Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
First published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in 2011 (this edition is an e-Galley, courtesy of the S&S Galley Grab programme)

Book #1 in the Wildefire series

Description (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.

My thoughts
Before I start saying anything about this book, I have a comment to make regarding character names. As of late, I have read three books whose main characters are named Ash. Granted, they're all different Ash's (Ash from Aislinn in Wicked Lovely, Ash from Aisling in Ash and Ash from Ashline in Wildefire). Just saying...

Anyways... Wildefire... This book tells us the story of Ashline Wilde, a girl who has faced many problems growing up and even more during the latest year in her life, which caused her to want to transfer to Blackwood Academy, a private school thousands of miles away from where she lived. There, she leads a rather peaceful existence for a while (and by peaceful I mean that she ends up being the captain of the tennis team and she is also dating one of the hottest guys at school), when one night something unexpected happens. Something which leads to 6 students being thrown together, when they hadn't really spend much time together before. 

As is obvious from the blurb, there are gods and goddesses involved in the story. That might just seem like another shot at quite a popular subject in young adult fiction as of late, but Wildefire manages to stand out. Mainly for the reason that it is a mesh of different gods and goddesses from different civilisations over the world; there's Egyptians, Japanese, Norse, Polynesian and a little bit of Greek. The writing was also rather good and helped draw me into the story, despite the fact that for a large part of it, there is not that much going on. The ending of this book was what surprised me the most. It was action-packed and some of the things that happened just came out of nowhere. Especially that very last thing that happened. If you've read Wildefire, you'll know what I'm talking about. Honestly, though, talk about unexected!

As for the characters, most of them were very well developed. We got to see a little bit of the past of each one of them (though obviously we got to see more of Ashline's) and it helped with the background building. Even still, I would have preferred a little more explanation about the whole god/goddess thing and how that came to be. As for my least favourite character, that would have to be Eve, Ash's sister. She is unbelievably irritating, seems to justify some completely and utterly wrong actions from her part (like murder) and seems to show up very often in the book, making her even more irritating. She's definitely not an ideal older sister.

All in all, Wildefire was a rather good book, with an interesting plot and solid characters. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Embers & Echoes.

Rating: 7/10

Karsten Knight has been writing since the age of 6 when he wrote a book series about an adventurous worm.  He has held a number of different jobs, including being a proofreader and a bookseller, until he finally settled on becoming a writer. Wildefire is his first book, with another two coming after it in the series: Embers & Echoes and Afterglow.
If you are interested, you can find an excerpt of Wildefire to read HERE or you can check out his website (where he uploads all those ridiculously hilarious videos).

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, 1st in a Series Challenge


  1. I've only heard good things about this. I need to get my hands on it! Great review :D

    Don't be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I regretfully cannot remember if we're fellow followers, but I follow you!

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

  2. I saw this when I was on holiday and I thought about buying it. But with so many Gods and Goddess themed books out there, I guess I decided one was enough and I went with The Goddess Test. This sounds ok but I think I'd be happier borrowing it from a library rather than buying it. Great review.

    As for the name Ash, I haven't read a book with that character name for quite a while. Interesting.

  3. I've seen a few mixed reviews for this one :-/

    Ash does seem to be a popular name in YA these days (and also, they aren't derived from 'normal' names/spellings like 'Ashley')

  4. @Becky: I enjoyed it too, but I'm not so crazy about buying it either. I felt that it was a good book, but not good enough to want to rush and get the HB version of it as soon as possible.

    @Kate: I've seen loads of mixed ones too. Do you think you'll read it sometime in the future though? As for the name, it never comes from Ashley! Ashley is not as glamorous as Aislinn or the others! :P


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