Just refreshing thy memories.
Everyone wants to be them, for some reason. Everyone wants a Hunger Games, only without Panem, without Katniss, without Gale or Peeta or President Snow and the heartbreak and fire and tears and dead sisters and ornamented corpses. Everyone wants a Hunger Games in the hopes to manipulate emotions, not to make you feel; everyone wants a Hunger Games because that is the, like, THE most romantic setting for a budding love, amiright? Everyone wants to feel sorry for themselves, to save rapist psychopaths, to meet rapist psychopaths because the only villain we CAN have is either a long dead psychopath whose legacy continues till this moment(because the descendants are a horde of white, white sheep) or a rapist psychopath, which is all that he is. BECAUSE, a girl won’t have survived through desert and sun and bugs, her survival won’t matter if there’s not a singular rapist psychopath to escape and kill.
Fire & Flood. Can’t figure out the title, can’t figure out the cover. I have some theories but I’m not interested in sharing them, chiefly because I’m not interested in this book, which is basically an assortment of HG arena’s etc etc and Michelle Rowan’s Countdown, another book I don’t recommend. Litchick has done an effective job of equating the Hunger Games and Fire & Flood. Premise, momentary characters, the stone that sets in motion the ripples of the book, trains and pins and please do get the gist.
I have taken awhile to compile my thoughts about the book, but all I’ve been able to manage is basically:
What a rip-off!
What a cop-out!
What a stereotypically un-developed character!
What a lacking premise!
And once more, what a cop-out!
Except, I didn’t really spend all that time thinking about the book; I had better things to do, like avoiding thinking about the book.
Here’s Tella, a protagonist who’s a little vain, a little whiny, laughing and criticizing her own self. In the middle of nowhere, her brother’s dying and she pops in to check every moment that he’s not dead, just asleep. I decide I’m going to like her.
Here’s Tella, having decided to enter a possibly hoax/dangerous competition to get the Cure that could save her brother, or so they day. We don’t know who they are. She’s crying and cutting her hair, having almost dropped out of the game because of her naive fascination and deliberation. Although the last part wanted to punch her into warp speed, I decide I’m going to like her.
Here’s Tella where coincidence happens, irks me a bit but I relinquish my personal peeves for once. She stalks the guy, I like. She might not have experience, but there could possibly be a head that works on her head. I decide I like her.
Here’s Tella, meeting new people, hating a girl, Harper(whom I like still), because she can take charge and look beautiful; is gleeful because Harper has stretchmarks which could be an indicator that she was once fat in the past. I struggle to like her.
Why would you like if she were fat in the past, Tella? I want a reason. Is it because there are high school bulllies who find perverse satisfaction in playing on the insecurity of other people, fat people? Because these creatures bully other people, people who might be fat? Because by this reasoning, Harper might have once been bullied, and we should be gleeful about that? Or was it something completely different? Because if Harper was fat once, it means once upon a time, she wasn’t as beautiful as she is now? Because somehow, people who are fat can’t be beautiful? Or because beauty/thinness is a desirable character trait, and obesity is a sin, a mistake, an undesirable CHARACTER TRAIT?
Pissed me off, it did. BUT I decided to give her the benefit of doubt, decided she might improve later on, decided she was supposed to be an unlikable character and she’d progress. Unfortunately, since there comes along no other beautiful, thin person, we never will know, right?
Some time later.
Coincidences happen, AGAIN, I stop believing in the story. Out of hundreds upon hundreds of competitors, she stumbles upon the one handsome guy who’s been rude to her and alternately helped her, once more. And he decides to join them.
They figure out where the next flag will be because it is all so simple.
Some time later.
Here’s Tella, meeting the rapist psychopath. It goes on and he sexually harasses her but it’s all fucking all right, amiright? It’s still okay to let him continue with them; it’s okay that he’s 17-ish and deranged and rapist, and why haven’t you fucking offed him yet, or maybe left him tied up somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where you fucking are? This is a race to death, not a fucking competition for deliverance from evils that tempt you!(And frankly evil wouldn’t be tying up/incarcerating/castrating a guy like that, who is simply a psychopathic rapist and nothing else because whoever heard of villains with proper characterization?)
You are not here to emerge a newly fucking sanctified angel, you are here to emerge a victor with the cure that could save your brother!
And if you have a blue-eyed protector to save you every time, other girls this dude could prey on don’t! You have a weapon, use it! Fucking idiot.
Here’s where I lose lack of all chronologicality and order of events. Here’s where I mark the beginning of a spoiler.
Here’s why, I think, she didn’t kill him earlier, with the support of her comrades and shit: so she could kill him at the end, on a cliff or some other dramatic stupidity, after she’s hurt and what other fucking crap, to pwll at our heartswings; it doesn’t. And I didn’t like it that she took action only when her fucking said out loud in clear, hostile words that he’s going to kill her, when she’d already felt his tongue in her mouth forcibly, so we could all see him in his perverted glory.
But… she kills him. I was glad.
There are support genetically-engineered animals. They were cute, they hatched from eggs, but their inclusion was obviously a ploy to ensure Tella’s longevity, which couldn’t have been left to herself. The littlest problem they encounter, mmmmmmm, what to do, we can’t do shit…mmmmm…oh look! one of our animals can help us with his/her magical abilities because he/she is tired of us mmmmmm-ing anf fake-ruminating on our asses and doing shit.
At first, I was angry that this book tried to be so much like the Hunger Games. Now, I’m just angry because it didn’t even try to capture the essence of what made Hunger Games so miserable and hooking and heartbreaking; simply took the premise and over-simplified it.
They have genetically-engineered animal, yet the most adverse adversity they face is survival in the desert without supplies.
I’ve seen this in real life, on Discovery channel, without these animals to help. I remember now, these animals are called Pandoras!
The background story: it’s stupid, it’s given, it’s fucking unbelievable. That about sums it up. Take my word for it.
THE BLUE-EYED GUY.
THE KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR.
THE OAFISH BEAST.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER READY TO SAVE HIS DISNEY PRINCESS.
AND DID I MENTION HOW USELESS TELLA IS WHEN IT COMES TO HERSELF? SE WAS AND SHE IS, AND BY this point, I’d already decided to not like her, and I’d already decided that I didn’t like her. One or two times is okay, thrice I can grant but every fucking time? Challenges are meant to be overcome, not to be put aside for the knight in the fucking white armor. I hated the knight; Tella tried to give him, but he didn’t have any personality.
Just a machine that has one code in its programming:
float tella, danger, run, kill;
DISCLAIMER: That was crap, I hope you don’t expect it to work; I’m not good with this whole techy-programmy C++, even the children’s handywork.
In the end, all boiled down to romance. Because that’s what mattered.
Except it’s less believable than the song. Because the song is awesome, the book isn’t.
BUT HARPER WAS AWESOME! She survives, she has weaknesses, she has character, she breaks down, she likes, she has someone to save and she puts that before everything else. SHE MADE THIS BOOK A-OK.
When I’ve got my cool gathered and all:
SO obviously the worst thing will happen to her.
I do NOT recommend this book. I recommend Oreos and Doge memes and Adventure Time and Katniss Everdeen and The Fall and other miscellaneous people and things and books, but not Fire & Flood.
Review copy provided by publishers.