Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Series: Wildefire #1
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Galley Grab
Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
Ashline is an interesting protagonist. She's got some anger and abandonment issues and gets into fights and can be pretty hostile. She understands that sometimes people just need to be high-fived. In the face. Possibly with a rearview mirror. But she can also be compassionate. She acts on her array of emotions pretty impulsively, but I have a difficult time actually connecting to the emotions that she's feeling. I don't feel them for her or with her. She also seems to latch onto guys too easily but, since that particular fault is portrayed as one of her weaknesses in the story, it doesn't annoy me like it would otherwise. Still, it's nice to read a character who isn't the "nice girl." Speaking of not the nice girl, Ashline's sister Eve is totally freaking bipolar. Eve scenes are like watching a meth addict come down off of a high. One minute she's all lightning bolts and destruction and the next she's a shuddering mess in the fetal position in the snow. In May. The other gods and goddesses are also pretty interesting characters, and the reader gets just enough tidbits from each of them to help flesh them out a bit. But I wish I had felt more emotionally invested in the characters - any of them. I felt like a spectator rather than a participant. I see all this stuff going on and these feelings being acted out, but it never completely drew me in and made me feel like I was part of it.

The plot is pretty action-packed. There's a lot of violence and murder and that sort of thing. I like that the gods and goddesses aren't all Disneyed up for this novel, but if violence and a little foul language in YA will bother you then you may want to skip it. I can't really buy into the relationship between Ash and Colt. Their connection doesn't have much time to grow beyond just having the hots for each other. They have a few conversations and one date. I'd have liked to have seen a little more development of their relationship in order to make Ash's investment in Colt more believable. But it is what it is - a new guy for Ash, which she hopes will have more potential than her previous two. There's lust, but there's no, "OMGz I cannot lives without him! If he goes I will be catatonic for weeks!" or anything like that. Oh, and there's a twist at the end of the book, which I fully anticipated but Ashline did not. Dun dun dunnnnn...

So yeah, it is alright, especially once it gets into the gods and goddesses stuff. And I like that the heroine is hostile and could potentially melt a face off. I wish it'd have pulled me into the story more and gotten me to feel more invested into the characters and their fates. I liked it okay but didn't love it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jenny :) Hope you had a great week. Nice review. I actually won a copy of this book, I'm still pretty excited to read it.

    Have a super weekend!



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