Wildefire, by Karsten Knight
Release Date: July 26th 2011
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
This cost me nothing as I paid for it with an Amazon voucher I won in a competition. Again, husband logic says "that doesn't mean it was free." I prefer my logic.
Taken from Goodreads
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.
I've always been a fan of both superhero movies and mythology. Happily, these two things come together brilliantly in Karsten Knight's Wildefire.
I was dubious about this one to begin with for a few reasons: I had read a few mixed reviews about the book; I wasn't a fan of the cover; I thought the little short extract on the back cover was a little cheesy.
So why-oh-why would I bother picking it up? Well, I wouldn't have. I actually ordered this from Amazon for the winner of a giveaway I did a little while back. Unfortunately, I sent it to myself by mistake. What can I say? I'm "Scattered Laura" after all!
So, after the mix-up I had this book in my possession on a bank holiday weekend. What would you have done?! I couldn't help myself!
Being very careful not to bend the spine, dog-ear any pages or even breathe wrongly on my accidental book, I cracked it open a little and began to read. In doing so, I met Ash, one of the most kick-ass female protagonists I've read about in a long while. Maybe ever! She started the book in a fight and kept up her "take no prisoners" attitude for the whole 400 pages. I loved her! She had attitude and witty one-liners and a strong mind. I loved her toughness.
I hated her sister. She was the kind of antagonist who really made you want to tear at the pages of the book in order to get to her... good thing I was being so careful not to leave a single smudge on it, eh? Eve was selfish and spiteful and petty and narrow-minded. She was also a brilliant bad-guy. She wasn't the antagonist because she was a a mean but popular school-yard bitch. She was an honest-to-goodness maniac of mythological proportions!
Recently, there's been a lot of talk about YA being a bit unfriendly as far as the male audience is concerned. I can imagine Wildefire appealing to plenty of guys out there though. First of all, Karsten Knight is a man (I know! I was surprised too... figured "Karsten" was just one of those odd spellings...). Secondly, although the protagonist is female, she's a kick-ass female reminiscent of Underworld or Tomb Raider.
While I was reading this book, I remember thinking it was like a mixture of X Men and a whole bunch of ancient myths. I loved this book and can't wait for the second! I was genuinely gutted to have to post this one to the winner!