The Silver Lining | Bookanista Review: Wildefire

I know I’ve been a slacker blogger lately, but I have good excuses! Okay, I just have excuses. Mostly related to lots of traveling for work and lots of revisions. I wish I could promise I’ll get better at blogging, but…I’ll be even worse at blogging the next two weeks. Thanks to the SCBWI LA conference (!!!) and an immediate vacation following it (also in LA), I’ll be sitting out of the next two weeks of Bookanista reviews. It’s all for a good cause though: me having fun at the conference. Don’t miss me too much!

What it’s about:

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.

What I thought:

Much like the protagonist, this book kicks butt. Wildefire is a roller coaster ride of plot twists that kept me guessing and gasping. I absolutely loved this fresh new take on Mythology. I’m a big sucker for books about mythology, and I especially liked that this book wasn’t about one particular mythology but several. I found it interesting to read about reincarnated Gods and Goddesses from several different mythologies and to see how they interacted together.

This story had a Larger Than Life feel, which makes sense, given the fact that the characters are all Gods and Goddesses. Their personalities were more than human, which I thought fit really well.

Ashline herself is a great character. Super snarky with a quick wit that made me love her. The dialogue just flows in this book, each line more awesome than the next. Because she’s a volcano Goddess, Ashline has a temper. Angry characters run the risk of being unsympathetic, but I loved the clever way Karsten balanced her anger with her vulnerability, particularly when it came to her sister Eve.

Now, I should mention that I love stories about sisters. Especially sisters who are embroiled in a rivalry. Eve’s a great character as well, a perfect antagonist, insane enough to wreak havoc on her sister but with motivations that make sense thanks to her Goddess nature. Haven’t we all read mythology stories where the Gods get angry at humans and lash out at them? Example: Demeter’s so lonely without her daughter for six months of the year, she causes all the plants to die and sends snow storms onto the world. So Eve’s actions as well as Ashline’s made sense to me.

I loved the clever writing, but that’s no surprise since Karsten’s vlogs are hilarious.

And whew! That ending! Can I have Book 2 now please?

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