Before this post begins, I would like to take a quick moment to thank Jasmine and the whole team and Chicken House for letting me be a part of this review tour. I was a huge fan of Fire & Flood (reviewed here) so the opportunity to help promote this series is just great. I’ll stop rambling now and crack on.
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.
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 2nd April 2015
Acquisition: Sent for review
I read Fire & Flood back near the beginning of 2014, so I have been waiting a long time to get my hands on Book 2. I have followed Victoria Scott on twitter, badgered Chicken House for updates and practically had a twitter meltdown upon the unveiling of the Salt & Stone cover. (Gorgeous, amiright?) So going into Book 2, I had pretty high expectations of what was to come.
I was left on the edge of my seat by Fire & Flood, positively gagging for the second book so when it got offered to me by my dear friend Laura over at Chicken House, I absolutely could not refuse. It was definitely one of my top new releases of 2014, it was fresh, it was original in its take on the dystopian genre and everything that I could possibly be looking for in a new series.
Salt & Stone did exactly what I hoped it would. Even though it has been a whole year since I read Fire & Flood, it all came flooding back to me so quickly. Tella Holloway’s voice rings through so clearly and strong through the book that it is so easy to remember her plight, everything that she has gone through and the brilliant cast of characters she has picked up along the way. And I think that is what I love so much about both of these books; I simply adore Tella.
She is funny and sassy, but also has a good head on her shoulders, and I like that. I’m pretty sure I said this in my review for Fire & Flood but with all of the dystopian fiction out there, it is so easy to forget that actually teenagers do have the ability to be funny and witty, it’s not all doom and gloom even if you are in a competition that could lead to your eventual slow death… I know it’s sad BUT THERE WOULD STILL BE SOME HUMOUR!
The added aspect of the Pandoras is still wonderful and gives me major His Dark Materials vibes as well as a cheeky nudge to Pokemon. There is so much I love about the fact that all of the characters have little animal companions travelling along with them.
But, like I said, Salt & Stone did exactly what I hoped it would. The threat for Tella and the rest of the gang has increased as they head into the final two races of the Brimstone Bleed. There is so much more at stake than there was before and it really shows in the urgency of Scott’s writing. The pacing of this book is absolutely dead on, but the writing doesn’t suffer because of it. One of my favourite moments of the book is actually at the beginning of the third challenge with Tella looking out across the scene, surveying it, having a brief but intense memory of her family. It is incredibly affecting, and mere moments later you are being thrust back into the action. It is brilliant.
I really enjoy Victoria Scott’s writing, and reading this series has definitely made me want to check out the Dante Walker series. It is an absolute joy to read and moves from the quirky voice of Tella to some absolutely stunning descriptions of scenery and situation which can also be found in Fire & Flood. The writing is just stunning and not what I expected.
I am continuously surprised by the originality in this series. While from the outside, the concept sounds very much like The Hunger Games, the execution of it is absolutely spot on. It is funny but also occasionally sad and contains many moments that you won’t see coming. It’s fresh, it’s original and, if I ever find myself in the Brimstone Bleed, I know I’d want Tella on my side!
There are rumblings of a Book 3…everything I’ve read online has called it a trilogy but Victoria Scott is being a bit cagey online about whether or not it is happening. I am just going to have to cross my fingers and hope for more of Tella and the gang. PLEASE, give us a Book 3!