Giveaway & Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott – Ambitious Pokemon/Hunger Games crossover

April 7, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Giveaways, Reviews

Giveaway & Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott – Ambitious Pokemon/Hunger Games crossoverFire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #1
Published by Chicken House on March 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

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 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.

Fire & Flood is a book filled with inconsistencies. It wants to be Hunger Games, but it’s not a dystopian. It wants to be Pokemon, but the explanation of these pandoras just doesn’t make sense. It’s written like a middle grade book, but it’s filled with moments of gore. It hints at romantic development, then thrusts us into a fully blown relationship. It seems want to be everything at once, but didn’t deliver on its promises.

Let’s talk about the world building. We are thrust into the Brimstone Bleed where all these contestants are vying for the main prize – a cure which will save their loved ones from dying. That’s without any explanation of why this competition exists and why everyone needs a cure so desperately in modern day times. Throughout the whole book, we’re strung along this competition where Tella and her friends are trying to find blue flags. We get a very poor explanation nearing the end of the book about why and how the competition was created, which seemed to be more a matter of convenience than being believable.

Tella was a vain and impractical character. When she hears about the competition, she packs her bags with the ‘essentials’, including her nail polish. When she sees everyone racing for a pandora egg, she finally stumbles upon one and proceeds to do her hair and makeup. And when she’s in the middle of these tough conditions in the arena, she thinks about the latest fashions, how she looks all the time, and even getting massages. Which seemed oddly out of place in a serious survival competition. Luckily Tella’s weirdly placed vanity dies down as the action takes over in the latter half of the book.

Mostly, I think about the size of my butt and its general flatness versus roundness.

The romance or whatever it was, was the most under developed one I’ve ever come across. So first, we’re introduced to Guy as the “The serial killer–looking dude who I thought was going to kidney punch me.” The next second, they are spending time together at base camp and the pacing is WAY off when we skip through days at a time. All of a sudden, without any sort of warning the two are together. I feel we skipped even the whole insta love stage and went straight to being in a relationship. Luckily, there wasn’t much of an emphasis on the romance and I was glad for that. Because serial killers aren’t appealing to anyone.

Now onto the positive – the pandoras were my favourite part of the book, creatures which are based on real animals who can listen to commands, find food, and protect their owners. Tella’s pandora, a baby fox, has the power of scanning other pandoras and turning into them. In pokemon terms, I picture it as an Eevee with the power of Ditto. Super cute and powerful, except the poor explanation we’re given about how they exist is that scientists have created them from genetic manipulation. How does that even make any sense, especially since no other animal or creature can do what this one does?

The writing was another weird and inconsistent thing. Some parts of it, including Tella’s thoughts were quite juvenile and middle grade. But there were some parts of violence and gore that would suddenly pop up, like eyes being gouged out and an amputated finger.

I picked Fire & Flood apart, but in the end, I actually did enjoy it. It explores and combines some unique concepts and I’ve never seen the concept of pandoras in YA fiction. I wonder why it’s never been done before, especially with the popularity of Pokemon, Digimon, and even Yu-gioh? It’s definitely a book filled with flaws but if you can overlook some of them (like I just turned a blind eye to the romance) then you might actually enjoy this.

Thank you to Scholastic Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Giveaway – international

I received an additional copy of Fire & Flood, so that means I’m giving you the opportunity to win your own! Fill the the rafflecopter form to enter. Entries will be checked, so no cheating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entry conditions

  • Over 13 years to enter
  • Winners will be picked at random and must respond within 48 hours
  • Winner will be announced on the rafflecopter form.
  • Packages may be sent by sea mail if postage is too expensive.
  • We do not accept responsibility for lost packages.
  • Entries close on 14 April 2014.
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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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88 responses to “Giveaway & Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott – Ambitious Pokemon/Hunger Games crossover

  1. Katie

    This book sounds very interesting. I've heard a lot of people talking about it lately so I thought I should give it a go.

