Bookanistas Review: WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight


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.

My thoughts:

Some books, when you start them, just FEEL fresh.  They don’t adhere to the cliches you’ve seen before, they breathe new life into old tricks, they’re different and fun and ALIVE.  That’s one of my favorite parts about WILDEFIRE.  It’s not like everything else.

The main character, Ash, kicks ass.  Literally.  And sometimes teeth.  I always love books where the female characters are strong and empowered, instead of waiting for things to happen they bring the thunder, and Ash definitely brings her own unique…enthusiasm, shall we say.

Then there were the gods themselves.  One of the things that really stayed with me after finishing WILDEFIRE was the elemental nature of it.  It was like reading a modern myth, complete with sometimes irrational, always dynamic gods and goddesses.  Hera used to torture the girls that Zeus hooked up with, and the gods of WILDEFIRE are no different.  Hell, the girl-on-girl violence in the beginning is a more direct, more physical modern interpretation of this itself.

Let’s not even talk about that ending.  Karsten pulls a swerve that I didn’t see coming (and I almost always see them coming).

And then there’s the fact that Karsten himself is pretty cool.  I may mock his hair, tease him about his followers, and basically torture him on a daily basis.

No, there’s no but.  I do all those things. 😉

But seriously, go pick up WILDEFIRE.  It’s excellent.  And Karsten just revealed that there will be two more books in the series, and I for one can’t wait to read them!

Go check out the other Bookanistas:

Elana Johnson  points you to Human.4
LiLa Roecker  glories in The Goddess Test
Christine Fonseca is impressed by Imaginary Girls
Shannon Whitney Messenger delves into The Future of Us – with giveaway
Scott Tracey and Shana Silver are wild about Wildefire
Carolina Valdez Miller shivers over The Eleventh Plague – with giveaway
Jessi Kirby celebrates A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie
Stasia Ward Kehoe embraces All the Things You Are
Corrine Jackson  sneaks into Sean Griswold’s Head


2 thoughts on “Bookanistas Review: WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight

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