Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (July 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1442421177
ISBN-13: 978-1442421172

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.


Being adopted during infancy and growing up in a white-washed suburb, Ashline Wilde's Polynesian looks were something of a dark beam in a sea of white light. The only other person who could have understand equally what she was going through decided to up and leave the burbs for a world-view trip around the globe, leaving her little sister behind confused and alone. When Evelyn "Eve" Wilde makes her reappearance, she know nothing better than to terrorize her younger sibling when Ash refuses to do her bidding. After a horrible incident, Ash finds herself across the country in a prep school known as Blackwood Academy that she's beginning to view as the silver lining in a world of chaos, and as a new beginning. It wasn't long until Ash got some answers--and with them more questions--about her elder sister's extraordinary display of power back in Scarsdale, and the group of gods and goddesses that seem to know about their own powers than Ash knows about her own. If she even has any...

The first thing that I was pleasantly surprised to read when I started Wildefire was the brutal way that the author threw you into the story, no mercy, no sugarcoating. From the onset the reader is captivated by the roughness of the main character and introduced into the the confined space she views herself living in. This soon builds up into a well-crafted situation where reason soon flies out the window and total action takes over. This was one of those books where "actions speak louder than words." And I absolutely love those. This doesn't mean that there was minimal dialogue or no explanations of thought processes, not at all. I just mean that the actions done by the primitive characters say more about them than any simple summary of their personality would.

Ashline was my ideal character and perspective I would have chosen to read the book through. She sees more about the people around her, perceives in a way that is easily relatable, and casts them in their own light of judgement. I believe this had to do more with the authors writing style than anything else. The only way I could explain it would be that once you start reading, you don't realize time going by or what page your on. It just keeps you entranced long enough for you to keep reading until you feel exhaustion creeping up on you. Something that really put me inside the book was the unique occurrences of the story being told in second-person. That was a little like the icing on the cake for me.

Another facet that I couldn't ignore was the smooth way Ash's life was built up in the course of time throughout the book. So many things changed, secrets unveiled, people in disguise uncovered. All of it was contributing to the whole of the book and creating a fantastic debut and installment of what I hope will be an everlasting series.

Grade: B+

Source: Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab


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