March 2014, Chicken House, 384 Pages, Paperback, Review Copy
Content: Violence, hardship, love, hate, Sci-fi
Summary from Chicken House
When you're fighting for someone else's life can you escape with your own?
Tella’s brother is dying. He’s got cancer, and Tella is helpless to save him. Or so she thought. When an invitation arrives for Tella to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a deadly competition that will lead her through treacherous jungle and scorching desert, she doesn’t think twice. Because the prize is a cure to any illness. But Tella will be facing more than just the elements …
The first book in the Brimstone Bleed series.
The Mole's Thoughts
The first thing that the summary brought to mind was "The Hunger Games". I will admit now that I have not read HG but people that have tell me that it's very similar to the film, which I have seen. The basic premise of HG is kill or be killed though where here it's first past the post. Except there's sometimes conditions to be met before you can get past the post...
The story is fast and furious and the violence is not too bad and I did find it compelling and enjoyable. This book covers two of the four stages of the race - in the jungle and across the desert. I was at times a bit amazed at the way that the totally unscientific navigation worked and it irritated a bit to the point where when a waymarker was stumbled upon I felt "Well, there's a coincidence!". There is a love interest in it (or is it lust?) and frankly I found that a bit of a let down.
On balance would I go out and buy the second book in the series? I'm not sure that I would but I am certainly not the target readership.
When it comes to choosing an alternative read for some reason the book that springs to mind is Black Sheep by Na'ima B. Robert which is not listed as YA but has a far stronger heroine and a completely different genre.