Friday, 19 June 2015

Review: Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Title: Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood #2)
Author: Victoria Scott

Release date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: ARC
Pages: 313

Source: Publisher

What would you do to save someone you love? What about risking...everything?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and a terrifying march 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 stop—and in Salt & Stone, Tella will have to face the unseen dangers of the ocean, the breathless cold of a mountain, and the 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've 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 beginning of the race there were 122 Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the fourth and final part of the race, just forty-one are left...and only one can win.

I absolutely adored Salt & Stone! It's quite rare that I enjoy a sequel more than the first book, but that definitely happened in this case. This is the perfect follow-up to Fire & Flood, and after that ending I'm super excited to see what Victoria has in store for us next.

The first book followed the Contenders as they went through the jungle and desert. This one shows them trying to survive the ocean and the mountain, the final two sections of the race. We're introduced to a few new members in Tella's little group, and they're just as mysterious as I expected. As Tella gets through the obstacles, she discovers more and more about the elusive people behind the Brimstone Bleed. The end of the race is near, and she needs to do everything she can to win, even if she harbours doubts about the organization.

Tella was fantastic in this book. Her character has developed quite a lot, and she's no longer dependent on others. She can hold her own, and she's smart enough to make decisions for the group. I liked seeing that newfound independence and strength. What makes it even more admirable is that Tella was never an athletic or adventurous kind of girl before the race. In my opinion she was as girly as they come. Throwing someone like her into a race like this would be disastrous, but it's amazing how far she's come. Tella is the kind of strong-willed and kickass survivor that any girl would want to be.

Tella's not just kickass, she's also really really compassionate. She cares about the other Contenders, and about all the Pandoras. In fact, Pandoras that don't belong to her are drawn to her because of her kindness towards them. In a race where survival is key, Tella still cares immensely about the others in her group, and though that's dangerous for her, I thought it was really admirable. Her moral code is as strong as ever, and the race hasn't changed that one bit.

I've got to say Guy pissed me off a little in the beginning. He still sees Tella as the girl who needs saving, even though she's proving him wrong, and that got on my nerves. Guy is used to being the leader, and having Tella challenge his decisions irked him. I would mentally cheer when Tella wins in any of these challenges. It takes Guy a while, but he does come to accept Tella as she is now. And though of course there isn't time for romance at all in the race, Guy and Tella do have some intimate moments. He opens up to her more, and hopefully we'll see an even more open Guy in the next book.

Apart from Tella and Guy, I really love Harper. She's back to help Tella win, and she's as badass as ever despite what happened in Fire & Flood. I loved seeing her in action! I won't say much about the newcomers, but I didn't warm to any of them. Hopefully if we see more new characters in the next book, they'll be likeable!

There's just as much action and suspense and twists in this sequel as there was in Fire & Flood, if not more. Honestly, I never see most of them coming. With Victoria's writing, I felt like I was there in the race with them, and the climatic scenes really got my heart pounding! The book isn't without tragedy, but it's all worth it, trust me. And I loved the Pandoras (especially Madox) even more in this. If this is any indication of what's to come, I'm so incredibly excited!

*Thank you to Scholastic Press for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

2 comments:

  1. I liked this one more than Fire & Flood! Tella's character growth was a big reason (that and the exciting twists). I was pretty happy with how this one turned out, and I'm glad you loved it too. :)

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  2. I liked this one too! I can't remember if I liked it more than Fire & Flood, but I certainly enjoyed it. There needs to be another book D:

    Excellent review, Richa!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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