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27 May 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

When I saw that this book was a modern mythology, I knew I had to read it.  You all know about my love for mythology in modern settings.  We've discussed this already.  I love seeing how the ancient stories can be brought about to reflect modern life.

Here is the summary from Goodreads:
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 liked this book, yet I didn't.  I thought the idea was interesting, but was somewhat lacking in the actual execution.  I think what it boils down to is the author was trying to hard to make a compelling story:  
*too much action (took away from the story);
*tried to make Ash look strong (but she ended up coming across like a b**ch); 
*too many deities of differing origins, which should have been an interesting mix (but ended up making my wonder how they all fit together);
*hate on the unknown (but no support that they were actually bad or good); 
*put in interesting twists and dreams (that don't help the story along or really have anything to do with the story). 

In situations like this, I like to think of the Nancy Willard and Tomie dePaola story, "Simple Pictures Are Best".  This couple, wanting the best picture of them possible, keeps adding things, until it's just a jumbled mess and they realize that they should have just taken the picture with them only.  I honestly think the author was trying to write a great book, and the foundation is there, but it just got jumbled up along the way.

That being said, I'll read the sequel as I do want to see how it plays out.  But, I'll probably just borrow it from the library. 




  1. Oh, bummer. I have high hopes for this one!

    I'm sllooowlly reading it on my computer screen. I need to just wait and buy the book, because I'm having a hard time reading it on the computer.

    Thanks for the honest review! :)

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

  2. I had high hopes for it, too, but there was just something lacking.

    It can be a good thing, or a bad thing, but I'm always honest. But, I'll also always do it in a nice way.


Gold stars given to good comments.