Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Ooo! This book is serious fun. I love books involving ancient myth and this book adds a fun cultural twist on things. It isn’t just limited to the myths of the Greek. There are Egyptian, Polynesian and Norse, oh my! And that’s just to name a few of the originating cultures for this group of teenage god misfits.
The book though follows the story of one young woman in particular... a young girl named Ashline Wildefire. The book starts off on an action heavy note - Ash has just found out that her boyfriend has cheated on her with the resident school blondie and Ash is in the process of kicking her teeth in. If this wasn’t bad enough, her run-away sister returns and does the unthinkable in retaliation. We then fast forward to Ash attending a boarding school on the other side of the country and continuing her slightly rebellious life. She falls in with a group of fellow students and they all find out... they’re the reincarnations of gods and goddesses! How crazy is that? But how did they all end up here and why is someone trying to kill them all? And oh! Where does her well-meaning but destructive goddess sister fit into all of this? Well, you’ll just have to read “Wildefire” to find out.
Karsten Knight has a wonderful voice. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive of male voice with a teenage female protagonist. I know that’s really sexist of me, but you don’t see a lot of male writers in YA period, let alone writing action/romance paranormal young adult literature. Mr. Knight delivers though. He creates a cast of characters that you really come to care for, which is saying a lot since it is a BIG cast and a LOT is going on. The flashbacks that each character goes through are incredibly moving and really give life to each teen god/goddess. Ashline (or Ash) is an amazing heroine. She’s definitely strong-willed and powerful, but she has a vulnerable side and real feelings. She definitely is a girl who lives in the “gray” of life, but has a good heart. She loves her sister, despite the palpable tension between them. There is so much depth to her and despite her being quite literally extraordinary, she still feels like your average teenage girl in a lot of ways. Adult and teen readers alike will fall in love with Ash. She’s fun, playful, vulnerable, strong, loving, smart and powerful. What isn’t there to love about a young woman like that?
Another character I’d really like to single out is her sister Eve. While she lives in a darker life than Ash, there is still so much good to her. You don’t know whether to love or hate her, despite all the horrible things she’s done. I love when things are not cut and dry. It adds another layer of suspense and makes things more complex for the reader. The action sequences between Eve and Ash are outstanding. Wow. I could feel my muscles tensing along with Ash and my heartbeat increase when confronting Eve. All the action scenes in this book were outstanding.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was one of the books I read while on bed rest for a back injury. It really kept me engaged and entertained the entire time I was reading it. There were a few moments that were maybe a bit rushed, but never to the point where they pulled me out of the story. The characters are what really make this book though. I’m seriously impressed with the emotional connection I was able to form with this large cast of characters due to Knight’s clever character development.
I could keep raving about this book, but this review is getting long winded! Go out and pre-order yourself a copy today.
I received an ARC of Wildefire from the publisher to review. It is published by Simon & Schuster and is scheduled to be released in July of this year. Pre-order a copy today. It's worth the wait!