AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight


From the "Wildefire" series, volume 3
Age Range: 14 - 18
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In the apocalyptic conclusion to this fantasy trilogy, a teenage goddess gets mad, rocks fall, and (almost) everyone dies.

Ashline Wilde has left her new boyfriend, the Aztec god of night, to chase after her evil ex, Colt Halliday, the reincarnation of the trickster Kokopelli. Colt is plotting to meld Ash, her bad-seed older sister and her newly discovered younger sister back into the volcano goddess Pele. In order to do this, he still needs to find the means to defeat the Cloak, the other-dimensional entities who split Pele apart and stripped the deities of their memories. The whole bloated narrative is essentially one long chase, with Ash and her allies perpetually one step behind the villains and plenty of fireballs, explosions, lightning bolts and inevitable casualties piling up along the way. Ash has three basic modes—sarcastic, angry and really angry—but that still gives her more personality than any other character, so the frequent deaths and dropped plotlines aren’t particularly upsetting. The mythological cast is commendably diverse; unfortunately, they are all so divorced from their cultural context that they might as well be mutants or aliens or wizards. While the main storyline does come to a satisfying conclusion, the nightmare-fueled epilogue tosses in an infuriating metafictional twist.

Overstuffed, derivative and annoying. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5037-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2013


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