Let the contest begin...
Tella's brother is dying of cancer, and there's nothing she can do about. Nothing, that is, until a strange blue box with an ear piece mysteriously appears on her bed one day. As she picks it, places the ear piece in, she hears a woman's voice, telling her that she has an invitation to be a part of the Brimstone Bleed, a race-like competition in which the prize for winning is a cure that will heal any sickness. Desperate to help her brother, Tella follows the instructions she's given and finds herself at the edge of jungle, carrying an egg that will supposedly help her during the race. As the race begins, the other competitors scatter, some forming groups to travel together until the last moment, when it's every man and woman for themselves. Tella teams up with a group of couldn't-be-more-different competitors and they battle their way through the first element of the Brimstone Bleed, and into the second.
I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't actually heard of it before I found it in a sale, but I think it's sort of like a mixture between the Hunger Games and ... Maze Runner, perhaps. My favourite thing about this book was definitely Tella, as a character. She was hilarious, and sarcastic, and easily distracted, but stronger than she realises. I found myself often laughing out loud (literally...not just saying LOL when you don't really mean it), and wanting Tella to do well. The other characters were fun to read about, also, and while new characters were introduced a long the way, each had their own very distinct personality, which is something that I think Scott does very well.
One of my favourite lines/paragraphs, from Tella is:
"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 pillowcase to fit?"Heh heh. The book is full of unexpected sentence endings like that. It's written in first person, which meant Tella's humour was even more prominent, and even though what hatched from the eggs I mentioned previously, turned out to be a little bit strange, it was a very enjoyable book. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one, Salt & Stone, which I think is in the next few weeks!
If you like YA dystopian novels (although this one isn't really dystopian...similar though), with funny leading females, pick Fire & Flood up next time you're in the library. It's a great read.
This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here.
Image from Good Reads.