  2. Yup, your thoughts on this one pretty much echoed mine. The pandoras were my favorite part, too. Tella was the absolute worst with her priorities. Possibly the most vain protagonist I've ever read about. It's weird that we still enjoyed this one, though, isn't it? 🙂 I also gave it three stars!
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  3. Oh no, not another one of those characters. Characters are the most important part of a book for me and when they decide to have a very annoying personalities it gets to me quite fast. I don't think I can stand her talking about her chipped nail while in a battle… That's too bad. Thanks for your honest review.

  4. Christine

    I don't have a favorite pokemon, but I did actually start this book at my friend's place 😀 I never got around to finishing it though, but the part that I read was really good 🙂

  5. I've been dying to start this one, you know I lurve me some dystopian. Actually, that's not true. I basically love ALL dystopians, even the bad ones that no one else seems to enjoy. All I know about Pokemon is that it's some kind of card game turned TV series, isn't it? Not really my thing, so I'll just pretend you didn't make any kind of reference to it.

    Have you read the Dante Walker series? There was so much hype leading up to the first book being released, I was completely swept up in the frenzy. I really like Victoria Scott, she's got that smart assery and dry sense of humor that I find really funny. Fabulous review as always.
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  6. I started reading this book some time back, Jeann and had to give up at around page 20 because the main character was so frustrating. I hated her. From your review and others, it doesn't sound like she changes one bit. Ugh. Who thinks about makeup and hair in the middle of a race? Gosh. And the romance doesn't sound any better either.

    I'm glad you still found enjoyable qualities though.

    Great review!
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Review : Hothouse Flower by Becca & Krista RitchieMy Profile

  7. This sounds like an interesting book that lacks a bit in execution. I heard about this book on quite some blogs, but never realized there where pokémon-like-creatures in it. Indeed it seems a bit weird that no other YA book ever picked up the idea of creatures as companions after the popularity of pokémon and digimon, maybe because they didn't want to seem like copycats?

    Lack of world building can really bother me in a book, I want books to make sense and I love it when there's a lot of world building. And insta love or even something worse than insta-love doesn't sound appealing, why include a romance if you aren't going to give it some attention?

    I don't think this is a book for me, but it does sounds kinda interesting.
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  8. From what I've heard of this book, it seems that it would be better off were it set in a fantasy world were all of this made sense. Because honestly, I wouldn't know why these things would happen in this world. If we were able to create these Pandoras, animals with powers, why would we give them to some contestants in a race? Either way, this book does sound like fun even if there were a lot of inconsistencies and the like. Great review Jeann! Like you said, you really picked it apart, but I see that as a good thing 🙂
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  9. The very reason I'm hesitant to read this is the fact Tella's written unconventionally. I mean I like unique characters, but if you write about a super girly character who is more concerned about her nails and dresses and then put her into a race to the death and then have her survive by freeloading on other people… I dunno, it's just weird on me. So many trusted friends have complained about her, too. On the other hand, I am SUPER curious about these Pandoras, especially since I'm a fan of Pokemon (the anime! haha I have NO idea how to play the games and the cards) and Digimon. What to do, what to do…

    Regardless, great review as always, Jeann!
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    • Yes, I've heard the same complaints about her character and they grated on me too. Luckily it kind of took the back seat towards the latter half of the novel, because I was ready to rant lol. I haven't seen the anime past Ash, Brock and Misty, they were the originals for me!

  10. Bahaha hilarious review, Jeann! First off, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like this chick. She sounds really annoying and self-centered. I'm very curious about these pandoras though. They sound adorable! And my favorite pokemon is probably Evee, just because she has a lot of evolutions (Vaporeon is my favorite)!
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  11. I loved reading your review, Jeann. It wants to be pokemon? I don't think I've ever read a book where I've heard it be described like that before… and curiously enough that doesn't turn me off in the slightest. It sounds like an interesting read but not one I'll be rushing out to buy.

  12. simonet

    My favorite Pokémon has to be Pikachu and clefairy. Thanks for the chance to win

  13. I adore Victoria, but I passed on this book when I saw it on Netgalley awhile back. I didn't grab my attention enough. lol – oh, but there are some who love serial killers. Those wackadoodles who marry them while they are locked away in prison. 😀
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  14. I'm not a Pokemon fan so I don't have a favourite, but I'm really interested in this book. I've been wanting to read Victoria Scott for a while now and just haven't gotten around to it. Ever since the cover reveal I have been really intrigued. I love the title and the burning feather. I think it sounds like an interesting concept and look forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂
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  15. Stephanie F.

