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.
Here is my honest review:
I heard a lot of great things about this novel before I started reading it, so I guess I was expecting a lot more. That's not to say that I thought this was bad. It's definitely 3.5 stars-worthy, and I read it quickly so I must have enjoyed it. I also heard about this killer cliffhanger at the end, and that part didn't disappoint at all! I was imagining all kinds of different things, but what happened at the end was not what I thought it would be. I did have to go back to see if I could have guessed, and maybe.. just maybe.. but no. I didn't see it coming.
Besides the ending, I also didn't anticipate some other stuff that happened. I liked that this was definitely unpredictable. Also, the creativity in this novel is impressive. My mind just can't wrap around The Cloak things. Every time they are described, they become more and more vivid in my mind. They are totally creepy and fascinating at the same time.
What I liked:
Creativity. Like I said, those Cloak creatures are definitely different than anything I've read about before. And the whole story line isn't exactly like any other book. I've read about gods and goddesses before, but this is not the same.
Imagination. I was seriously able to see Eliza Dushku in the role of Eve (you know, from her Buffy days as Faith). And I was at least able to picture everyone else in my mind, even if it wasn't as the actor I'd like to see them played as.
The action. This had fight scenes, death, and destruction all over the place! I enjoy a good fight scene for sure ;o)
The ending. Man, that was a cliffhanger!!
What I didn't like:
The girls. They were all so rough! Yes, this is written by a man, and no, I don't think that's why. But maybe. The girls just weren't feminine. Lily was close in her careful ways, and maybe Serena could be counted as such, but Raja was so rough and to the point, Ashline was kind of boyish, and Jackie was just a little weird. I don't know. Oh, and obviously Eve was a scary psycho.
Lack of answers. I seriously need to know about the visions she was seeing! Goodness.
Bottom Line: An entertaining supernatural YA read. Go for it.
Thanks again to Galley Grab and Shannon O'Donnell for the eGalley/ARC paperback of this novel. Much appreciated!
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