Author: Karsten Knight
Details: ARC, published in hardcover, 393 pgs.
Published: July 26th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Simon & Schuster *for review*
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.
To be honest I wasn't sure what I would think of this book. It seems like young adult paranormal books are hit and miss for me anymore. It's harder to be blown away by them and I have started to have a fear every time I start a new one that it's just going to be mediocre. Not to mention that gods, goddesses, demi-gods, etc are really popular right now. So could Karsten Knight manage to create something that was unique and blew me away? He did!It started off a tiny bit rough. I felt like we were thrown into some action with too many introductions to not be confused. But it was really only the first few pages or first chapter. It turns out that it was important, but yet the story took a different turn of events and the tone seemed to change a lot. The story really takes off on the second or third chapter when Ashline is at Blackwood.
I really liked all the characters and loved that each one was memorable for certain things. I also liked how he made it so we had a hard time knowing for sure who was bad. Ashline was great in that she had a bit of a snarky personality and she really could take care of herself. I think it took me a bit to fall into her voice and personality but once I did she turned out fantastic.
We were introduced slowly to things, like what was what, who was what, etc. But even though it's given to us slowly the book is never slow. It's constant action and never once was I bored. It was easy to sit down and read for hours on end.
Karsten Knight wasn't afraid to take chances, to push things a bit further then some authors may and I think it was actually good that he did that. It's not easy to see characters we love get hurt or die, but it shows us that this is the reality of it (you know, if it was real). He was also fantastic at popping up some surprises we never saw coming.
I'm definitely anxious to read more and it will be a long wait for the next one!
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Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
This book qualifies for the Diversify Your Reading Challenge. You can find out more about this challenge by going HERE.