Thursday, April 9, 2015

*Book Review* Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Series - Fire & Flood # 2
Publisher - Scholastic Press
Released - February 24, 2015
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Format: E-Book, 320 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

*Book Blurb*

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 the sequel to Fire & Blood by Victoria Scott. Six weeks ago, 17 year old Tella Holloway left her home in Montana with hopes of finding a cure for her brother Cody who was struck with a deadly illness. In order to do so, Tella and 120 other contenders must race in the Brimstone Bleed. It is a journey across FOUR different ecosystems: jungle, desert, ocean, and mountains. With each leg, the contenders dwindle down until there is only ONE winner who will walk away with the Cure.

The first two legs (Desert & Jungle) are in the books, and Tella is still alive and kicking and in the running for the Cure. The next two legs of the Brimstone are Ocean and Mountain where they will face challenging weather, sharks, jellyfish, landslides, snow storms, a change in rules, shocking secrets about the Brimstone, and one final challenge that will break your heart. Tella has picked up a group of Contenders in Guy Chambers, Harper Shaw, Olivia Finch, Jaxon, Braun, and their Pandora's that are now a unit. Along the way, they also pick up Willow, Cotton, and Mr. Larsen. One shouldn't expect everyone to survive. It's just not that realistic that non fatal incidents would skip an entire cast of characters.

Tella is a different character from when we first met her in Fire & Flood which is more than appealing for me. She's no longer the timid player who relies on Guy or her Pandora's Madox and Bear to get her through the competition. She's grown by leaps and bounds and has become a much more inspired Contender, and shocking enough, a leader of the group when she stops following every command that Guy tosses out. I love that Tella is genuinely kind to contenders and Pandora's alike and not just a person who changes their entire being because it's expected of them. Her connection to the Pandora's is amazing and I loved that she's so protective of them, and they of her.

So, let's talk about the fact that Salt & Stone ends on a presumptive cliffhanger with lots more questions left to be answered. I know that Victoria has stated that she intends on writing a THIRD book in this series, but the publisher, Scholastic, hasn't bought the third book yet. Let's talk about the fact that way too many series are cancelled by publishers without allowing a series to wrap up storylines, and that is just wrong on so many counts.

Can you imagine if the Hunger Games series was yanked after ONE book, or how about Harry Potter? :::gasp:: I understand the business aspects of this decision, but nonetheless, it's happening way too frequently for my tastes. I told Victoria that I am cheering for her third book to be picked up and released. We need closure. We need to see an end to Tella's journey and her desire to bring down the Brimstone Bleed. We need answers about Cotton and those who were betting on the outcome of the Brimstone. We need to see if her romantic interlude with Guy will burn in flames, or exceed our expectations. WE. NEED. A. THIRD. BOOK.

**I received this book for free from (Scholastic Press) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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