Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: July 26, 2011
Pages: 400
My Rating: 3.9/5
Misc.: First in trilogy

 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.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.

My Review:
This book was a pleasant surprise. I'll admit the last book based on mythology I've read was the first Percy Jackson book when I was in seventh grade, so I don't really have that much to compare this book too. However Wildefire had most of the elements I'm looking for in a good book; a strong kick-ass main character, action, and an intense back story.

After reading the first two pages, it was clear that Ash was not someone you wanted to cross. She has a temper, and she's independent. Yes, she is violent at times. Yes, she swears and drinks, as do other characters. Will that bother some people? Probably. But in my opinion, these things are not that uncommon in teenage lives as people would like to believe. Karsten Knight didn't go overboard with the violence/swearing/drinking in Wildefire. I think he created pretty realistic teenagers--uhh, aside from the whole gods/goddesses aspect. Anyways, it was nice to have a strong minded female main character instead of a whiny girl. Besides Ash's kick-ass-ness, I was also happy to see that the 'side' characters, if you can call them that, were crucial to the story. Ash's friends were not only diverse in ethnicity, which is not something I find in books a lot nowadays, but they each had their own unique personalities. And where I loved the main characters, I loved to hate the villians. Eve and Ash's backstory made for some twisted family dynamics. Where Ash was violent at times, but she had morals. Eve was just... well, not so much. 

Though I loved all of that, I just had two problems with this book. First, the beginning of the book was kinda slow for me. It wasn't until about 100 pages in that things really started to pick up. Second, the romance. I just couldn't find it believable. It felt a little too much like instalove, and honestly, a bit creepy in the beginning. I felt like I missed the spark that ignited their relationship.

But those things aside, I really did enjoy this book. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in a good mythology read, or anyone who just loves a little action in their book. I'll definitely pick up my own copy of this book and the sequel when it comes out.

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