By Karsten Knight
July 26, 2011
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 400 pages
Source: Simon & Schuster’s GalleyGrab
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.
— Amazon.com description
Three cheers for a lead character who isn’t white! Plus, throw in an extra three cheers because Karsten Knight is a male writing a female lead. These things don’t happen too often in YA lit, so we should celebrate them when they do.
I’m not quite sure this book was my cup of tea. It started out with a shocking, violent, confusing scene that really turned me off from the get-go. It’s just not my thing. For a second opinion, though, check out this review from my friend Jen, who thought the opening sequence was totally kick butt. To each her own!
The premise here was intriguing, without a doubt, and would appeal to most fans of mythology-based paranormal stories. And the ending left me gasping. A cliffhanger like that will probably guarantee I give the sequel a try.
But a word of warning to all those who have finished: If you don’t want to be spoiled, do NOT look up the word that was revealed on the final page. The first paragraph on Wikipedia alone will spoil the second book for you. Certainly Karsten knew we’d all run to Google, though, so perhaps he wanted us to have this information? Only time will tell!