Series: Wildefire #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Simon & Schuster (7.26.2011)
Hardcover, 393 pages
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.
Charles Xavier, meet Percy Jackson. I loved it! I must confess that when I read it (even after owning it for months), I had absolutely no clue about the mythology tied into this book. Obviously someone did NOT read the summary. I’m glad I didn’t though, because I ended up being pleasantly surprised when I finally found out.
I adored Ash right from the start. The book opens with a fight scene – you know those moments when there’s a really antagonistic character that you just want to punch right in the face, but the protag swallows the anger and walks away? That was not Ashline Wilde. When the skank that cheated with Ash’s boyfriend makes inappropriate racial slurs towards Ash, she knocks the beeotch’s teeth out. Then she kicks the cheating boyfriend where it hurts. I practically cheered out loud and thought, I’m going to like this girl, I know it already. And that opinion never changed. Ash was independent and fiery and I enjoyed reading in her snarky POV.
The character development was great. I delighted in getting to know each and every one of the characters and sharing their journey as they formed relationships and slowly became friends. Ade, Raja, Rolfe, and Jackie all had their different fun personalities and I found myself getting attached to them as well as Ash, even if they were only minor characters. Eve, on the other hand, was easy to dislike. She was crazed and out of control and really just caused a bunch of chaos and problems from Ash. She claimed to love her little sister and want what was best for her, but she seemed to have her own agenda along with destructive ideas. I didn’t really form an opinion of Serena, as her appearances were short and few.
Colt didn’t show up a whole lot either, but I still enjoyed the development between he and Ash. The banter was fun, and it moved at the speed of a normal relationship. It didn’t feel forced at all.
The Cloak was a nice addition to the danger. When Ash encounters one for the first time, I was reminded of the scene in The Village with the big monster-thing in red (even though the description is nothing alike)….those things freak me out!! Encounters with the Cloak creeped me out and made my heart pound. Knight did a great job making them real!
Something else I loved – and my first experience with this particular prose – was the use of 2nd person dialogue. Which I’m sure is very hard to pull off. But Knight did it, and it made those scenes even more realistic because it was you in the story. That was another thing that made the characters more convincing; being in their minds and feeling what they felt, but through your point of view.
All in all, Wildefire was fast paced and laugh-out-loud funny. I can’t wait for book 2!
“Christ, Halliday, the lumberjack union called. They want their arms back. Do you protect the forest, or cut it down?”
He’s a park ranger. :)
Referring to one of the characters as “that green-thumbed date rapist” made me giggle. It’s probably only funny if you know the character.