A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her 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.
I was so excited by the very thought of this book. It sounded like the lovechild of Stephen King's 'Running Man' and 'The Hunger Games' and I couldn't wait to get reading it. But again it was a case for me of don't judge a book by its cover, as I did not enjoy this one at all.
The story itself is a winner. We have a girl deciding to take part in a brutal survival race for the faint hope of saving her brother who is dying. We have animals(Pandoras) assigned to each runner as a helper to get them safely to the end and we have different terrains to fight your way through to get to the end of each stage. Sounds great right? Yes, it does and it might well have been really good but I never got to the end to find out. For one reason only.
This is the girl who makes Bella Swan look like Katniss Everdeen. No, I'm not kidding, I really mean it. Next to Tella, Bella looks smart, capable and kickass. I bet you're scared now, huh? You should be...Tella is whiny,vain, useless, pathetic and a complete airhead and those are her best qualities.
She moans about everything she had to give up when her family moved out to Montana in the vain hope that the clean air might save her brother Cody from dying. She moans about being bored all the time (read a book dammit!). She decides to believe this weird message left in her house for her with barely a question asked. Who left it? How can there be a cure when all these doctors have failed to help Cody? How do these people know they can cure him? How did they get into her house? But none of this matters to Tella because she is so happy to have her very own gadget that she is doing gollum impersonations with it, calling it her precious. She decides to sneak out in the middle of the night without leaving a note or saying goodbye as she heads off for 3 months. And when she was frantically packing the essentials for this strange race, what was the most important thing she packed? Her nail polish. Of course it is. When people are racing for survival, having shiny nails is going to give you such an edge in the jungle.
You have an hour to get your butt to the train station to catch the train and you stop to take the time to deal with your hair and makeup, risking getting there late. Your perfect face is of course, more important than getting to the train to save your brother! You wake up in a box having had your clothes changed by some unknown person while you were drugged into sleep, and your most important thought is 'am I wearing my sexy underwear?'. Katniss you certainly are not! If this vain idiot is to win the race, every other person must die or kill themselves. Seriously this girl is incapable of even going shopping on her own without instructions.
Now Tella is on the start line, wondering if she should go home. She is so dippy that when the race starts, she just stands there wondering what she is meant to do as everyone rushes off to 'race'. She sees a big tough guy with a Lion Pandora and decides they should team up so he can protect her and do everything for her. How does she go about convincing the scary guy to be her friend? She indicates that her talent is making her friend laugh enough to pee herself. WTF??? What the hell is wrong with this idiot? Even Bella could beat you! I mean the guy has a LION, he doesn't need wet pants!!! I have rarely seen a dumber bitch in the history of dystopian books. This girl is so pointless that she NEEDS to die! There is no way that she is capable of surviving this race!
HOW this can be compared to The Hunger Games is beyond me. It should have been called Bimbo Bushwalk. This was just so bad that I didn't even want to read about the race itself. I couldn't stand the thought of reading about her as the reality of the race bit home. I suppose it's too much to hope for that her Pandora had rabies and bit her? I'm rooting for the lion...
So no, I didn't enjoy this reading experience. This book has so much promise and could well have been ruined by having an idiot as our heroine. That is a real shame.