Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available Now from Chicken House
Source: Purchased copy
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 compete 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.
I absolutely enjoyed this adventurous little tale. Granted its not exactly a new story and does borrow heavily from things such as the Hunger Games – but it is given a boost by the creation of the “Pandora’s” something I’ll come back to shortly. Also I’m kind of a sucker for a main character who is, well, pretty useless to be honest when it comes to survival. Still she muddles through and I found watching her muddle through to be highly entertaining.
So the basic premise is this – Tella gets offered the chance to compete in The Brimstone Bleed, the ultimate prize being a cure for her terminally ill Brother. Only one can win (yes sounds familiar but bear with me) and it involves survival over a number of terrains, the winner of each individual portion getting an interim boost. Once we reach there, this departs from being anything else and becomes its own thing.
Each contestant gets an egg – which hatches into a Pandora. Created by a team of scientists each Pandora is a creature of special talent. All different and all very well imagined, the Pandora’s are attached to their competitors and make a beautiful sideline to the rest of the action going on. To be honest I was far more attached to these than I was to any of the human cast – mess with the people for sure but leave those magical delights alone. Maddox had better survive this series – I’m giving a quick frowned look in the direction of Victoria Scott here – hoping she’ll remember the “kill a million people but never kill the dog” rule. Yes you all know what I mean.
It is pacy and fun to read – some edge of the seat moments and a touch of Romance which is a pretty required element these days and in this case I was very engaged by it. The male love interest is a “tough Guy”, ha, with his own agenda which comes to light later and the supporting cast who join Tella on her journey are an eclectic bunch of which Harper was my favourite – I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next for sure.
I purchased this (and the next novel Salt and Stone) in my latest round of mad book buying which was focussed on upping my YA collection and I’m very glad I chose it. What I was looking for was pure entertainment, an engaging story and some characters I could get behind and basically that is exactly what I got. Whilst Tella is not a kick ass female of the Katniss variety, she is very compelling and fun to be around (anyway I think Harper can do all the kicking of ass necessary if you are looking for the quintissential tough girl) and I was very happy to follow along with her and the rest of them.
The world building is low key to be sure but I get the feeling that this is going to come into its own over the course of the next novel – the author giving us a twist to the tale and hints of what is to come. Fire and Flood concentrated on the people and the race and was a fast, often humerous, pleasing tale and I’m very much looking forward to reading the next.
Reviews being very up and down it seems as if this is a very subjective book. All I can say is I was addicted to it and would definitely recommend you try it if you are a fan of YA Dystopia. I dare you not to fall in love with Maddox. Double dare you!
Happy Reading Folks.