Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Advanced reading copy via Galley Grab
Wildefire grabs you by the throat and doesn't let you go. There's action! Untimely death! Cute boys! Crazy-ass sisters! (not necessarily in that order)
Ashline and her big sis Eve were adopted from an Polynesian orphanage and they've grown up in an upper middle class Jewish family in upstate New York. They were close ... until Eve runs away from home. And when she returns, bad stuff happens. Really. Bad. Stuff. Stuff so bad that Ashline decides her only chance at normalcy is to transfer to a boarding school across the country.
And that's when stuff starts to get really weird.
There are too many twists and turns to give away the plot, but the long and short of it is that Ashline discovers that she's the reincarnation of a volcano goddess. And her new friends at boarding school? Also of the god class. And someone (thing?) wants them dead. For good.
Karsten Knight has crafted an amazingly good story, with memorable characters and funny dialogue. But there were two things that bumped me about this book. The first: I've read a lot of Buffyesque spec scripts and when every character throws out witty one-liners in the face of adversity/embarrassment/heartbreak/impending death, they tend to sound all alike. Karsten's characters are smart, witty, and have a tendency to sound alike.
The second thing: the last chapter is an info dump of what-happened-after-the-climax. Some of it is important information, some of it is not (the return of Ash's absent roommate in an obvious bit), but it's kind of rushed and clunky.
There are two reveals in the last chapter that are awesome (one I figured, one I didn't see coming), which set up the next book for some mind-blowing good fun.
This was an out-and-out fun romp of a read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed Poison by Chris Wooding or Possession by Elana Johnson.
Bonus Video: Karsten Knight muses on Wildefire, the five-second rule, and lighthouses: