Series: Fire & Flood #2
Published by Scholastic on February 24th 2015
What would you do to save someone you love?
In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.
But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?
The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.
First, I need to again thank Kaitlin @ Reading is My Treasure for sending me this book! I loved it, devoured it, and seriously cannot thank her enough. Perhaps a gif will help convey my excitement?
Oh right, the book! I will try to keep it as spoiler-free for both books (obviously no spoilers from this book) but I can’t make any promises, so if you want to be completely blind going into both books, you may shimmy away, and I will leave you with this: I quite enjoyed Fire & Flood (which, if you recall from my review, did not start so well for me, but recovered amazingly), but Salt & Stone just took it to a new level. If you thought things in the Brimstone Bleed were bad before, well… you haven’t seen anything yet.
I will admit, I was a wee bit lost when I started the book, and it did take me a few chapters to remember who everyone was and what had happened in the last book. Really, if you can afford the time, a reread of F&F would probably be best. But I certainly remembered our lovely protagonist, Tella. Tella is one of the most unique heroines I’ve encountered, and that is mostly good. It’s easy to relate to Tella because she is not really the typical “badass” heroine (especially at first!) who knows she is strong and willing to fight and such. No, Tella is a regular girl who misses the everyday conveniences from home. My one small complaint with Tella is this: There is a time and place to worry about your nails, or Starbucks, but the middle of a potentially fatal mission isn’t the time. Focus, girl. In downtime, it’s charming, but in the heart of the action, it’s distracting.
Obviously, the lovely folks who organize the Brimstone Bleed aren’t exactly Santa Claus, but in this book, they are a whole new brand of awful. Some of the stuff that happens in this book…. well let’s just say that Victoria Scott has a very creative mind. Some of the events in the Brimstone Bleed were just plain messed up. I have no eloquent words, just… yikes. Of course, there were a lot of twists in the competition. There were a few things that I saw coming, but none of the big stuff, and I am still dying to find out answers to all the questions behind this “race”.
It was an incredibly fast paced book, and I read it so quickly because I didn’t want to put it down. The fast pace was fine, but there were a lot of characters to keep track of, since there is a lot of reference to characters from Fire & Flood, a lot of mention of characters from home, and a lot of characters who are just all over the race and are mentioned. I did get a bit confused a few times, but there were also a lot of great characters to care about too.
A few more things I Loved:
- Pandoras Can I have one? Please? I don’t want to say too much about the Pandoras, because it would give away stuff from the first book too, but if you don’t adore them, maybe we can’t be friends.
- Character Growth Tella absolutely transforms and shines in this book. No, she is not always sure of herself, but she is getting a lot closer. The choices she makes aren’t even always the best ones, but at least she is making them. Guy transforms too, though his seems to be more of a “two steps forward one step back” situation. But hey, progress! Even the more minor characters go through some pretty amazing transformations during this book.
- The Unknowns There are still so many questions left to unravel! Yes, there are answers, so I was satisfied. But always new twists that bring new questions, and basically kept me on my toes the whole book.
- The Race Now, I know I said it was twisted, and it is. But it is also really exciting, and I love reading about stuff like that.
I love all these things.
My only real qualm? I seriously have no idea if there’ll be a third book. If there’s not, well… some of those things I loved can end up being things that drive me insane for the rest of time. So in my own lovely mind, there will be a third book, even though it seems that the universe hasn’t decided that yet. Basically, I need more Pandoras, more Tella, and more of this series!