Wildefire by Karsten Knight
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: 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.
My take:Well. That was a wild ride. Interesting introduction to main characters that encapsulate the lesser known gods of yore. The most intriguing part of this book is the mystery. The gods and goddesses at Blackwood don't know they are gods and goddesses. When they discover what they are, they all know who they are quickly. Except Ashline. This puzzle is resolved by the last third of the book or so.
Next puzzle are the Cloaks. Finding them is part of the fun so I won't say much about these/this creature. They do play an integral part in the resolution of some of the conflicts which I found interesting which leads us to the next question -
Who are the good guys and bad guys? Is there any such thing, anymore. Mythology is riddled with beings endowed with far too much power. Perhaps, then, the real question is not good vs. evil but agenda. What is Eve's agenda along with the mysterious Blink and Cloaks?
As mentioned in another review I read, the main characters are women yet the overall theme is not man-bashing or girl-power. Instead, they stood side by side with their male counterparts to kick butt one moment, then bond like a normal teenage girl the next.
Diversity is another strong point that was not shoved down the throat of the reader but rather, the main characters happened to come from all over the world. Ashline and Eve are Polynesian. Raja is Egyption, Ade, Haitian, Colt being part Hopi and Rolffe is German. Naturally, we also have the token gay guy, Darren. By far my favorite character is Jackie. Completely loved her and her ability to be nonplussed under any circumstances and still quip a deadpan joke.
The story is violent. Exceedingly so. When the gods are angry, havoc is wreaked. Death and destruction are second nature or maybe Mother Nature. It is a bit on the disturbing side. There is sex but done behind closed doors. Language is moderate but consistent with the gals of the story being sarcastic, witty, and tough.
Ending - Did. Not. See. That. Coming.
Awesomely sets up the next book but provides enough closure to enough of the conflicts for a satisfactory end of book.
I liked it. I didn't love it but I have no complaints about it. It is unique and surprising but expect blood, gore, death, destruction and characters you're going to like a lot.