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.
I was very excited when this beauty came in the mail a couple months ago. So excited that I wanted to drop everything and get right to it. But I didn't, I waited. When I finally got to Wildefire, it was a slow start, which I wasn't expecting considering that the first couple of pages were so strong, and full of action, and I got the impression that it would just continue to be the action packed novel that was presented in the beginning. However, having finished this book, the slow start doesn't really seem like that big a deal. Karsten Knight is a very talented writer who wrote a story that-to me- was original and fun to read.
I think my favourite thing about this book, was the diversity of the characters. I have made it no secret that it's the characters that make or break the story for me, and the characters in Wildefire were absolutely, fantastically written and wonderfully developed. I loved them. Ashline was a fierce protagonist. She was feisty and mouthy, but she also had a softer side, she was caring and gentle, and I loved her. I loved the friends she made at her new school (one of which is from Winnipeg- a small Canadian city, in which I was born and continue to live today- so I was very proud), and I loved how she made an effort to find her place there.
What I also really appreciated about Wildefire was the ethnic and culture diversity, which was an integral part of the novel. Not all the characters were Caucasian (the majority weren't), and that's not something that you see a lot of in most mainstream fiction these days. I also really appreciated that the Gods/Goddesses in this book were not all from one culture. There were many cultures represented in Knight's novel, and I loved that.
Karsten Knight sure knows how to write a villain. I hated Eve. I wanted her to go away so badly. Normally the antagonist doesn't bother me, I mean they're bad, and annoying, but never has one made me as mad, as Evelyn Wilde. She was a perfect villain, good and terrible. She made me nash my teeth a few times.
The ides of Gods and Goddesses is a really fun idea, and I loved reading about it in Wildefire and seeing how these Gods and Goddesses come into themselves. I really enjoyed reading about they're personal struggles, and they're desire to just be normal (as least for a little while).
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I would encourage all of you to check it out this coming Tuesday when it hits shelves. You will not be disappointed.
I would like to thank Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC, and the opportunity to read this novel.
Happy Reading Everyone!