- Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Format: Hardback | 393 pages
- Dimensions: 148mm x 212mm x 40mm | 440g
- Publication date: 26 July 2011
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 1442421177
- ISBN 13: 9781442421172
- Sales rank: 131,201
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.
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By MissPageTurner 07 Mar 2012
The story of WILDEFIRE is set in a boarding school where several kids are gathered to make them realize their talents and powers. One of them, and our protagonist, is Ash. She is a very dominant and, as her surname suggests, wild person.
This novel's main characters are all superheroes. I thought it was mostly about Ash, but we get to know all of them: Lily; Raja, Rolfe, Ade, Serena. It's because of them with their various heritages that the novel feels so international. Ash is a Polynesian Goddess and her friends are from e.g. Greece and Haiti. Furthermore it was really cool that the kids explore their talents together and form a little group that supports each other.
It seems as if we've got to face two different enemies. One is well acquainted with our heroine Ash. I would immediately nominate that person most annoying antagonist ever. Then there seems to be another more mysterious force against our heroes that promises to be explored in the sequel.
WILDEFIRE has some romance as well. The romance between Ash and a stranger is sweet, but for my liking could have been a more dominant part of the book.
The story is told from a 3rd person narrator and the pace of actions felt just right to me. Long coherent sequences grow thinner in the end and events start to flow in a faster pace. Karsten Knight has a fresh and perky writing. He applies awesome comparisons and has a great sense of humour so it wasn't difficult to be kept entertained during the entire read.
Despite the fun and action factor I was just so disappointed with the last part of the story. I expected the story to head in a completely different direction so the end left me dumbfounded, because events took a totally bizarre way. I simply wasn't content despite the large and cool shocker moment and cliff hanger in the end.
There's much more to come in book two and I hope to learn more about the heritage of protagonist Ash, where all kids got their powers from and about the motives of their enemies.
I give it 3,5/5 stars.
The YA world needs more authors like Karsten Knight, he definitely is an enrichment for the genre. His debut novel WILDEFIRE is elemental, paranormal, funny and eerie at the same time.
By Laura Williams 21 Sep 2011
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!
By annmarie ager 04 Sep 2011
I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book from my dear friend. I had been waiting to read this book since it was first released.
There was loads going on in the story line for the mythological that was running through the book to the conflicted between characters, new friendship and more action then you could throw a stick at.
In a way you could tell a guy wrote the book because there was never a boring page there was always some kind of action going on and that's one of the main thing I really loved. The mythological side of this book was outstanding I'm a big fan of myths of any sort. While I have read books like Percy Jackson and the Pegasus series this series for more for the teen readings then younger readers.
The conflicted between ash and Eve was one of the key points in this story. It was great to see the hate but also deep down I wonder whether they had any choice but to dislike one and other.
There was lots of other great characters in the book and they all fitted really well together they all brought something interesting and new to the mix. Ash was a strong main character that to me was a bit of a tom boy that really helped me like her because I myself am a bit of a tom boy. She was out spoken and was always speaking her mind which normal got her into trouble.
Now the ending was mind blowing I did not see that coming at all and I was shocked and enraged that the author ended the book that way (cliff hanger!!) But it was a good thing he did because one thing I know is I well be buying book two.
To sum this book up I would say....
A mind blowing mix of none stop action and conflicted and myth.
By Julie Smith 26 Jul 2011
First sentence: Ashline Wilde was a human mood ring.
Ashline Wilde and her sister Eve are adoptees, both kickbutt Polynesian girls who don't quite "fit" into the rarefied atmosphere at Scarsdale High School. As the book opens, Ash is giving the beatdown to a girl named Lizzie who hooked up with Ash's boyfriend Rich. When Eve, who has been expelled from school and took off on her own three months ago, comes riding up on her motorcycle, things go from bad to worse.
When Ash gets home, her parents, who are really good and loving, decide to go searching for Eve, leaving Ash, who decides not to go, home alone, where a prank is pulled on her that ends in tragedy, leaving Eve with yet another arrest warrant.
Cue forward eight months, and Ash is now in a boarding school that she chose - clear across the country in northern California, a place where she actually has friends and is dating Bobby, captain of the soccer team. One evening, she and some friends are out at a bar (where they are not supposed to be), and a scream that only a few hear results in a foiled kidnapping attempt.
I won't go into much more of the plot, because it would contain lots of spoilers, so I will give quick summaries of the good and bad instead.
Bad: The novel is kind of loosey-goosey in places; could definitely use some tightening up and fleshing out here and there, but many readers won't quibble about that.
