May 4th 2013
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Finally a review that I'm excited to talk about. So far since I've started reviewing books on here, I haven't given anything past a 3.5 :P And It's not because I didn't like the books(I enjoyed every one of them) but there were just things I felt that weren't my cup of tea.
This book Wildefire was EXACTLY my cup of tea. It had everything I look for in an exciting book.
Great villain, CHECK!
Insanely relatable heroine, CHECK!
A diverse cast, that including a main protagonist that was a POC,TRIPLE CHECK!
A really good plot that made me want to keep turning the page, QUADRUPLE CHECK!
From the cover you can't really tell it's about a girl who isn't white. I'm pretty sure that was a marketing ploy to get more sales, but hey if it gets into the hands of more readers because of this, I can't knock the hustle.
The book follows Ashline Wilde, a sophomore in high school who has a hot temper and an attitude to match. Ashline was adopted by a Caucasian family along with her birth sister Eve, and always felt like outsiders being two Polynesian girls in a nearly all white environment. This of course caused Eve to rebel and separate herself from the only family she's ever known , while Ashline was left to put back the pieces of their broken family life. Little do they know that their paths will cross again, and have with every generation with tragic endings.
The book started out with action.In the first few pages you get a glimpse of Ashline's firecracker personality and can tell that from the first chapter she'll be a kick ass heroine. But to be honest as much as I loved this book, the first 150-165 pages kind of dragged. It wasn't as though nothing was happening but it was a little boring until she befriended her "godly" friends. That's when the story really started, when she realized along with 5 other kids that they were all gods and goddesses of their given culture.
The cast was so diverse I swear I almost had a hard attack. The only culture I felt was missing was someone Latino or South Asian(since in south Asian culture there are so many awesome gods), but the cultures Karsten chose were really awesome and hardly ever highlighted in books. The book featured characters of Haitian, Greek, Nordic/Scandinavian, Japanese and Egyptian descent. Her non "godly" friends also featured a likeable gay male, so as you can see the author really wrote a book that reflected the world we live in and not just some small town where everyone looks the same, acts the same and is a very narrow image of how the world really is.
It was cool to see the gods portrayal in the book. In this story, every generation they would be reborn in human form. They weren't some holier-than thou untouchable beings that sat on thrones in the skies of heaven. They were regular human beings who just happen to be the reincarations of gods. Even though they embraced this, they didn't want to see themselves as any different, or any less human than anyone else. In some pop culture they always portray gods in Christianity or greek mythology, so this book was a breathe of fresh air .
I really liked Ashline! She seemed beautiful and doesn't fit the typical description of heroines in YA novels. For one she's Asian and for two, she's not a complete dumb ass. I really related to her since growing up I went to mostly Caucasian schools so it was a bit of a struggle to fit in sometimes. She was extremely loyal to her friends and even though she was a little rough around the edges guys were attracted to more than just her looks. She was never the damsel in distress and fought her own battles. I don't know how many books i put down because there aren't any female characters like this in books. To the author, Thanks for showing a different side to a YA heroine.
As far as the villain goes, I loved her sister Eve as the villain. I'm really drawn to villains that have a strong connection to the hero/ine. It makes the villain appear more vulnerable and actually kind of likeable. It's easier to see the villains purpose when they have some kind of connection to the hero as opposed to just being the villain just to create predictable conflict with the hero/ine. I'm excited to see how things turn between both the sisters. Having a sister, who is also my best friend, I'm always excited when a fantasy/ya story features two sisters.
This book was the best book I've read so far this year! Even though it started off slow, it ended with a bang and while writing this review, I'm purchasing the sequel Embers & Echos in another tab! I give this book 4 stars. It would have gotten 4.5, if the start would have matched the middle and end.
French Actress Dany Verissimo as Ash
Chrissy Teigen as Eve