kindle version of this eARC? Mine was all screwed up and I ended up having to read the majority of it from my computer. Paragraphs (or maybe sometimes chapters) were missing, or mixed up in some later spot in the book. It was a bit inconvenient, but I guess I'm over it. It's not like I couldn't read the book at all, just couldn't read it on my iPad like I wanted to.
Have any of you read this eARC yet? If so, did you love it as much as I did!? If you haven't read it, are you going to pick up a copy when it comes out next Tuesday? I totally am! Tell me what you think!