Series: Fire & Flood #2
Published by Scholastic on February 24, 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Amazon • Book Depository •
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.
Salt from my tears and cruel cruel stone heart of Victoria Scott
Guys. Guys. Guys. Oh my dear sweet lord. There are so many emotions. So many. Where do I even start with this review?
After Fire & Flood’s catastrophic events and shocking plot twists, it’s hard to imagine that Scott could write a sequel packed with as many surprises without using her old tricks–but dear lord, she does. Salt & Stone is as stunning, if not more so, than it’s predecessor. It’s a plot-driven novel that still spends time on it’s characters, making sure that we love them…before they’re ripped away from us.
Anddddd that’s where we’re going to start. With the characters. Decision made.
We meet three new characters (and their Pandoras): Mr. Larson, Willow, and Cotton. They’re all suspicious, to say the least, but then again, almost everyone in this competition is ready to do the worst to save their loved one. No matter how terrible these characters act, it’s easy to understand the why behind it all. Our new characters are…varying shades of terrible, except for maybe Cotton, who I loved and sympathized with despite everything. I honestly can’t really say more (spoilersssss), but damn, these new characters are intriguing. Their complex personalities are proof of how terrible the Brimstone Bleed is, to change even the most innocent into the cruelest. View Spoiler » WILLOW WAS A LIL BITCH. Okay, sorry, had to get that off my chest. « Hide Spoiler
As for Tella, holy crap I love the hell out of her. She’s an awesome character, but I’ll admit, at the beginning I had a ton of trouble with her. Because of one stray comment, she practically went off the rail about her independence. I get it, I do, but it just irritated me when she put everyone in danger because of this. She settled into her new role as leader though, and I just loved her after that. Also? She’s the Pandora Speaker. Damn.
I really want a Pandora.
I’m going to talk about Guy now, because it’s just so hard not to. The romance definitely takes a backseat with everything that happens, but it’s there, heavy between our two lovers, and the chemistry between the two are ridiculously hot. They’re definitely one of my favorite romances, and the fact that Guy is so swoony doesn’t hurt either. (I LOVEEEE HIMMMMM. Can I has?)
And onto the plot. Hold onto those seats folks, this is going to be a long one.
There were so many twists and turns in Fire and Flood, I’m still sitting here, stunned by what happened. It was just the revelations–it was the loss. Scott isn’t gentle with her characters, but that’s all I’m saying. There’s so much grief and pain–it’s absolutely heartbreaking and there are few times when you don’t find yourself empathizing with a character, or mourning over some loss. No one is safe, from the author, the Brimstone Bleed, and each other.
The Brimstone Bleed, especially, is horrifyingly sadistic and terrible. It’s easy to see how all these Contenders were pushed to their limits and to insanity. The employees don’t give a shit about the competitors and with all of them fighting for one prize, there’s nowhere to call a haven. With each chapter, the horrors accumulate until you have something that’s basically the epitome of cruelty and monstrous.
All the EMOTIONS, guys. Sequel Syndrome doesn’t exist anywhere near this novel–only the tears of my shattered heart. It’s just–the ending. I won’t say anything else. It’s just. Oh my god.
Definitely read this series. Definitely definitely definitely.