In FIRE & FLOOD, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and a terrifying march 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 stop - and in SALT & STONE, Tella will have to face the unseen dangers of the ocean, the breathless cold of a mountain, 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 beginning of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the fourth and final part of the race, just forty-one are left . . . and only one can win.
Victoria Scott's stunning thriller will leave readers' hearts racing! (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)
My Review: Well. This was a fun little book. I must admit that I have been thinking about the prequel to this book, Fire & Flood, ever since I reviewed it all those years ago. I’ve been wondering what happened, and I’m not sure why I haven’t reserved and read the sequel until now.
These books are fun. They are reminiscent of The Hunger Games series, but they don’t take place in a dystopian society so in some ways they’re less shocking and more relatable. The characters come from our world, and although it is completely barbaric that they’ve been put in a situation where they have to fight for a cure for one of their loved ones (especially when the people running the “race” are the ones who infected the loved ones), it is easier to relate to characters and why they do what they do. The main character actually has quite a few references to what she would be doing were she back living in her normal life, and that keeps things in perspective.
Another thing I liked about this book were the pandoras, who were animal companions that were genetically modified to have special powers that can uniquely help in different situations; they’re also specifically made to serve their competitor, which makes it fun and interesting. It adds a depth to the story that I liked. Plus, superhero animal companions that are not speaking and acting like humans but are still animals are endearing. Like having the best. Dog. Ever. Except a cool exotic animal.
I think one of the strengths of this book is the characters. I loved the voice of the main character, Tella. She’s funny, she’s sassy, she’s sarcastic, and she straddles the line of being awesome but also being really real and vulnerable, and I think Scott did a great job creating her. The other characters are cool, too, and I felt like although they weren’t as multi-dimensional as Tella, they still had cool characteristics and personalities that made for a fun and enriching story.
The story itself is really exciting. It’s a really fast read, and I thought it was innovative and a lot of fun. I wouldn’t say it’s completely unique, because, let’s face it, this type of book is just everywhere, but it certainly holds its own in the genre. I would recommend this series if you are a Hunger Games fan, or even any of the books from this genre. One warning, though. Although this book doesn’t end on a complete cliff hanger, there is obviously much more to the story and it hasn’t been renewed for a third book yet, and I’m really hoping that happens soon because I would love to know what happens next. It will be disappointing if a renewal doesn’t happen.
My Review: 3.5 stars
For the sensitive reader: There is some mild language and some teen romance but nothing serious. I would say it is on par with others in the genre.