Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Review: Wildefire - Karsten Knight
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behaviour 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 her new school - being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot local park ranger - she discovers that a group of gods and goddesses has been unknowingly summoned to 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 gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smouldering within her before she clashes with her sister one more time. . . .
And when the warm and cold fronts collide, there's guaranteed to be a storm.
Embers and Echoes (2012)
Visit Karsten Knight's website for more information
Wildefire is one of those books that I desperately wanted to read from the minute I heard about it and I waited months for the US release date. In fact I was so convinced I'd love this book that I tracked down a signed hardback when I was on holiday in New York (and anyone who knows me is well aware that I never buy hardbacks!). So, as you can probably tell, I had high expectations when I picked up this book, perhaps they were too high because I found myself feeling slightly disappointed by the time I'd finished reading.
I'm going to start with the main character Ashline, I found it really difficult to like her. In the opening chapter she discovers her boyfriend has cheated on her and is understandably upset. She then gets into a fight with the girl her boyfriend cheated with, punching this girl so hard that she loses consciousness and has a tooth knocked out. Completely unacceptable Ashline - I will never condone violence and you just lost all moral high ground by attacking someone. I think from that point onwards I was doomed to dislike Ashline and her self obsessed and arrogant attitude as the story continued didn't help me warm to her.
I liked some of the side characters but nobody really stood out for me, just a few days after finishing the book I'm struggling to remember anything about them. I did love the mythology though, the fact that Karsten Knight has taken Gods & Goddesses from all different cultures and mixed them together is really interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes in the future. The story is fairly slow to get started and I would have liked more information about the mythology but the plot builds to an action packed ending with a surprising twist at the end. I did actually feel that the big show down was over a little too quickly but it has left me wanting to continue reading the series.
The other thing I have to mention is that I was surprised at how badly edited the story was, I spotted quite a few mistakes when I was reading (the misuse of their / they're really bugs me!). I expect spelling mistakes or the occasional missing word when I'm reading an advanced proof but when I've paid for a finished copy of the book I expect the editing to be better than it was for this book. Such a shame because it threw me out of the story every time I spotted an error which didn't help my reading experience.
Overall although I was a little disappointed with Wildefire I'd still say it is still worth giving it a try. I think the series has a lot of potential and I will be reading the next installment. It's an interesting addition to the YA paranormal genre that is different from most other books currently on the market. If you like mythology, Gods and Goddesses then I'm sure you'll enjoy the story.
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.
Hardback / Kindle