Wilde’s Fire is Krystal Wade’s debut novel and the first book in the Darkness Falls series. The story begins with two girls (Katriona and her sister) and a guy (Kate’s BFF, Brad) going on a camping trip with alcohol and no parents. Out in the forest, the girls notice a light that seems to travel with them and decide to follow it. With Brad in tow, the girls wind up treking right through an invisible portal to a world Kate has been dreaming of for years. Unfortunately, the world is from her nightmares and the trio is immediately attacked by horrible monsters. Kate (with Brad) and her sister are separated from each other and must deal with the reality of this new world and the results of the monster attack. Kate has some assistance through Arland, a man who has starred in many of her dreams back home even though they had never met, but she also finds out that she is the key to that world’s survival even if she doesn’t understand how she can do what needs to be accomplished.
You learn about this world with Kate as she gets to know her rescuers. A thousand questions are raised, but Wade answers the bulk of them (or at least alludes to the answer) as you discover more about Encardia, which is extremely different from Earth. World building is an area in which Wade excels, and I enjoyed discovering this new land.
What (or who, really) I didn’t enjoy was Kate. She swings between moods like a monkey on a tree. She begins the story living in some type of bubble that lets her ignore facts she’s rather not see, like that Brad is in love with her. How he feels is apparent from the moment you meet him and all her other friends and family have told Kate, yet she still insists that they are just friends.
Now Kate has a lot to deal with in her new world, so conflicting emotions are sure to arise. However, she spends a lot of time sulking, skulking, and moping. She also goes from oblivious with Brad to overly inappropriate with Arland. You’ve just met him but you want him to share a bed with you and watch you while you bathe?
My disenchantment with Kate effected my feelings on her burgeoning relationship with Arland. He helped take her focus of Brad with a little flirting. (The best way to get over someone is with someone else, right?) But, while they have a strong natural attraction to each other, I wasn’t drawn to them as a couple and couldn’t get into the romance. But, they do have some hot smexy scenes that I did not mind.
So my general problem with Wilde’s Fire is not that I have a problem with the writing or the story, I just can’t stand the main character. The world building is great, the daemons creepy, the bad guy seems majorly evil, and the minor characters are intriguing, yet it wasn’t until near the end that I really got into the story. And then we are left with a huge cliffhanger that seems to take Kate in a completely new direction in book 2.
Wilde’s Fire has it all: top-notch world building, many engaging characters, and great writing. Even though I didn’t love the main character, these other qualities make the story one you should check out for yourself.
Genre: YA fantasy, paranormal romance
About Wilde’s Fire
“There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most.” – Katriona Wilde
Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out.
When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate’s forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What’s worse, she has no control over her new future, and it’s full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made.
Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?
About the Author
Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers–who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas–sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.