Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Wildefire

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Series: Wildefire #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: July 26th 2011
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

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.

What better way to start a novel than to have the main character fight with another girl over a guy? *cue ooohs and ahhhs* As the situation escalates, Ava's delinquent sister rides in on her powerful motorcycle, quickly turning things deadly and serious. I found the introduction of this novel to be very exciting, a sign of good things to come, but somehow that interest waned, leaving me wanting to shut my eyes and sleep. Whether from boredom or sheer exhaustion, we'll never know...

Wildefire is about a teenager who, like her sister, is gifted (or cursed) with the powers of the Gods. She does not realise she possesses these powers at first and struggles to control them whilst being provoked and taunted by her big sister, Eve. Eve believes that they should take advantage of their powers, as they are superior to mere mortals, and use them for greater (and possibly evil) purposes. But all Ash wants to do is go through high school like a normal teenage girl without having to worry about what harm may come her way. There are prophecies, reincarnations, murders...all potentially gripping stuff. Unfortunately I did not jump on this bandwagon.

Several things could have contributed to the difficulty I had with immersing myself in Wildefire. I found myself running into a lot of problems at first, but things did begin improving in the second half where I was able to enjoy the novel much more easily.

  • The mystery behind Ash's powers and her destiny
  • The truly evil antagonist - I want to send her sister to the pits of Hell!
  • Nicely written action sequences
  • Nice juicy cliffhanger
  • I liked the idea that others in the world had powers also
  • The mythology was not explored until very far into the novel
  • The characters didn't interest or captivate me, as we weren't given the chance to get to know them at all
  • The romance fizzled and the "love interest" only randomly appeared a few times briefly
  • At times there was odd storytelling that threw everything out of whack...flashbacks, point of view changes - I don't even know what's happening!
  • Not a whole lot actually happened. Where was the plot? 
  • The climax - just when things were getting good - was over too quickly 
I don't have much more to say about Wildefire. I really did want to like this book so I hope that you all have better luck with it than I did. I'm torn on whether or not I will be continuing this series but we'll have to see, I guess.  I think this review came out more negative than it really should've because there were some good things about it! Again, just check it out and see, if you will ;)

Find Karsten on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and his blog.
Buy Wildefire on Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and Borders.
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