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review 2017-06-12 01:23
Hear the Wolves
Hear the Wolves - Victoria Scott

She didn’t want to be left home alone yet her father thought she was ready, had the village knew what was to transpire, other arrangements would have been made. The problem started a while back when the townsfolk thought that they were helping the community by clearing out the trees but this only lead to more serious complications as it affected the wildlife that surrounded Rustic. Rustic had altered the animal food-chain and they would feel it’s effects.


Sloan realizes a snowstorm is making its way into Rustic and she trudges off to the chapel to get more fuel for the generator. Sloan is not happy that her father and sister left her home by herself, but she knows how to survive in Alaska. Her father taught her how to be an excellent hunter, now if only she could get some help with her classwork she knows that with the letter that she has been carrying around in her pocket, she might have a great future. At the chapel, others arrive and the storm picks up, it is not just a snowstorm anymore. There’s been an accident, many of the townsfolk are gone but the ones that are there join together to assist and decide on the course of action. As they make their way through the forest to get help, this group of individuals must confront a large pack of hungry wolves whose food-chain has been altered. It’s interesting who is all assembled in this group and the lessons that are learned as they try to navigate through the woods. This is an intense, difficult journey that becomes intense at times and it makes up a great chunk of this novel. There were times I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and times I swear, I saw the glistening eyes of the wolves looking right at me. These wolves were hungry, their food supply is in short supply and it didn’t help that the humans only have two guns between them and a handful of bullets for these guns. I didn’t expect this novel to hold me like it did. I felt a loss for each side. The wolves, for they were battling for territory, they were only doing what comes natural for them and then the human, they didn’t expect what they were getting. The ending was not what I expected, it really surprised me as it seemed a bit harsh to me and I really wanted a different outcome. Upon finishing reading this novel, I had to check to see what age level this novel was geared to as I really wasn’t sure. I thought at times that the story wasn’t complex enough to be YA but some of the scene details were definitely YA and not children’s. The cover is just beautiful.

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text 2016-09-15 01:05
Review for Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
Salt & Stone - Victoria Scott

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


Tella Holloway has become much stronger than she was at the start of the Brimstone Bleed. A trek through a jungle and across a desert will do that to you. Now, as she prepares to go into the second half of this deadly race to save her brother, she wonders if she is really strong enough to make it through. Can she really defeat all these people? Can she, a girl who spent her life in search of the perfect dress and cup of coffee, really go head to head with a group of adults and really come out victorious? And could she have survived the first half without Guy’s help? This second installment of the Fire & Flood series comes with just as much peril and self-doubt, but an altogether stronger Tella. Let’s see if she can haul ass and save her brother’s life.


It’s been a while since I read Fire & Flood, so my love for Tella had to be made over. I remember loving her sassiness in F&F as well as her pandora, but I didn’t quite remember her exactly as she is. At the beginning of this, I was annoyed at her. She keeps trying to step out from underneath Guy’s shadow and lead the group and that isn’t what I wanted to see. I wanted to see her follow Guy’s lead and maybe watch a few hidden make-out scenes. Every time she went against him, I wanted to smack her. And then she learns that he doesn’t believe she can stand on her own, that he isn’t sure she could have made it this far without him, and she’s is devastated…and more determined than ever to stand on her own two feet. During that whole speech, I was a little conflicted. I mean, on the one hand, you kinda have to agree with him. She doesn’t know how to survive on the land and may well have starved or died of dehydration without him. On the other, that is a harsh thing to admit and Tella is always stronger than anyone gives her credit for. Then, she starts making smarter decision and slowly earns everyone’s respect and I was finally okay with her stepping out. But it wasn’t an immediately response. The thing that always won me over from moment one was her love for her Pandora and that is amplified here. She reaches out to all the Pandoras and does what she can to protect them as they would her.


Despite his harsh words and general unwillingness to talk, I still love Guy. He’s constantly doing whatever he can to keep Tella safe, even when Tella doesn’t want him to risk his neck for her. Even if his actions are misguided, he still shows a great deal of care for Tella’s well being and it’s obvious that he cares for her, even if he can’t bring himself to say the words.


One of the things I applauded Scott for in my review of Fire & Flood was the novel’s brutality. This is no different than that. While I still applaud Scott for not holding back, it still broke my heart in many ways…as I’m sure it broke hers. We get more character death here and that’s harder to take because I’ve become even more attached to them by now. You all know I’m not a fan of character death. While I am aware that at story of this caliber requires character death (because it’s preposterous to believe they can all make this deadly trek without casualties), that doesn’t make it any easier for me to read.


