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.
If you know me at all, you know I have the biggest obsession with Victoria Scott. She is one of my favorite humans, and I love her face. So I thank baby goodness every day that her books are amazing, because otherwise things would be kind of awkward.
But yeah, I adored Fire & Flood. Sat down, read it in two or three days, died wanting more. And then BAM. I got more. And this is hard to say, because Fire & Flood was my favorite read of 2013, but...I loved Salt & Stone more than the first book. I didn't know that was possible, because I was so entirely taken by Fire & Flood, but it happened.
In Fire & Flood, Tella was a realistically flawed character with so much personality being inside her head was kind of like a fun little game. (And then shiz got REAL and I died. But I digress.) In Salt & Stone, Tella is still her cute and amusing little self, but with some experience under her belt. She's trying to do some standing and leading on her own; she's trying to be stronger than she was before. And you know what? She is. She totally, absolutely 100% is, and I respect that more than words can describe.
In Fire & Flood, I wanted to write love letters to my dear Guy Chambers. In Salt & Stone, I actually wrote those love letters. Because I legit claim him as mine, you cannot have him #sorrynotsorry. But honestly, he's a pretty stubborn guy. He has his ways to do things, and his plans, and he takes it all seriously. As he should, considering The Brimstone Bleed is no walk in the park. But he does have a couple difficult moments that made me want to hug him REALLY REALLY HARD to get him to hush himself. Lovingly, of course. Because he's mine, remember that? (Advice: REMEMBER IT.)
Victoria Scott's writing was superb yet again. She nails Tella's voice, and the entire story is crafted so that everything feels intense and important, as if I AM in The Brimstone Bleed and I need to get my act together because sitting in my room eating snacks ain't saving anybody. It was so easy to fly through this story, even faster than I did Fire & Flood. There's some laughs, some tears, some more tears, and a punch in the face courtesy of Victoria Scott. But you know. It was all okay. Sort of. My heart just got ripped to shreds, like, twice. I'll live.
The romance made me want to slap Tella because Guy is, ahem, MINE. She needs to back her tiny self away. JUST KIDDING. I heart Tella. Honestly, their romance hit a snag or two, but even while it was stuck on those snags there was still sweet things happening that made my heart glow all happily. It's the little things--not just the kisses, though those are so fun, too--that make this romance in the midst of a serious race for the Cure. Guy and Tella are such a fabulous couple, and I truly adore them. Their romance in this book is wonderful.
Oh, and the Pandoras! Goodness, they are the best. And they're so sweet and kind and helpful. I love them so hard. If you're hoping for more Pandoras going into this, you're going to get them! (Though a certain AUTHOR puts them through crap. But it's okay. Mostly.)
Overall, I could not have asked for a better sequel to Fire & Flood. Higher stakes, more Pandoras, lovely romance, and great character development all meet in Salt & Stone to create a fabulously written story I adored. Sweet goodness knows I'm already dying for whatever Victoria Scott's got coming for us next!
5 stars - A fierce and amazing story that set my heart racing. I could not have asked for a better sequel!
**About the Author**
Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.
Five finished copies of Fire & Flood (which is GORGEOUS, y'all)
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