I hope you don’t mind a little alteration to the usual review set-up but I managed to read all published books in this series in one day… cover to cover, back to back, in one 24 hours! I haven’t completed anything like this in a long time! You have read these guys!
I believe that this is going to be a trilogy from where Salt and Stone left off… but my gosh Victoria Scott please release the next one soon!
Okay so I have a no spoiler policy! The points I talk about will mainly come from the first book but general points from the second book also… but nothing that will give anything away. On that note I will give you the blurb only from book 1!
Tella’s brother is dying. He’s got cancer and Tella is helpless to save him. Or so she thought. When an invitation arrives for Tella to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a deadly competition that that will lead her through treacherous jungle and scorching desert, she doesn’t think twice. Because the prize is a cure to any illness. But Tella will be facing more than just the elements…
Now this is a series if you loved The Hunger Games or Maze Runner as this series is a mash up of the two with a unique twist. So Tella has been entered into a Hunger Games ‘esque’ competition to win a cure, but first she must find an egg- think pokemon and you practically have it! I loved this element, I love how they receive messages and how much control the contestants have.
So it starts of pretty simple, you have to get from point A to point B across four terrains, jungle, desert, ocean, and mountains; however when contestants begin to turn on each other things get a little more complicated… well it’s bound to happen when there is only one cure!
Not going to pretend that these books are perfect, even from a female lead perspective sexism is still rife within the book; with only a few female characters daring to break the ‘woe is me’ female attitude some display throughout the first book and at least half of the second. It’s made worse by some really pompus male side characters that really push the boundaries of sexism, some even making it clear that all girls are good for is cooking and looking after the men. It just felt out of place with this type of competition.
There are love interests within the storyline, some that I don’t fully understand or admittedly like; but I’m glad there was minimal insta love. It was refreshing to see love develop over the time scale of the competition (3 months) and there were fights for independence and dealing with other interests. Although I was quite baffled that anyone had time or energy for love interests in such an intense competition. Admittedly, the main love interest is pretty predictable form the first few introductions, but that is something that you can overlook.
Once I finished ‘Fire and Flood’ I immediately picked up ‘Salt and Stone’, and I am thrilled that I did! If I had to rank the two, Salt and Stone sits a little higher than Fire and Flood, mainly because I felt the storyline was more developed and the characters each got a little more development and work, especially the side characters. For once the second book in a series did not disappoint!
I think both of these books could have reached a five star easily, if only the sexism wasn’t so annoying and rife. However I would highly recommend to anyone who loves a bit of fierce competition.