Besides the character death, the Pandora deaths are what really brought me down to a sob-worthy level. Just to be clear, I don’t want novels to make me sob. I respect that it takes a certain skill to bring your readers to such a state where they feel the need to shed real-world tears over a fictional event, but that is not what I seek when I look for a new novel. ANYWAY, by the time you reach the end of this, you know where it’s going Pandora-wise. We’ve really all felt it heading this way since the first introduction of the companions, but we were just hoping we were wrong, that Scott would find another way to devastate us. Trust you’re instincts on this because that is exactly where it’s going and you were spot on. And it’s heartbreaking. Devastating doesn’t seem a strong enough word. I won’t say more than that and the fact that it broke me.


Beyond the character death and the brutality, this novel is spectacular. I was able to continue reading it and enjoying it despite my issues and that’s saying something. The writing and plot blew me away, just like they did in the first novel. This is so very different than Scott’s Dante Walker series and I really liked that. It’s a very intense little book. I was one I could never binge read because it’s too potent. That is, until the last 100 pages when I didn’t care if my brain melted because I had to know what happened next. Does Tella win? DOES SHE? I’m not telling! But I’m excited about what comes next.


Though this ends on a cliffhanger (is anyone really surprised by that?), I’m excited to see how the group works to take down this crazy company that is killing people for sport.

The low rating here is mostly due to character and animal death. I can be forgiving at times and I know some think it’s unfair to rate a book I enjoyed 3 stars because it’s a mediocre rating, but that’s just how it works for me. Animal death is something to grabs me more than character death. That’s my real-world personality showing through because I’m a big animal lover and I don’t like the thought of them being abused. Beyond that, this is a great follow-up to Fire & Flood. If you enjoyed that, you’ll love this. Just, you know, be prepared because no one is safe and everything can change in the blink of an eye.


****Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review****

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review 2016-04-29 01:31
Review for The Liberator by Victoria Scott
The Liberator - Victoria Scott

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


Dante Walker has officially jumped sides. He is no longer a badass collector of souls for Lucifer. Instead, he liberates souls for God. He's first assignment? Liberate Aspen's soul. Aspen is exactly like he was before he jump sides and it is hard to fight the desire to lapse into his old ways of partying and sinning. He has to stay strong because if he fails this assignment, he'll have to say good-bye to his liberator cuff and Charlie AKA the love of his life. Can he keep his cool or will he blow his chances to stay on Team Heaven?


Dante is still a character that irritates me. Actually Dante may irritate me more here than he did in The Collector. Everything about him bugs me. As a Collector, I kept hoping I would see him actually be the "man" he claimed to be. You know, the bad guy? Swearing and being a general jackass. Once he became a Liberator, I knew that wouldn't happen. Call me crazy, but I hate censored swearing. When something happens, all the real words help and anything else sounds stupid. Either commit or don't do it at all. I obviously curse like a fucking sailor and I hate moments when I have to reel that in for work or other reasons. I like colorful language and, in the end, they are just words. Either way, Dante drove me up a damn wall. He's so fucking cocky and annoying and I really began to hate him here.


Charlie wasn't much better. She goes all stupid in the beginning, doing things that are so far out of character that I had a very difficult time believing she would do them. Charlie is the "good girl" and that mentality is ingrained. It's not something that you can just shrug off. I was never a huge Charlie fan, but I liked her well enough in The Collector and I wanted that to continue here.


Then we have Aspen, the soul Dante is meant to Liberate. I don't have an opinion on her. I don't feel like we know enough about her by the end to really form an opinion. All we get is what Dante sees and thinks and I feel like there is much much more to her than that. She is hiding things and I wanted to slap her and tell her to let go. She also jumps onto the Charlie bandwagon very quickly in my opinion. Chick is basically a heathen. She shows no religious affiliations, but I'm supposed to believe that she just trusts Dante enough to believe his and Charlie's story and the existence of deities? Okay, this may have been more a problem for me and my atheist ways than the average reader, but I felt like she needed more convincing.


The whole God/Devil thing is actually a bit difficult for me. The fact that Dante rarely ever calls them by their names, instead referring to God as Big Guy and Lucifer as Lucille, drove me fucking nuts. Dude, you are agent of God now, at least say his damn name properly. I've read angel and demon books before and I have no problems with them, so I can't say exactly why this irritated me, but it did. Dante also plays that whole tortured, I don't deserve to be saved because I'm a "bad" guy card here that made me want to scream.


