Fire & Flood #2
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
What would you do to save someone you love?
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.
Salt & Stone is an action-packed follow up to last year's Fire & Flood, reintroducing us to the world and characters as they take a breather before beginning the third leg of the Brimstone Bleed, and then plunging us into the most perilous survival situations the contenders have faced yet. Ms. Scott does a fantastic job of seamlessly threading reminders as to the events of Fire & Flood–particularly the all-important “why” of the Brimstone Bleed itself–through this second installment, ensuring we’re up to speed without slowing things down with a full recap.
While the focus remains predominantly on the physical and mental challenges of the Bleed on the contenders, Salt & Stone also sees a significant shift in the relationship between Tella and Guy. For much of the first half the two are at odds, an offhand comment made by Guy causing Tella to question the way she’s run her race thus far and her ability to see it all the way through. The hot and cold nature of their interactions is frustrating at times, but just as we reach the point where one more change in mood from either of them is going to tip us over the edge, Tella decides to finally step up and use her words, cluing Guy in as to why things between them have changed. While Tella’s honesty doesn’t mend all their fences, it certainly removes a weight from our shoulders, freeing us from the tension of words unspoken.
The concluding chapters of Salt & Stone are one punch to the gut after another, and any animal lovers like myself should be aware that a number of scenes are brutal to witness, ratcheting up our hatred of those running the Brimstone Bleed to an entirely new level. We’re left on the final page as emotionally beaten and bruised as the contenders are, but Ms. Scott is considerate enough to leave us with a quiet moment that makes a smile break out even as we blink away tears.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.