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Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

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Release Date: July 26, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Simon & Schuster eGalley Grab
Purchase: Book Depo. | Amazon | Kindle

About the Book:

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.
So yesterday I was on The Story Siren's blog and I watched one of my favorite to-date authors, Karsten Knight, do the wackiest, funniest author interview vlog in the history of vlogs of any kind. I became a fan of Karsten before I became a fan of his book, but watching yesterday's interview I was inspired to complete my review a little earlier than I originally intended.

I stand by the comment I made on The Story Siren's post--if you haven't already picked up Wildefire, then you need to get on that NOW.

First of all, that first chapter--WHOA. I don't think I've ever read a book where it starts out with a catfight, but Ash Wilde is no weak fighter, let me tell you. Beginning with that first chapter, it's obvious that something is off, something out of the ordinary and totally intriguing. Even better, I *heart* Ashline. She's... tough, yet vulnerable, she's filled with snarky humor (but the book is kind of full of it, too), a bit short-tempered (if ripping an alarm clock out from the socket to chuck it at annoying, obnoxious boy is any indication), and strangely loyal and caring. After everything she's been through--already in the beginning of the book--those are the last qualities I'd expect her to possess.

But my love of characters isn't just limited to Ash, and even her sister, Eve, but the whole cast. Each friend and person that was introduced evoked such feeling from me. Her relatively normal friends, Darren and Jackie were a HILARIOUS pair. There's this one scene where Jackie shows up drunk on Ash's doorstep, and I nearly rolled off my bed laughing so hard. My favorite section of the cast, though, are Ash's, shall we say, LESS than normal friends: Rolfe, seemingly typical surfer dude; Lily, quiet Asian chick who's crushing majorly on Rolfe; Raja, attitude is synonymous with her (she's like a watered down version of Mimi Force from Blue Bloods); Ade, tall, dark-skinned yummy dude who knows how school Rolfe at pool. Clearly from the amount of times I mentioned his name, Rolfe was probably my favorite out of the five *sniffles*, besides Ash. Separately these characters are awesome, but together they, well, induce chronic fist-pumping and lots of cheerleading. GO TEAM! The humor was there, the bonding and connecting to the characters--especially when I got to visit their pasts (when you read the book, you'll know what I mean).

For me, it was kind of like watching a cross between A-Team and The Incredibles, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in between. These teens grow nearly as close as the Halliwell sisters, the plot is as epic as Heroes, as addictive as The Vampire Diaries--at least for me (hullo? Damon Salvatore--how could I not be addicted?), and as mysterious and humorous as Clue. When I say I COULD NOT put this book down, I mean it. If a tornado hit outside my house, I'd be running with my computer in hand as I read. Might even be so engrossed I wouldn't notice it.

I mentioned EPICness, and, boy, was there, like MAJORLY, with these teens being somehow--I won't say--connected to the coming of the END OF THE WORLD. Uh, yeah, fear for you life much? And Karsten's twists on mythological beings just added to the overall appeal. I hungered to know answers, to search out clues. What was uncovered by the end of the book is jaw-dropping!

And, of course, this review would not be complete without my mentioning the romance. And what a fine romance it is! Colt is older, but not so much that it's gross that he and Ash are together, rugged, confident, and just plain gorgeous. The banter between him and Ash--hooking. And points for Karsten for coming up with an adorable, sweet, and dreamy first date that had me blinking enamored eyes at Colt. YES they went on a date--seems almost like a foreign concept in YA lit these days, right? And Colt's willing to go to her school dances and such. Sweet, funny, good-looking, and INTERESTED--what more could a girl want?

And that ending, Oh, my God that ending! Here's the link to my status updates: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/139815531. That's all you need to know. It pretty much sums up my entire outlook, all my feelings on this book. When I finished, this was me: *cries* *sniffles* *stomps* *bellows* *lovingly rubs computer screen* *adds next two books to TBR* *begs mom for copy of Wildefire*

I am getting my copy of Afterglow the DAY it releases. Count on it.

"Oh, stuff it." Ash rolled her eyes. "Now I'm curious--what is Creole for 'Bite me'? In case Bobby comes crawling back."
The bead curtain parted, and in stepped Lily Mayatoaka, another Blackwood classmate that Ashline had met a few times when she'd hung out with Ade and Rolfe...
"You're looking chipper," Ade said.
"If a guy compares you to a baked good as you're walking out of the bathroom," Lily said, "should you be flattered or insulted?"
"Depends on the baked good," Ash replied. "Cupcakes, yes. Pie..."
Rolfe chalked up his pool cue. "Depends on whether or not you want to climb into his oven."
Lily scoffed, but she couldn't conceal the faint smile that glowed through her disgust. "Only you could find a way to say something that manages to make no sense and sound completely repulsive at the same time" (67).

"I know. Raja told me." Colt smiled and held out his hand again. "Just wanted to hear it straight from the horse's mouth."
"You better not be calling me a horse." Ash finally took his hand, which engulfed hers. Only then did she notice the girth of his forearms, which were so thick and toned that she could follow the veins from his elbow down to his wrist. "Christ, Halliday, the lumberjack union called. They want their arms back. Do you protect the forest, or cut it down?"
He smirked and squeezed her hand lightly before he severed contact. "Not much to do when you're out on patrol except climb trees and box with Smokey the Bear."
"I bet you win, too" (71).

The five of them stood there in silence, fanned out into a pentagon. Raja, with her arms crossed, was the first to speak. "So I guess I'm not the only one who heard the dog whistle from hell."
Rolfe gave his ear a final slap. "If that was a dog whistle, I'll eat my shirt. Although that would explain why Lily heard it."
"Shut it, surfer boy." Lily kicked him in the shin (75).

Gravel spat up from beneath the tires, and the convertible shot backward out of its space, with no regard for stealth. The sound of hurried footsteps echoed from the side of the bar, and Rolfe exploded from around the corner, running up alongside the car. He grabbed hold of the passenger-side door and vaulted into the convertible... directly into Raja's lap.
Rolfe, still panting and out of breath, managed to toss his hair suavely to the side and purse his lips at the beautiful Egyptian girl. Without missing a beat he said, "This year, Santa, I'd like a pony and an Easy-Bake Oven."
Raja grunted and pushed him off to the side. "You'll be getting coal in a place where it hurts if you ever attempt to sit in my lap again" (86).


Miss Bookiverse said...

I loved this boook just as much as you did. The ending OH MY GOD! What a revelation!
This is such a kick ass debut, I really hope the sequels live up to it. For once I am glad there will be sequels.
The team reminded me of X-Men crew btw ;) Guess everyone pictured a different superhero crowd ;D

A. Knight said...

Yes, that ending! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT.
I'm know the sequel will be good, perhaps better.. if that's even possible. And you're right about X-men, now that I think about it. ;D