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A Reader of Fictions: Firestarter - The Prodigy

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Firestarter - The Prodigy

Wildefire, Book 1

Author: Karsten Knight
Pages: 393
ARC Acquired from: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Ashline Wilde and her sister, Eve, were adopted by a nice family as a child. They stand out in their upscale Jewish neighborhood, both in temperament and skin tone. Ashline and Eve are Polynesian and as wild as their adopted moniker might entail. Ash will literally cut a witch who steals her man; Lizzy Jacobs took her stupid boyfriend, so Ash beat her up but good in the parking lot of the school. That night, Lizzy comes for payback, but gets struck by lightning and dies instead. What most people didn't know was that the lightning came from Eve.

After that incident, Eve ran off. Ash transferred to an expensive private school across the country where she could be without the stigma of that night's events. At the school, she makes some more dumb dating decisions, but she makes some good friends. One night, when Ash and her buds sneak out to the local bar that serves underage folks, she and an assorted bunch (Rolfe, Ade, Raja, Lily) from her school hear yells for help, although no one else in the bar does. Ash and the rest meet up to figure out what they are (they all have manifested powers except for Ash) and become friends (and enemies in the process).

Last week, I discovered Galley Grab, which I wish I had known about before. When I got my first mystery download link post sign up, Wildefire downloaded. The download pages do not say what book you're getting (although the newsletters do), so I had no idea until it popped up in Adobe Digital Editions. I had heard of Wildefire and thought the premise sounded a bit odd and that I was going to skip it. Since I had downloaded the title already, I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

Wildefire is a fun and violent romp. For all that Ash is much too quick to use her fists, she is a really awesome heroine. She kicks serious butt, she's sarcastic and she deals with everything on her own terms. She has this crazy but realistic confidence that almost makes me envy her. Ash feels so much like a real person and one that I would not perhaps be friends with, but might admire and enjoy facebook stalking. Plus, it's kind of nice to read a book where there's a girl who's a bit of a juvenile delinquent. There are a lot of reformable, sexy bad boys, but you don't see too many ladies of that ilk.

Colt, however, I never liked. For one thing, I personally am confused and a bit creeped out by any guy who's too interested when you first meet. Colt, a college student, sees Ash across the bar and leaves the seriously hot girl he's with to pursue her doggedly. After hitting on her in the bar to little avail (since she left to investigate the screams), he shows up at her tennis practice. The fact that she's cute does not make this non-stalkerish. Besides, as much as Ash was feeling it, I did not sense much chemistry between them at all. There conversations almost all dealt with how he thought they should be together. I really hope he either improves or is not THE guy that she will be drama-ing with for the rest of the series.

The plot was fun and moved along at a really nice pace. Some things definitely have not coalesced yet, like the black monsters with blue flame eyes that are supposedly the 'villains.' I had trouble taking them seriously, because I do not yet know enough about them. The mythology was awesome, since I'm a big ol' mythology nerd, especially since it was a cool way for folks to have awesome powers. In terms of storyline, nothing was really resolved in this book at all. It's clearly going to need another book, which I will most definitely be reading.

If you're looking for a totally fun, dark, violent book about hot teens with superpowers, you found it.

"I'm the trouble starter, fuckin' instigator
I'm the fear addicted, and danger illustrated "

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