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Fire & Flood Hardcover – February 25, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Tella's family has moved from Boston to Montana, hoping the wide-open spaces will help her older brother Cody fight the wasting illness that has plagued him for the past year. Tella receives a mysterious package with a tiny listening device, which tells her that she has been selected as a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed-a three-month, four-ecosystem race in which the winner is guaranteed a cure for any illness. After a stop at an old museum, there is a mad dash among the Contenders to select Pandoras-eggs of various sizes that will assist them in the race. The Pandoras prove invaluable here: there's a fire-breathing lion, a cheetah that shoots out twin beams of red light, and an elephant with the ability to tunnel through sand to find water. Tella learns that her newly-hatched Pandora, a small black fox she calls Maddox, has the ability to mirror the other Pandoras. She and the others are transported to a remote rainforest, where they'll have two weeks to complete the first leg of the race. When the race begins, Tella attempts to follow fellow contestant Guy, but after losing him, she struggles through the rainforest on her own before stumbling onto a small group: gorgeous Harper, motherly Caroline, little Dink, and twins Levi and Ransom. Although Tella is determined to win the cure for Cody, she is easily distracted by Guy's rippling muscles. His pattern of saving her from various demises—just in the nick of time—undermines the author's efforts to convince readers that Tella is a strong and independent protagonist. Characters are two-dimensional, and some, especially Titus and his rogue Triggers, are downright cartoonish. In this trilogy opener, the backstory for the Brimstone Bleed's origins stretches credulity. Perhaps the sequels will provide a more solid foundation and a less clichéd story arc, but if the first installment is any indication, take a pass on this series.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

From Booklist

City-kid Tella loves “purple, Greek food, and mani-pedis.” So what is she doing living in rural Montana with her parents and sick brother? What’s wrong with him, anyway? And what’s with the mysterious earbud-like device that shows up in her room one day? That earbud tells Tella that she has been chosen to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a fierce survival contest that recalls both The Hunger Games (2008) and James Dashner’s Maze Runner series. The prize is the Cure—a remedy for any illness for one person and the key to saving her brother’s life. After beginning the competition on her own, she eventually joins a group of other contenders, including the tall, gruff, very buff Guy and a ruthless blond boy named Titus. As Tella grows closer to Guy, he reveals the sadistic reasons for the game and the secret behind the hybrid animal companions that accompany each contender. There are some derivative story elements, but Tella is an especially strong and likable character, which makes this gripping adventure all the more enjoyable. Grades 7-11. --Paula Willey

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545537460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545537469
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victoria Scott writes teen fiction and is represented by literary agent, Sara Crowe. She's the author of TITANS (Scholastic, Spring 2016) the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic), and the DANTE WALKER trilogy (Entangled Teen). Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets, and she recently received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews for her latest novel, SALT & STONE. Victoria lives in Dallas, and loves hearing from her readers. You can contact her through her website:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
4.5 Stars

'Fire & Flood' is the first book in a new YA science fiction thriller that follows the Brimstone Bleed - a race where Contenders strive to win the Cure, which promises to heal the person they love - who they are competing for - who is sick. One of these Contenders and our leading lady is Tella Holloway. The worst she's ever encountered was being forced to move to Montana in the middle of nowhere with her family. Her older brother is desperately sick and the doctors can't find the reason. Then Tella gets a small blue box with a white earpiece inside, inviting her to join the Brimstone Bleed - with the ultimate prize of the Cure for her brother. Tella immediately leaves for the race, intent on helping her brother. Tella and the other Contenders will embark on a treacherous and exhausting race with surprises and danger around every corner. The only thing provided to them for support is a Pandora - an egg they select at the beginning of the race that hatches into an unique animal with amazing abilities. Will Tella be able to survive the harsh conditions of the race, along with the all the threats around her - including the other Contenders? Will she be able to save her brother?

This was a gripping first book in what promises to be an exhilarating new series. For me, the book started off a bit slow, but that was because the author was introducing us to the characters and the information about the Brimstone Bleed before all the action began. I really liked Tella as the main character. She sounds like a normal teenage girl at the beginning of the book - maybe even one who was a bit spoiled before moving to Montana. It's clear that she is devoted to her family and loves them all immensely. Tella's character undergoes a lot of character growth throughout the book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Reading Nurse on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It has been really hard for me to write to this review. Because I had significant problems with the first 75% of this book. I was super excited to read this book. Most because I had heard a lot of good things of Victoria Scott's books and had been dying to read one. Secondly this one of the first ARCs I had actually received from publishers thanks to the wonderful people over at Scholastic.

The first few pages of the book started off promising. The story is about a teenage girl Tella who has moved with her parents and her sick brother. As she is dying in the boredom that is now her life when one day something happens that will change her life forever. One night Tella finds a surprise package on her bed that reveals a headset with a cryptic message. She is invited to be a contender in the Brimstone Bleed, a race that is she wins she gets the ultimate prize; a cure for her dying brother. The story up to this point was rather interesting. Tella starts off a little annoying but super funny. And her love for her brother is very moving and heart felt.

Things started hitting a plateau for me once Tella arrives as the meeting point to start the race. Here is has to choose an egg that will become her Pandora and assist her in the race. The reason that this story started becoming hard for me to read, was because it was way to similar to the Hunger Games with the Pandora being so similar to Katnisis' bow and arrow. But so many people who I spoke with on Twitter and reviews that I read on Goodreads kept raving about this book and told me to keep reading. So despite my hesitance I did continue reading and frankly I am glad I did. Frankly despite the slow start the end of the story was action packed and very enjoyable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle@Book Briefs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Fire and Flood is intense and action packed. I could not put this book down. I gobbled it up in one sitting. The book takes place in multiple settings, first in a forest and then in a dessert. Each extreme in their own ways. Victoria Scott did such an excellent job bringing these awful conditions to life. The contestants in the Brimstone Bleed competition had to endure so much. Fire and Flood has a very mysterious vibe. The people behind the Brimstone Bleed and the competition itself is all shrouded in mystery. And then there are the pandoras, which are mysterious in and of themselves. I loved getting to know all of the different pandoras and seeing what they can do.

I have seen more than a few comparisons to the Hunger Games, and while I do see some similarities, I feel like Fire and Flood has a different focus than the Hunger Games. Yes, they are both dystopians and a majority of the book takes place in a competition like arena where the stakes are high enough for people to kill, but for me the main focus in Fire and Flood was aimed at uncovering the past of the Brimstone Bleed and discovering what secrets it held. In the Hunger Games everyone knew the history of the games and the focus was mostly on the capitol. I was so curious about the race itself, and I was super surprised at what we learned about it. It was a great plot development. Everyone that goes to the race is trying to win a cure for a loved one in their life. This was one thing that I was questioning while reading. Why was everyone convinced that this single "cure" would work for everyone. How could this brimstone bleed know just what every sick loved one would need. I asked myself that at least 5 times while reading. But that is the only hold up I had.
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