Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

17 September, 2011 Reviews 5 comments

Review: Wildefire by Karsten KnightWildefire by Karsten Knight
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 26th 2011
Pages: 393
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Galley Grab
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

Do you know how you are really excited about a book and you have this feeling you are going to LOVE it. But soon as you start reading it you start to wonder if you have received the same copy as others who fell head over heels in love with it?Well, that is exactly what Wildefire was for me. I have a confession. I totally fell for the hype with this one. I really wanted to love this. Even when I felt like giving up halfway through, I continued on in hopes that it would get better. But, alas, for me, it did not. Did I hate it? No, that wouldn’t be fair. Saying I hated it would put it on the same pathetic shelf along City of Fallen Angels and Marked and Wildefire wasn’t *that* bad. But, was I disappointed? Immensely.

I gave this book 2 stars because while I didn’t really like it, there were a few things I did like. So, I’ll start at the good.

One of Wildefire‘s best qualities was the diversity of ethnicities. In the beginning, I’ll admit I had trouble keeping up with who was who. The plus side to this is that it caused me to Google images of people from different cultures to get a better visual picture in my mind.

Ashline and her sister Eve are both Polynesian:

Ade is Haitian:

Rolfe is Scandinavian

Lily is Japanese:

Raja is Egyptian:

Other than the diverse cultures, I found the banter between the characters funny and entertaining at times. And that is pretty much the only thing I liked about it. Ready for the bad?

NOTE: This part may contain spoilers.

Our story begins with Ashline Wilde in a confrontation with a classmate over a boy. At first, I really liked her. I thought she was spunky and a strong MC. However, that image of her quickly died as the novel wore on. But before we even get to her, let’s start off with asking why the Principle was just standing around in the first scene of the book with a student sprawled out on the ground unconscious? Hmmm? He might as well have stayed in his office for all the good he did. I don’t care that he was scared of Eve, can we at least help the poor girl up?! If you are wondering if this book has more of these irritations, the answer would be, “Yes, yes it does.”

Let us continue our discussion of Ash. I spent most of the novel asking questions that Ash should have been asking herself. It was quite frustrating. For example, it seems she just accepted her sister’s weird powers in the beginning before she even knew what she herself was. I didn’t find that very realistic. She didn’t even question it. Another example would have to be the love interest, Colt. First off, any book that proposes insta-love with me already gets on my bad side. I don’t have an issue if there is a mystery or reason clearly behind it and the MC actually *questions* it (that’s the key point here). But, it was like, they meet in a bar one night and he is completely captivated with her. Ok-tay, fine. I can get with that. But then he shows up randomly at her tennis practice (major stalker vibes). To giver her credit, a day or so later she does ask him why he is so interested, but he gives her the most creepy, stalker answer ever. He borderline tells her, she has given his life new meaning and she just accepts it and decides to go out on a date with him.

As for the other characters in the book, I didn’t really connect with them. I would have liked to see what happened to make Eve the way she was. What was the catalyst to her wild behavior? The rest had relatively small parts. I thought we would see more of them considering their whole mission to save the world and all. But there was no saving. Not even a small attempt. The book compromised of classes, shopping, visits from psycho big sis, a date and school dance. Oh and what the hell! Let’s throw in a fight scene at the end.

The cliffhanger was ok. I kinda figured it was headed in that direction. I will check out the next book in the series because I’m curious to where Knight is planning on going with all this.

An ARC was reviewed through Simon and Schuster’s galleygrab program.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

5 Responses to “Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight”

  1. Cyna

    See, A+ for diversity, but my problem was that none of the characters sounded terribly different from one another. The banter was okay, but it all sounded like it was coming out of the mouth of the same person.

    But yeah, the book got worse as it went on. Colt was so very creepy, and his ethnicity was a huge tip-off as well. And like you said, Eva just goes full-on Bond villain by the end. It had potential, but meh. Not great execution.
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