Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Grade: 5 stars out of 5
"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."
WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT?
I am SO excited to review this book, I couldn’t spend my entire time trying to write a fair summary, so instead I borrowed from Goodreads. SORRY!
Anyway, yes, as soon as I was finished with the last words on the last page, I REALLY NEEDED TO READ THE NEXT ONE. I’m sad I have to wait now.
So I give this a 5 for a variety of reasons. I really liked the style writing. It was in third person, which I believe is hard to do. One has to reflect on not just the main character, but everyone else, and still keep all the characters separate. Ash was important, but so were the others, and you get a taste of what each one is feeling, from Lily’s heartbreak to Eve’s feeling of loneliness. I thought the Interludes were clever elements in the plot, where you could see the world from others’ eyes, not just Ashline’s. I liked the names (love Ade Saint-Cyr), characteristics, and flaws of the characters. All the gods show their teenaged side; Rolfe could be a dick at times, and Lily takes rejection about as well as I do.
Bonus points were given for the multicultural characters (Polynesian Jews, Haitians, and Hopi Indians in one story?! Mind-blown!), mentioning Philadelphia, and not having a completely happy ending. I like a good resolution, but not in the first book of a trilogy. Definitely gives me something to look forward to.
This novel is a great example of an original read. Ash might have quick wit, but she wasn’t the strongest of all the gods in the pantheon, as one might expect. Ash’s and Eve’s relationship was complicated to the extreme. There’s a lack of traditional love triangles. This would remind me of Vampire Academy or Poison Study, but it doesn’t. Not completely. Wildefire is in a class all its own and if Knight keeps doing his thing, I’m sure it’s going to be one of my favorite series.