    The Pandora is what first attracted me to this book. I've heard so many mix reviews on it but I definitely want to give it a try.

    Don't play with Pokemon but always thought Pikachu was really cute.

  16. In all honesty I sort of skimmed this review since I just bought my own copy of this book and want to read it myself in a few days and want to go in as blind as possible. I'm glad that at the end of the day you did manage to enjoy this book as much as you could. Great review

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  17. My favorite Pokemon.. No idea! I'm interested in this book because of the Pandoras. I don't think I've ever read a book with such a concept before and I like the idea! It's a shame that there are so many inconsistencies in the book, but I do think the overall story will be enjoyable 🙂
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  18. Mira

    I'd like to read this because I want to know how close it to The Hunger Games which is my favorite book series ever. Also, I think my favorite Pokemon is Eevee! 🙂

  19. I really enjoyed this one, but I think that there were definitely aspects that didn't quite live up to their potential, too. I love your honest take on it though, Jeann! Great review 🙂

  20. My favorite Pokémon? Gosh… That's a though one. Articuno I think. Or Moltres. Or Lugia. Or Pikachu.

    Awesome giveaway! I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it a few weeks ago.

  21. Although you've picked the story apart, I'm most interested in wanting to compare it to The Hunger Games and see how parallel the storyline is. I recently read The Hunger Games and didn't think it was mind blowing and ever since I've been wanting to get my hands on a copy of this so I can see if I feel it's any better or worse. I appreciate you running through what you disliked, I have a feeling I might be a hit and miss with me, but I guess we'll only know if I read it!
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  22. Donna Reynolds

    This sounds like a book my kids might get into Thank you for the chance.

  23. I already have this book, so I'll probably read it, but I'm not making grabby hands 😉 BUT something has to be said for a book with as many flaws and inconsistencies as you felt this one had and yet were still entertained. Maybe I'll have a better shot of enjoying it, having been prepared. We'll see I guess. Excellent review!
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  24. I actually liked this a lot more than you did, but I can definitely see where you're coming from. Tella had the potential to be such an annoying character, but I personally liked her despite her flaws. And the romance definitely was something that could have been fixed. I had the same feeling as you – it pretty much skipped the instalove stage and went right to the relationship.

    And yes! Pandoras for the win! 😀

    Thanks for sharing Jeann, and, as always, PHENOMENAL review! <3
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  25. Oh, so you felt like it was contradicting? Interesting. I've seen so many both–rave and rant reviews and as much as I love Victoria as a person, I don't think this book is for me. Seems like this needs a tad more explanation behind things. I mean.. Tella sounds like Celaena from ToG with her love for fashion and whatnot, but then again.. Celaena never thought about these things in the middle of a fight so I don't really get Tella as a character. LOL! You feel like even insta-love was skipped? WHOA 😀 That's a first 😀 Well, obviously serial killers are appealing to someone 😀 I'm glad you enjoyed the pandora aspect of the book though. That seems like a great one indeed. I'm sorry this was not your favorite, but I'm glad you enjoyed this as a whole 🙂 Great review, Jeann!
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    • Ohhh Tella is nothing like Celaena but yeah, she's definitely girly. Lol about the serial killer comment. Yeah, it was something I probably wouldn't pick up on my own based on reviews I've read but overall, enjoyed it.

  26. I was kind of weary about getting this one. I mean, the Pandora things sound absolutely awesome. I love me some Pokemon/Yu-gioh! But It's the romance side that keeps me away. So far every review I have read say's that it's poorly developed, and I can't stand that at. all.

    Great review, Jeann!
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  27. Kristia

    I'm interested in reading more of Victoria Scott's books, I like her writing style. Though the synopsis does sound like hunger games, I loved hunger games and I would love to see how it's delivered. Great review! Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  28. This is one of those reviews where I don't even mind you said there are things wrong with it – THIS SOUNDS COOL. I loved His Dark Materials, and a big part of that was because of the daemons (if you haven't read them, external souls in the form of animals). So these pandoras seem like a really cool idea 🙂
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