Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
e-ARC, 401 pages
Date Published: July 26, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
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.

You know that feeling you get when you finish a really good book and you’re dying to read more? Wildefire gave me that feeling. Actually, it gave me that feeling and then some because when I read that last line, I wanted to literally scream that I NEED MORE! I plan on berating Karsten Knight over and over because of the giant freaking cliffhanger he ended Wildefire with.

So obviously, this book is great. In fact, it’s phenomenal – with strong, intelligent characters and a protagonist with so much presence, she leaps right off the page. Ashline is chock-full of sarcastic wit and hilarious snark. She has a tough girl attitude, but is a total marshmallow underneath. Seeing both sides of Ash makes her that much more real. Seeing Ash come into her own and realize who she is one of the best parts of the book. On top of the mythology, Ashline’s family issues are just as interesting as her newfound volcano goddess issues.

Eve, Ashline’s sister, is one of those hard, angry, bitter girls with a little remorse. She’s everything Ash is not and the sister’s interactions crackle with tension. Ashline’s fellow Blackwood Academy students add another layer to Wildefire’s already complicated story. Raja, Ade, Rolfe, Lily, Jackie, and gorgeous park ranger Colt all stand out in their own ways. Knight manages to imbue each character with personality and vigor. And as much as I don’t want to pick favorites, Ade and Rolfe both stole every scene they were in.

The mythology in Wildefire is fundamental to how the story plays out and Karsten Knight has worked some serious magic in the book’s pages. Not only is the premise fascinating, but it’s full of unexpected twists and turns. There’s a prophet, gods and goddesses, several different nationalities in a small boarding school – thank you for a perfect explanation on this one, Karsten – and a little romantic drama to spice things up a bit.

Karsten Knight has delivered a stellar debut in Wildefire; packed with plenty of action, some insane happenings, and a cast of some of the most superbly fleshed out characters,  any and all readers will find something to enjoy. The mythology involved is inventive and intriguing, mixing different cultural beliefs flawlessly. Knight tortures the reader by jolting them in one direction and then promptly altering the path. I thought I knew what to expect, but boy was I wrong. Be prepared to for a cliffhanger, but not one you’ll ever expect. Wildefire recently just came out, but I’m prepared to beg Karsten Knight to give me anything from Embers & Echoes.  

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Lisa_Gibson said...

Okay after reading that review, I have GOT to get this read soon. Thanks. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Candace said...

Yay! So glad you loved it! I really liked it as well and that cliffhanger is KILLER! I kind of liked how the tone in this one was just so different. It definitely made this one different from anything else out there.

Lori said...

I loved this one too! I NEED Embers & Echos NOW!!

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