What worked: Fire & Flood is a fast-paced dystopian novel with a likeable heroine who joins a race where the winner is awarded the ultimate prize: a cure for a loved one. Tella loves her ill brother and is willing to sneak out in order to enter the race without her parents knowing. Tella is vulnerable and at times funny. She also loves her Pandora(a token animal guide that hatches from an egg) and has empathy toward not only her fox guide but other Pandoras as well.
I did like how Scott weaves in the backstory about the 'evil' Pharmies who tampered with genetic engineering and created these Pokemon like creatures. Also the whole idea of having a race to give a 'cure' to a winner adds enough tension to make the story engaging. The climax of the story totally took me off guard along with a few revelations. Huge kuddos for that!
It’s also interesting how the competitors search for flags in different types of terrains. There’s tension woven throughout.
What I had issues with: At times Fire & Flood felt really similar to the Hungry Games. This could be one reason why I had a hard time at the beginning to get into the story. Once we get into the actually race, where Tella meets and forms alliances with the others, I was intrigued. Plus the pacing moves really fast at that point.
The Pandoras felt like those Pokemon creatures that my son used to love when he was little. Only Scott does show us how these animals have feelings and how they'd do just about anything to protect their 'humans'.
The romance wasn't quite there for me. Guy starts off as brooding and kind of stalkish but opens up towards the end. I still wanted a little more before the chemistry happened. But then again one of the other competitors, Titus, is creepy, bad.
Still fans of the Hunger Games are sure to love this new series too. There's lots of action, tension, twists and turns throughout.