Eve - well, she's a little TOO psycho - I like a good villain as much as the next reader, but her character is a bit overdone, and we really don't find out why and how she ended up so different from Ash
Speaking of villains, who/what exactly ARE the Cloak? Are they good or bad or somewhere in between? Maybe I'm slow, but I just didn't really get it.
Good: Ash is seriously kickbutt - an irreverent type of character with a good soul
I love mythology and folklore - and there's such a great mix of different gods and goddesses here that it kept me wanting to read on.
Mixed: The ending - seriously, there's a twist that most won't see coming (I kind of saw it, but not early, which was great) - it's kind of a cliffhanger, though (not "Who Shot JR"-like, but almost). I can't really figure out if I liked the ending or not.
Summary: I think that Mr. Knight has a winner here; many will love it and most will like it. It's original, and even exciting and witty in many places. I will be looking for the next-in-series.
QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy):
One second Ashline was standing in the middle of the circle. The next second Rich was curled in the fetal position on the ground, howling in pain, holding his tennis bag in front of him like a shield to prevent further irreparable injury to his groin.
"Eve, that monster made out with my a**hole ex-boyfriend. For something like that you put peanut butter between the pages of her textbooks or . . . or spread a rumor that she has herpes. You don't . . . you don't . . ." But she couldn't finish the sentence because her nose had discovered the scent of burned flesh.
On her way toward the office, Ashline leaned over the receptionists desk. "Quick question - are there any prizes for having two visits to the headmistress's office in one week? Like you hang a monogrammed coffee mug on the wall for me?"
The girl glanced at the headmistress's door, before she allowed a slight smile to break across her face. "Like a frequent flyer program?"
Sensitive reader: Some profanity.
Writing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Characters: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 3.5 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 3.75 out of 5 stars
By Ambur Hostyn 14 Jul 2011
Wildefire pretty much had everything I love in a book going for it, and I definitely loved it! It had a sassy and strong heroine, who wasn't perfect, which is nice. I'm not going to lie, it can get annoying when a character is perfect...or a tad Mary Sue-ish. I can definitely say that Ashline was not a Mary Sue, at all. She was super awesome, that's what she was. :D Along with Ashline, Wildefire had hot guys, mythology, and an amazing story line. This book kept me on my toes, and I loved the back-story. One of the things that always keeps me hooked with a book is a great history, and Wildefire definitely has that.
The characters were full of life and vibrant, and I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd managed to just walk right off the page. I loved getting to know them, and learning their secrets! Karsten Knight did a fantastic job with his characters, and with Ashline. He gave her such a unique voice. She's defintiely one of those heroines that stick out in your mind, although for some people it might not be in a good way. She's the kind of girl that you either admire and wanna hang out with, or you are immensely annoyed by. As you can tell by this review so far, I'm from the former category. I really liked Ashline, and to me, she was fantastic! A bit much at times, but her confidence definitely made her someone that I would love to get to know. She was so spunky, and I think she'd be really fun to meet. Now the guys...all of them were pretty dang awesome. Ashline's love interest, Colt, was definitely my favourite! I absolutely loved him! He was clever, and pretty adorable...although I did wonder why a college guy would want to date someone in high school...not going to lie, that's always something that's a bit skeevy in my opinion. I guess he wasn't way older, just a like 2 or 3 years, but still. If you like them that much, just wait a few years. :P
The whole mythology concept behind Wildefire is genius, and so fascinating! I absolutely loved that Karsten included a mixture of mythology from different cultures and races, and that it comes from all over the place, rather than one specific spot. Also, I just have to mention the title! The title is awesome! Ashline's last name is 'Wilde' and there is a certain amount of 'Fire' in this book. You might be able to guess how the fire comes into play, but I'll let you find out about it on your own. Anyways, so you put Wilde and Fire together and WHAM! you get the title. I'm probably the only one who's this excited about the book's title, but that's okay, I don't mind being the only one. I just thought I'd mention it to see if anyone else thought it was an awesome book title, too! :D
The storyline itself was great. It definitely left a lot of things open for the following books though, so I wasn't shocked to learn that it's the first in a series...although I honestly have no clue how long the series is going to be. The cliffhanger for this book was intense, but I wasn't too surprised. I'd kind of expected it all along...what you want to know what it is?? Sorry, my lips are sealed! You're just going to have to read Wildefire for yourself and find out about the ending for yourself! :P
I thought that Wildefire was a fantastic debut by Karsten Knight, and I definitely encourage you to give it a shot! It was an amazing story with very vivid characters and a remarkable history behind it...plus the title is awesome! :D
***I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.