Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Genre: YA, Mythology
Pages: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: S&S Galley Grab
Rating: 5/5 (Avg 3.5/5)
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.
I have read some pretty awesome books this year. Some supernatural, some with mythology and some with nothing but a great Contemporary plot. No matter what the read was, never was my first thought, "This has to be the greatest book I've read all year" and was followed quickly by, "I think I want to kick the author." That is... until Wildefire.
Ashline Wilde is pretty much the most kick ass female heroine that I have seen in YA fiction so far. She's fierce and doesn't really show weakness, even if she is feeling weak. It's not pretentious, it just makes her a strong character. Colt, the park ranger, fascinates us from the very first time we glimpse him in the story. The other characters that show up are also as equally fascinating, each with their own unique personality. I have to say that for me, the secondary characters stood out almost as much as the main character. You get to know some of their background and get a look into their life and what makes them who they are. And, let me tell you, this book is not lacking in the strong characters department. These characters are willing to take on anything, even witty dialogue and playful banter. I absolutely loved the interaction with all of them.
The thing that stands out about this novel for me is the fact that so many mythologies are thrown into the mix - not just one specific type of mythology. And they blend together extremely well. The first chapter starts out with a bang and the book ends with a bang - and that last bang really caught me off-guard. I don't know what I was expecting from the end of the book. A cliffhanger, yes, but not a revelation that had me absolutely thrown back from shock. AND THEN IT JUST ENDS! So now, I have to wait to find out what happens now that this new thing is thrown into the mix. I don't like waiting... especially when the story is so amazing - and this one definitely is.
The writing is amazingly well-written. Karsten is an amazing storyteller that knows how to keep you fully emerged in a novel from the beginning to the very bitter end.