Fire and Flood (Goodreads | Amazon) is pretty much a middle-of-the-road book for me. I can't say that I liked it but I can't say that it was terrible. I just kind of didn't see the point of it. It feels too derivative, like it's already been done before and done better, plus I just didn't buy the story.
Fire and Flood follows Tella, a girl who left her city-life behind to move to Montana with her family in hopes that the fresh air would help her dying brother. She's completely isolated from the world until she receives a mysterious package inviting her to be a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. Along with other Contenders, she'll race across the jungle, the desert, ocean and mountain in hopes of winning a mysterious "Cure" for her brother.
While, it's not the Hunger Games or Maze Runner it's in that vein of those books. Maybe if it'd come out a few years ago (at the same time they did) I would like it more. What doesn't work for me, is that Tella has never heard of the race and that there's no real purpose to the race explained until the very end but she just runs away from home and goes to compete without really questioning it. Even after the reason is explain, after much delaying, it doesn't really make sense. It's gimmicky and unbelievable in a way that the Hunger Games is not (even though it's got it's own fair amount of gimmick, at least the purpose of the games is quasi-believable compared to this).
The Brimstone Bleed just doesn't make sense. Nor do the Pandoras, the helper animals, the backstory or anything really. Maybe if this took place further in the future or a different world I'd be able to buy the race, but in this world in the maybe no so distance future (or maybe present day) the whole premise just doesn't work for me.
"Green Beret's face pulls together. I realize it then -- he hates me. And not in the way in which I find out later that he actually liked me the whole time."Also, this is yet another young adult book where romance OF COURSE comes into play and it's the typical he-hates-me-no-wait-he-loves-me type relationship, but at least they get the hate out of the way early. For me, this is off-putting especially after it pretends it's not that type of relationship. Could we not have a romance that I can predict almost immediately?
The book is not poorly written or offensive. I almost feel bad for giving it such a low rating, but it's just not logical at all and if I can't believe the basic premise how can I truly enjoy the book?
I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.