Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Wildefire" by Karsten Knight

Ashline Wilde has transferred into Blackwood Academy, a private prep school in Northern California following some tragic events in her home town in New York.  Yep, it was bad enough that she needed to go clear across the country.  It also involved her estranged no-good older sister Eve.  She is settling in at the new school, has found her place as star of the tennis team, and has a good and varied group of friends.  Life seems pretty good until......

She meets Colt - a good looking older guy who seems smitten with her.  That's not the weird part.  She also realizes that she and a few of her classmates are not exactly "normal".  It seems she and the others did not just randomly transfer into Blackwood, they were summoned.  But by whom exactly?  And for what purpose?  Then the unsettling situation gets suddenly worse, and violent, when Eve appears out of nowhere with her own agenda.

Before I dive right into my thoughts on the book, I feel the need to disclose something to you.  I bought this book at my first book signing (read my post HERE - warning though, it's all giddy and whatnot)  I had a great time, and it was clear that the author was a very personable and funny guy.  He even joked a little about how he was glad to be my first...... signing.  (In fact, that is how he signed my book to me).  So then I started to think too much about it, and began to get nervous about reading this book.  What if my favorable impression of the author clouded my opinion of the book?  OR what if I hated the book?  Could I write that review?

Karsten Knight at the WILDFIRE book launch
Framingham, MA
So, with all that now out in the open, I can honestly and without hesitation say that I really liked this book.  What a fun little escape!  I wasn't really sure what to expect exactly.  All I knew was that it was a YA book built around mythological Gods and Goddesses, a Polynesian Volcano Goddess to be specific.  Perhaps this is where I mention that I have long been fascinated by mythology.  I remember when I was 9 or 10, and visiting a bookstore with my parents - I asked for Bulfinch's Mythology for my birthday.  I still have it somewhere.  Also, while in college, I took a World Mythology elective.  Thankfully I took that class after I realized that I really didn't have to sell back all my books at the end of the semester for beer money, so that book is around here too.

Enough with the tangents though.  I had a lot of fun with these characters.  They are spunky, bright and just full of the snarky attitude I love.  Also, I really liked the fact that one character is gay, but there didn't need to be any sort of dragged out explanation about it, or how people felt about it - it was just who the character was.  I think that sort of thing could be done more often in YA.  The story line is original and with great jaw dropping scenes right at the end of the chapter - so I had to read on, even if it was past my bedtime.  The suspense/mystery and action really built up at a great pace and flowed really well through to the end.  Of course the ending had multiple cliff-hangers! Intriguing cliff-hangers that I was completely blindsided by.  Just did not see that coming!  Twice!

So now we need to wait and wait until next year, when book two of the series, Embers & Echoes and then until 2013 when the finale, Afterglow, is released.  I have a funny feeling that they will be worth the wait!

*****
Wildefire     
by Karsten Knight
Simon & Schuster, 2011
393 pages
Series:  Wildefire Book #1
Source:  Purchased New

Author site:  Karsten Knight

Book also available at The Book Depository





1 comment:

TheBookGirl said...

I'm glad you ended up liking the book -- I know how uncomfortable it can be to write less than favorable review, I can only imagine how much worse that would be if you had met and liked the author.

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