WILDEFIRE By Karsten Knight [Review]
WILDEFIRE is like Percy Jackson for girls. Well, it tries to be, anyway.
It’s about Ashline Wilde, 16, who, after a series of terrible and tragic events–the most recent involving her psychotically deranged sister–is forced to move across the country to attend a boarding school where she ends up making friends with a group of reincarnated Norse gods. All completely unaware of their divinity, the teens were summoned by a blind siren who is visited by a prophet that informs her the world is going to end and gives her instructions on how to save it.
The cast of characters Knight introduces are unique and interesting in their own way–the demigods are Japanese, Haitian, Egyptian, and Polynesian, among other ethnicities.
The plot centers around Ashline, still unaware of her exact divinity, and her attempt at trying to fit in with humanity and figuring out her divinity all while juggling homework, a romance, and frequent visits from her sister, who just happens to controls the weather.
It’s an interesting plot, enough to keep me reading page after page, but the character of Ashline just doesn’t do it for me. In his attempts to create a tough as nails female, Knight wound up making Ashline more of a testosterone-driven boy. She’s not believable as a girl; I can’t identify with her thoughts, her language, and her very shallow emotions. And the romance she has with an older, tall-dark-and-handsome man isn’t believable either. She handles love like a boy would. To top it off, she’s the school’s star tennis jock, a character archetype reminiscent of the high school all-state football quarterback character portrayed in most teenage stories.
I also have a problem with the narration. The most interesting details–a third sister, blue fiery creatures called the Cloak, the prophet named Jack, and a character named Blink–but none are ever developed. The ending is tied up so nice and neat I had to flip back through the story to figure out who Blink was, how the Cloak fit into the story, and where exactly Jack comes in.
The book was a let down. For being so promising in so many places, the payoff was terrible. I admit to being riveted to the pages, but I walked away feeling more dissatisfied than fulfilled.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Pages: 400 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon
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