Friday, June 1, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Wilde's Fire -- Krystal Wade

ARC: Provided by Curiosity Quills Press, via NetGalley

For me, Wilde's Fire did not start well for a couple of reasons: 

1.  I'm not particularly fond of books that start with dreams. I'd rather see them folded into the story and cut to the chase.And dreaming about a perfect lover is a theme I've read too many times.
2.  It's a common tendency for new novelists to have a modern-day protagonist slip through a portal and be the savior of a world. This plotline has to be done really well to keep my interest.

Kate, little sister Brit, and her best friend Brad follow a dot of light through a forest and fall into another world. (Little sister got kicked back into this world at the last minute) Kate learns her family is actually from this world and they've been hiding in ours to protect her. She's the savior of the world.

Of course, the love of her life is another one of the world's great champions and Kate manifests powers that no one expects. The common term for this type of character is "Mary Sue." They are generally pretty close to perfect and annoying.

What DID keep my interest were the secondary characters. Flanna, the cousin of Kate's love, and Brad, Kate's best friend who's had a crush on her forever. That friendship-relationship kept morphing into new and interesting dimensions as the plot thickened. (Fortunately, no love triangle or I might have thrown my iPad at the wall)

In all honesty, Krystal Wade shows some promise. The latter portion of her novel really started to shape up. The writing got crisper, more cinematic and the story moved along. Ms. Wade did a good job of distinguishing the Encardians from Kate and Brad.  I think another editorial pass of this debut novel would have made it a far better book.

I wouldn't be surprised if the remainder of Ms. Wade's series isn't far better than the first offering, which turned out to be much better than I thought it would be at the beginning. The story's too strong on romance to keep my interest going, but if you enjoy an other-world fantasy with some interesting twists, Wilde's Fire might be for you. Krystal Wade is definitely a writer to be watching.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, June 2012

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