Really, I should have never requested the eARC of book 3 of this series, The Warrior. While I enjoyed The Collector, I didn't love it like everyone else did. I did love Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (and I'm desperate for the sequel), but this series just irks me. I did give in, however, and was approved for it, so I had to muddle through this one first. I figured it would be the same 4 star level The Collector was, but it irritated me a lot more. Or maybe I was just more forgiving when I read The Collector? I really don't know, but either way, this got on my nerves.


It gets 3 stars because it wasn't horrible and it had it's good moments. The writing is pretty good. It just wasn't for me. I took me almost a month to finish it and that speaks volumes. Basically, if you liked The Collector and Dante in it, you'll like this. If Dante irritated the fuck out of you in The Collector, then that is only going to continue here.


Tabitha's signature

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review 2016-01-16 11:34
Salz & Stein (Die Feuer & Flut-Romane, Band 2) - Victoria Scott,Michaela Link
Es handelt sich um den 2. Teil der Feuer-&-Flut-Romane.

122 Kandidaten sind beim Brimstone Bleed angetreten und jetzt sind es nur mehr 64, die sich den letzten beiden Herausforderungen stellen. Und Tella ist eine von ihnen.

Zur Erinnerung: Das Brimstone Bleed ist im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes ein Rennen auf Leben und Tod. Alle Kandidaten haben todkranke Angehörige und dem Gewinner winkt weder Ruhm noch Ehre, sondern ein Heilmittel für diesen geliebten Menschen. Tella nimmt teil, um ihrem älteren Bruder das Leben zu retten. Doch das lebensfrohe Glitzergirl hätte niemals geahnt, worauf sie sich da eingelassen hat.

Bereits die ersten beiden Etappen des Brimstone Bleeds konnten mich für sich gewinnen und die Fortsetzung habe ich ebenso verschlungen. Aus der Protagonistin und Nervensäge Tella ist ein ernsteres Mädchen geworden. Anfangs hat sie noch über das Leben außerhalb des Rennens sinniert, mittlerweile ist sie derart im Ernst der Sache gefangen, dass sie nur mehr ans Überleben denkt. Nicht nur an ihr eigenes, sondern an das ihrer Mitstreiter und natürlich an ihren Bruder, den es zu retten gilt.

Diese letzten beiden Etappen haben es in sich. Es geht noch brutaler zu, die Gefühle schwappen über und hinter den Aufgaben und Fanggruben der Veranstalter steckt eine Bösartigkeit, die man sich kaum vorstellen kann.

Aufgelockert wird diese Anspannung durch einen überraschend heiteren Erzählstil, der mir erneut unglaublich gut gefallen hat. Aus Tellas Sicht lässt man sich auf die Herausforderungen des Brimstone Bleeds ein und wird mit ihrer herrlich amüsanten Selbstironie konfrontiert, die das Buch zu einem bemerkenswerten Lesevergnügen macht.

Die Bösartigkeit hinter der gesamten Veranstaltung habe ich bereits angesprochen, aber auch die Boshaftigkeit dem Leser gegenüber soll erwähnt werden. Man läuft gemeinsam mit Tella auf die Zielgerade zu, stellt sich unvorstellbar harten Herausforderungen, hat dabei tausend Fragen im Kopf und bleibt am Ende darauf sitzen! Es gibt keine Aufklärung und einen fiesen Cliffhanger, der mir das Lesevergnügen ganz schön versalzen hat, weil man angeblich am Ende der Feuer-&-Flut-Romane angelangt ist. 

Wie bereits Teil 1, hat mir auch die Fortsetzung richtig großen Spaß gemacht. Es hat mir sehr gut gefallen und ich bin gemeinsam mit Tella durch die Seiten in Richtung Ziel geprescht, wo es nicht nur manchen Kandidaten - sondern auch mir als Leser - den Boden unter den Füßen weggezogen hat, denn dieses Ende haben wir uns allesamt nicht verdient und ich möchte unbedingt, dass es weitergeht.

Die Feuer-&-Flut-Romane:
1) Feuer & Flut
2) Salz & Stein
© NiWa


Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2015-12-25 19:40
Über den Ozean, über die Berge...
Salz & Stein (Die Feuer & Flut-Romane, Band 2) - Victoria Scott,Michaela Link

Auch im zweiten Band hat mich die rasante Abenteuergeschichte, die Victoria Scott erzählt, wieder überzeugt und verdammt gut unterhalten. Der Reihe wird manchmal eine zu große Ähnlichkeit mit "Die Tribute von Panem" vorgeworfen, aber ich empfinde diese Ähnlichkeit als allerhöchstens oberflächlich! In meinen Augen erzählt die Autorin etwas ganz Eigenes, mit einem wahren Schatz an originellen Ideen.


