Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Title: Salt & Stone
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: Fire & Flood #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Source: ARC provided by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Scholastic!!)

Summary 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 hit pretty much all of the right notes for me. It was every bit as exciting as Fire & Flood but was without some of the nuances.

In the first book, Tella survived the Jungle and the Desert in a race for the cure that will save her brother's life. Now Tella must conquer the Sea and the Mountain leg of the race, and make it to the finish line first if she hopes to win. But the competition is only getting harder, so much so that at times it seems as if none of them are meant to survive to the finish. I loved not knowing what obstacle the Contenders would have to face next and witnessing how they would overcome it. This book was non-stop action and suspense, which was exactly what I was hoping to read when I picked it up.

I'll admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of Tella in the first book. Rather than see her overt girliness as a positive trait, I found fault in it. I thought she acted foolish at times (her survivor bag consisted of flats and nail polish), was a little too boy-crazy for the situation she was in, and was overly dependent on others. But she has grown SO MUCH and has come SO FAR from that girl that I can't help but admire her now. In Salt & Stone she starts to think for herself and voice her opinions rather than just blindly follow Guy's lead, and although it takes some time, the others really start to see her as a leader. There were still flashes of that girly-girl but I actually appreciated it this time around because it made me feel like there is that strength in all of us.

Another thing I loved about Tella is how good she remained throughout it all. The very nature of this competition pits everyone against each other but the various obstacles give added opportunity to purposefully sabotage other players. It is easy to lose your humanity in such a situation and yet Tella does not, even to her own apparent detriment. She is fair and compassionate to everyone, even the Pandoras. What other contenders view as a weakness ends up being one of Tella's greatest strengths in the competition and I loved that.

I knew this book was going to be good when I picked it up and it still surprised me. I think mostly because Tella surprised me. I have grown really fond of her. I may also be partial to Madox and the other Pandoras although Scott doesn't go easy on us.

Definitely read this one folks! 

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