Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Released July 26, 2011
400 pages
Where I got it: Review eGalley obtained through Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab
Rating: 3 stars

Ashline Wilde and her sister Eve are both of Polynesian descent, but were adopted by white, upper middle class parents.  Neither sister knows anything about their backgrounds, but both are prone to violence, especially Wilde wild-child Eve.  After Eve commits the unthinkable, Ash moves away to a private boarding school in Northern California.  There she meets a group of students that are unusual, just like her.  It turns out that they are gods and goddesses who cycle through various lives for eternity. Life’s not all fun and lightning bolts, though.  Ash needs to figure out what her powers are, and different forces seem to be at work against them.  Throw in Eve’s reappearance in her life, and mysterious visions, and you have a really chaotic school year.

Wildefire didn’t really grab me the way I wanted it to.  That isn’t to say it wasn’t fun to read–it was.  I think it starts to come down to the whole question of why people with supernatural skills would possibly stay in high school.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hundred-year-old vampires or newly cycling gods; they still don’t really need to be there, so why stay and act like normal teens?  At least Eve has the right idea.  Even if she was the dark side of Ash, I felt myself siding with her more often than with our heroine.

I felt conflicted about Ash’s character.  At times, she comes across as a superwoman, able to perform amazing athletic feats and stop a boy with groping hands cold in his tracks.  At other times she made what I thought were some really bad decisions.  I hope her character evens out a bit more in the future books.

Knight writes with a lot of wit, which really made an overall silly story rather enjoyable.  A lot of sub-plots and mysteries are thrown at the reader, and not resolved.  This was clearly the beginning to a series, and leaves the reader with a cliffhanger.  Still, I was motivated to keep reading because of Knight’s easy going voice and quick pacing.


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