Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (a part of Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: July 26, 2011
* Received for review from publisher.
Whatever you do, do not try to compare this to The Goddess Test because the only thing that they remotely have in common is the fact that they both feature deities/gods/goddesses. In Wildefire there is reincarnation, a very strong heroine (both figuratively and literally), deities from a bevy of religions and places, unusual weather (and lightning strikes) and--in my opinion--just the right amount of romance. More importantly, Ashline Wilde is Polynesian and as such, is a welcome change.
By no means is Wildefire a slow read, but it was the sort of book that I wanted to savor and as such, I took three days to read it. It's the sort of book that you don't want to finish reading simply because you don't want things to end--and well, then you might be like me and deathly afraid of cliffhangers. Speaking of cliffhangers, wait until you get to the last page! The sentence that I just typed will make a lot more sense when you reach it--and now I've got theories, but I promise you, my lips are sealed. The only thing that I will tell you is that you might want to look up something mentioned at the end--and actually I was going to add more onto this sentence, but I realized that it might make you speculate, and I don't want to ruin that moment of, "No way!"
Ashline Wilde leaves New York on less than pleasant terms and situates herself at Blackwood Academy in Northern California. It's there that things really begin to unfold as she learns that she's not the only one on campus with unusual powers. Drawn together, the group of five will have to come into their own and more importantly, complete the tasks set before them to keep Ragnarok from occurring. However, this isn't the only thing happening in Ash's life. Her psychotic sister Eve has found her (and doesn't appear to be leaving anytime soon), Colt Halliday definitely likes her (and she's got the hots for him), and lastly, she's been having visions about a little girl who looks like her, but isn't her. It's never been quite so awkward to be a teenager.
I'm trying really, really hard right now to give nothing involving spoilers away so all I'm going to tell you--if you haven't guessed by now--is that I seriously enjoyed reading Wildefire and that was one hell of a read. Ash is strong, kicks some serious butt, and isn't anti-dresses (although clothing tends to dislike fire and as such, doesn't like Ash too much). Her sister? Is a bit crazy but loves her little sister, even if she wrecks Ash's life and to be perfectly honest, she struck me as a, well, you know, b-word. Serena has a very dry sense of humor, Raja definitely grew on me (she's my second favorite character in Wildefire after Ash), and I loved the chemistry between Ash and Colt. Then there's Blackwood Academy which is amazing in its own right--and if I had to pick a fictional school to go to high school at, this would be it. I mean, their mascot is a spotted owl! Granted of course, I'd probably steer clear of the tennis courts.
So now that I've spent four paragraphs telling you about how much I like Wildefire, I'm going to once again recommend that you pick up a copy. Also, although there is action in Wildefire, I feel that it's more about the characters evolving from teens who know nothing about who they truly are, to teenaged gods and goddesses (although they're still not there yet--I mean, it's only book one... right!?). This is a story that I'm hoping continues--as in I'm currently doing the "is it written yet, is it written yet!?" dance. And thank goodness that Karsten is signed on for another two books!
p.s. Personally, I have no problem with some violence in my books and yes, there is a bit in Wildefire, consider this your warning if that sort of thing bothers you.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★