Die Spannung steigert sich in diesem Band bis ins Unerträgliche, denn den Machern des Brimstone Bleeds fällt immer wieder etwas Neues ein, was noch grausamer, schmerzhafter und sadistischer ist. Als Leser sollte man sich auch nie darauf verlassen, dass einem Lieblingscharakter schon nichts passieren wird... Egal wie sympathisch, egal wie wichtig für die Handlung, niemand ist sicher! Ich habe mehr als einmal ein paar Tränchen vergossen.


Besonders Tella ist an ihren Erlebnissen aus dem ersten Band unglaublich gewachsen. Ja, sie hat immer noch oberflächliche, alberne Momente, in denen sie von schicken Klamotten, Schminke und heißen Jungs träumt, aber dahinter enthüllt sich mehr und mehr ein Herz aus Gold - und ein Kern aus Stahl.


Im ersten Band musste sie oft gerettet werden, klebte wie eine Klette am starken, selbstbewussten Guy und war nur zu froh, anderen die schwierigen Entscheidungen zu überlassen. Inzwischen hat sie aber erkannt, dass sie so eigentlich nicht sein will, und ihr eigenes Rückgrat entdeckt. Wer hätte es gedacht - sie kann eine taffe, entschlossene Anführerin sein, die die Dinge in Angriff nimmt und sich so schnell von niemandem etwas gefallen lässt.


Obwohl sie in Guy verliebt ist, behauptet sie sich gegen ihn und steckt klare Grenzen, was sie akzeptiert, und was sie anders machen möchte - bravo!


Aber bei allem Bravado verliert sie nie ihr Mitgefühl und ihr ausgeprägtes Wertesystem. Sie zeigt Mitgefühl mit ihren Konkurrenten und deren Pandoras, ungeachtet dessen, dass das ihre eigenen Chance im Brimstone Bleed schmälern könnte.


Guy kommt manchmal noch sehr als Macho rüber, aber eigentlich steckt dahinter nur, dass er schon als Jugendlicher darauf trainiert wurde, am Brimstone Bleed teilzunehmen, und noch nicht so weit ist, seinen eigenen Weg zu gehen. Ich hatte in diesem Band den Eindruck, ihn besser zu verstehen, und insofern hat mich auch die Liebesgeschichte zwischen ihm und Tella stärker berührt.


Auch die anderen Charaktere fand ich wieder gut geschrieben - sowohl die, die der Leser schon aus dem ersten Band kennt, als auch die neuen Charaktere: die rätselhafte kleine Willow, die für eine 6-Jährige erstaunlich manipulativ handelt, oder der hünenhafte Cotton, der keine Erinnerungen an die ersten beiden Runden des Bleeds zu haben scheint.


Den Schreibstil fand ich in diesem Band einfach bombastisch. So schnoddrig Tella die Geschehnisse auch erzählt, mit albernen Witzchen, schrägen Sprüchen und durchgeknalltem Kopfkino, so unerwartet packt einen manchmal dennoch ein Satz bei der Kehle: atmosphärisch, dramatisch, eindringlich.


Das Ende wird sicher die Gemüter scheiden. Dazu muss man sagen, dass bislang nur diese zwei Bände erschienen sind und noch kein dritter offiziell angekündigt ist, die Autorin aber nach eigener Aussage eigentlich noch einen weiteren Band geplant hat - wenn sie ihren Verlag denn überzeugen kann, ihn auch zu veröffentlichen.


Der zweite Band kann notfalls alleine stehen, aber das Ende lässt doch einiges offen.


Waren die Ereignisse im ersten Band schon spannend, rasant und grausam, setzt der zweite Band noch einen drauf. Mehr und mehr wird deutlich, dass das Brimstone Bleed kein faires Rennen ist, sondern ein sadistisches Spiel mit Menschenleben!


Besonders gut gefallen hat mir, dass Tella sich vom albernen Modepüppchen zur entschlossenen Anführerin entwickelt, die (meist) nicht gerettet werden muss, sondern die Dinge schon selber rockt, vielen Dank auch.

Source: mikkaliest.blogspot.de/2015/12/salz-stein-feuer-flut-2-von-victoria.html
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