Sunday 3 July 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight - Book Review

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 26th July 2011
Pages: 400
Format: E-book - PDF
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Source: ARC from Galley Grab

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.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I received this book as an ARC from GalleyGrab and was looking forward to it as the storyline sounded so interesting and original. Sadly, I found it a let down.

I really had to drag myself through every page, to the extent that I began skim reading. Had I not received it as an ARC, I might have given up completely (a rare thing for me to say!), but since I had been given the copy in exchange for a review, I really felt I should turn that last page and find something to say about it.

The story felt clunky and very little happened until halfway through the book anyway. The pace picked up a bit in the second half, but by then I had failed to become the least bit interested in the characters and wasn't at all concerned about what would happen to them.

To me, this book felt like a lot of teenage angst with the story on the back burner. More emphasis was placed on Ash's situation with boys than her discovery of what/who she was. And, when the truth was discovered, the kids didn't seem all that perturbed and were more concerned still with relationships and Spring Week activities at school.

It may be that this is an example of a YA book that doesn't suit adult readership as well. It may well appeal more to a younger audience, but for me it was a book that had so much potential, but failed to deliver.

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