publisher: Simon & Schuster
release date: July 26, 2011
hardcover, 400 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: from publisher for honest review
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.
Review: Wildefire is a great debut and the beginning of a new series that I have really high hopes for. I was drawn into this story and fascinated by it's characters from the beginning. This first book really concentrates on letting us get to know Ash and her new friends at school. The thick of the action doesn't really start up until the last half of the book---you literally don't even get into Ash discovering which goddess she is until very near the end. As it goes with some series, the first book is all about introduction and building the story. If I didn't know it was a series, I might have been disappointed---but the stage has been set, I know the juicy bits are coming! And just the story of Ash and her friends discovering their powers, Ash dealing with her scary sister (understatement!), of course, a little romance on the side, was enough to keep me intrigued through this first installment.
Not in a long time have I come across a villain that was so easy to hate. Eve was diabolical, heartless, and violent from the very beginning---and it made it even worse that she was Ash's sister. In the few instances that are put in try to give the reader pause on whether she really is as evil as she seems, I just kept thinking she was faking it, that she was reeling Ash in just to bite her head off again. There is some really heavy violence in this one, from all sides, so be prepared!
The ending is heart-stopping! If I had any doubt about how much I enjoyed this one, the ending blew that all away. My reaction was literally this: "What??? NOOOO!"
After that, all I could think was getting to the next book in this series!
Visit Karsten Knight's website here. (No, really, you MUST check it out, his vlogs are absolutely hilarious!)
Purchase Wildefire at: Amazon ~ BN.com ~ BookDepository ~ Indiebound
Karsten recently announced the titles for the rest of the series:
Book 2: Embers and Echoes (2012)
Book 3: Afterglow (2013)
I'll definitely be looking forward to these!!